As an accompanying beverage to hearty dishes and as a standard drink for chilled refreshment after a long working day as well as a central good at the Munich Oktoberfest and social events around the world, beer is a real institution. Today the traditional drink is available in countless variations - and with flavoured beer drinks in a completely new look.
Beer is an evergreen on the beverage market, although you can take this literally: The origin of beer goes back to the early Neolithic period, making it one of the oldest and most consumed alcoholic beverages in the world. In 2017, the global beer market was valued at $ 593.024 million and is expected to reach $ 685.354 million by 2025. The growth rate is expected to be 1.8 percent from 2019 to 2025.
Since the rise of craft beers, which are also produced with different styles and flavours in smaller companies, beer drinks have changed increasingly.
The consumer orientation, towards products that have as little negative impact as possible on the body, is also having an increasing effect in the beer segment.
In beer, for example, the consumer trend towards reducing alcohol consumption is unstoppable and it has become one of the most popular low-alcohol beverages.
The quality of the alcohol-reduced and non-alcoholic beers and flavoured beer drinks has improved quite a lot in terms of taste: While the first non-alcoholic creations often tasted rather watery and disappointing, the new product developments, thanks to new manufacturing processes and recipes, easily keep up with their alcoholic twins in terms of taste.
A few years ago, however, alcohol-free beer was still a niche product. Today, the target group of his fans has grown significantly and is also widely diversified: More and more consumers, but above all the young and conscious millennials prefer this new beverage category.
More and more consumers - but above all the young and conscious millennials - prefer a light, healthy lifestyle. They want to avoid a hangover mood after partying and be focused and fully conscious for work, recreation and sports. In Spain, for example, 43 percent of consumers state that they have increasingly opted for alcohol-reduced or non-alcoholic beer since the Corona crisis. Nevertheless, they don't want to give up the taste and the feeling of leisure and party drinks such as beer and its new variants - and alcohol-reduced or non-alcoholic beer with a wide variety of flavours in flavoured beer drinks is just the thing!
Due to the Covid crisis, the lockdowns and the even greater awareness of maintaining health, 2020 was a global breakthrough year for non-alcoholic beer drinks and flavoured beer drinks, and Corona drove existing trends forward. The rapid growth of craft beer breweries was slowed, many even had to close, while the large global breweries recorded growth of five percent. The online trade in beer beverages and flavoured beer beverages made a step forward and there was an increasing tendency towards the purchase of larger packs of beer for domestic storage. According to Mintel, 15 percent of consumers in China bought beer on social ecommerce platforms in September 2020.
Eric Ottaway, CEO of Brooklyn Brewery, reports a 38 percent growth in reduced alcohol beer beverages this year and expects growth to increase more rapidly in 2021. In many European countries, non-alcoholic beer already accounts for five to ten percent of the market.
In the opposite trend, however, Corona also led to an increase in alcohol consumption for many people. For example, 28 percent of people who have already drank alcohol said that the pandemic made them drink more often. Mintel figures even point out a 60 percent increase in alcohol consumption in the United States since the pandemic.
Mintel experts estimate that beer and cider brands are increasingly becoming premium products as a result of Corona: In the "new normal" people will continue to consume at home more often and premium brands that put a focus on food pairing and innovative new products will be leading in the next two years. In addition, the “Better for you” variants of beer and cider products will set the tone.
The trend “less but better” will increasingly influence the beer market: sales of high-end products from large breweries rose significantly in 2020, according to Mintel.
“The Future of Beer and Cider in 2021”, Jenny Zegler, Mintel 2021
“A year of innovation in beer and cider”, Mikolaj Kaczorowski, Mintel 2021
It is particularly noticeable how diverse the variety of flavours has developed in the beer and flavoured beer beverages segment. Globally this originally began with the creative craft beer variants from the small craft breweries. In addition to craft beer, various types of flavoured beers and mixed beer beverages have emerged. Craft beer and mixed beer beverages meet consumers' need for more and enhanced taste experiences.
Flavoured beer drinks are no longer limited to adding lemonade. They do not necessarily have to taste sweet but can also find their way into the market as a mixture of alcohol-reduced beer and exquisite flavouring, as well as beer with "flavoured water" instead of lemonade. Such flavoured beer drinks score with fewer calories than conventional beer or mixed beer drinks that are based on lemonade.
While Hard Seltzer has driven the alcohol trends of recent years, many craft brewers have also started production. It is expected that even more producers will focus on Hard Seltzer in 2021.
There is also a variety of exciting recipes for flavoured beer beverages. When it comes to flavours, in the central European markets lemon and lemonade, elderberry, lime, orange, grapefruit, raspberry, apple, herbs, ginger, mango, cola and berry mix are the classics. These variants with just one flavour component are now increasingly being followed by flavour combinations that are made up of a classic beer mix flavour such as citrus and a more exotic component such as pomegranate or a botanical note such as lavender and create new taste experiences.
In 2021, more and more mixed beer beverages will be enriched with nutritive substances: Have you ever heard of protein or vitamin beer? In the future, we will certainly come across these product innovations more often – the first variants are already on the market. Isotonicity and vitamin contents are important to many consumers, complemented by an enriched mineral content. In the future, more emphasis will be placed on the ingredients - the focus will also be on the natural origin of all ingredients.
A revolution has taken place on the global beer market in recent years that will continue in 2021: Craft beer, flavoured beer and mixed beer drinks are on the rise in different tastes and types. Mixed beer beverages with flavours or blended with flavoured water pick up on the trend towards reducing alcohol and consumers' need for enhanced taste experiences. They score with fewer calories than a conventional beer or a mixed beer drink made from beer and lemonade. A novelty on the beer market are mixed beer drinks, which are enriched with protein, vitamins and minerals!