Young target groups prefer low-alcohol beer

Long before the Corona crisis, breweries were already struggling with declining beer consumption. Then closed pubs and cancelled events were added. The Mintel Beer Report provides the latest trends.

Many German beer drinkers are turning to non-alcoholic or low-alcohol varieties. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, as many as 49 percent now reach for such beers, while only 36 percent of those over 45 years of age do so. The overall figure is 41 percent across all age groups.

“Due to the restrictions on movement during the lockdown, many people were afraid of gaining weight,” says Heidi Lanschützer, Associate Director at Mintel. “It is therefore understandable that during this period many people tried to avoid calorie-rich and unhealthy foods and drinks as far as possible”.

The consumption of beer in Germany has been falling for years
Beer consumption has been declining for years: between 2015 and 2019 per capita consumption in Germany fell by more than four percent from 109.5 to 104.8 liters. The Covid 19 pandemic then put the industry to an additional severe test this spring and summer: closed pubs and nationwide cancelled events, including the Munich Oktoberfest.

In view of growing health awareness, the new Beer Report (Mintel) sees great opportunities in marketing the lower calorie content of low-alcohol varieties. However, this potential has hardly been used so far. Yet almost a third (32 percent) of German beer drinkers find the barley juice healthier than many other alcoholic beverages. 45 percent of beer buyers consider the drink to be too calorie-rich, while another 16 percent express the wish for a larger selection of low-calorie beers.

Demand for functional beers is increasing

38 percent of beer drinkers are interested in beers that can be drunk after exercise. 42 percent of this group drink alcohol-free or reduced-alcohol beer. A further 30 percent of the same consumer group would like a wider choice of calorie-reduced options. There is also demand for functional beers: seven percent of consumers find varieties with added vitamins and minerals appealing, and among the 25 to 34-year-old millennials the proportion is as high as 21 percent.