If You're Not in Non-Alc, You're Leaving Money on the Table

Is your bar catering to the non-alc boom? If your answer to this category is one type of non-alc beer and a Shirley Temple, you are missing out on the next big revenue stream in the bar and restaurant industry. In recent years, the non-alc space has been revolutionized into something cooler, more innovative, and most importantly, more in demand than ever before. Consumers have embraced non-alc as they seek greater choice, new experiences, and products that fit within their evolving lifestyles.

Interact with Top Players in the Non-Alc Market

If all of this is news to you, no problem. Be sure to stop by Bar & Restaurant Expo’s all-new experience on the show floor to get in the know: the Non Alc Chill Zone.

This interactive experience is included with any registration pass and allows attendees to sample the latest and most innovative non-alc beverages on the market while also learning from suppliers about how to incorporate them into your menus for a bigger bottom line.

This activation will also focus on the “chill,” with seating and phone chargers for attendees to take a moment to recharge.

“The non-alc segment of the market is clearly poised for significant growth in the coming years. It’s important that we embrace this hot topic at Bar & Restaurant Expo 2023 to educate the industry on how implementing non-alc products can not only enhance the guest experience, but also generate strong new sales revenue,” says Tim McLucas, Vice President of Bar & Restaurant Group. “We are dedicating an area to sample the latest non-alc products at the March event, plus presenting educational sessions to outline the true benefits and advantages to bar and restaurant operators of fully embracing these new beverages. It’s a very exciting growth opportunity for the industry.”

Still not convinced of the power of non-alc? Read on for a dive into the numbers, trends, and growth factors in this market.

Global Growth

The no- and low-alcohol category has a market value of just under US$10 Billion globally, according to the IWSR Global No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study 2022.

non alcoholic cocktail

Germany is at the top of that global market as the volume of no- and low-alcohol products in the country is more than three times that of the next-largest no/low market, Spain. Both Germany and Spain experienced volume increases of about +2% in 2021.

While Germany and Spain are larger and more established markets, the UK and the U.S. are two of the most dynamic ones, and they are growing at a faster rate. The no/low alcohol segment in the U.S. is forecast to grow by +28% volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2021-2025. Over in the UK, IWSR says non-alc is set to grow +6%. According to a survey from The Portman Group and YouGov on UK drinkers, 64% of UK adults have at least tried a no- or low- alcohol product, so the willingness to try something new is there.

Consuming Occasions

Consumers’ flexibility about when they turn to non-alc could be helping to drive this growth, as many consumers now identify as moderators rather than abstainers. Increasingly, consumers are mixing alcohol and non-alc options—sometimes in the same occasion.

The Ritual Beverage Company Consumer Survey from January 2022 found that 97% of non-alc drinkers had consumed alcohol in the past 90 days. Similarly, the IWSR Global No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study 2022 found that 82% of non-alc consumers also drink alcoholic beverages, while 83% of consumers choose to go between non-alc and alcohol-based drinks depending on the occasion. The IWSR also found that 43% of adults who have purchased no- and low-alcohol beverages are substituting those products in place of full-strength alcohol for certain occasions, rather than abstaining from alcohol completely.

The non-alc sector is now being embraced by the entire consumer spectrum thanks to a shift in focus from abstaining to choosing to engage with another option. This has opened new dayparts (aperitivo hour), extended stays in the on-premise, and added a new revenue stream to menus that offers an upsell to the typical soda.

nonalcoholic low alc

“No” Doesn’t Mean Less

This new shift to “with” versus “without” also includes an interest from consumers in functional beverages that offer additional benefits through nontraditional ingredients like ginseng, CBD, adaptogens, and more.

Product Mix

The sheer increase in non-alc options is also helping to drive growth. According to the IWSR Global No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study 2022, beer/cider is the largest no/low category (75% volume share), with no-alcohol beer projected to drive growth at more than +11% CAGR from 2021-2025. Non-alcohol RTDs and non-alc spirits are both expected to post +14% CAGR volume growth.

“Beverage alcohol companies have invested heavily to introduce a number of innovative new products, and many established mainstream brands have recently crossed over to develop no/low alcohol versions of their popular beer, wines, and spirits,” said Emily Neill, COO of IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, in a press release. “Brands that will ultimately dominate in the no/low space are those that are successful in navigating the barriers of taste, price, pack format, availability, and overall consumer education.”

Don’t be a non-player in the non-alc market—visit the Non Alc Chill Zone at Bar & Restaurant Expo and make a plan to expand the non-alc options on your menu.


Plan to Attend or Participate in Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 27-29, 2023

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 27-29, 2023 in Las Vegas. Visit BarandRestaurantExpo.com.

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

​Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z) ​e: [email protected]p: 917-258-5174​

Also, be sure to follow Bar & Restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest industry news and trends.