Is the face of ‘healthy’ beer set to change?

19th April 2018 (Last Updated April 19th, 2018 10:42)

Many think of beer as a high calorific drink which is likely to give you a beer belly. The move towards healthier lifestyles has meant that beer manufacturers are urged to fight this perception and come up with low-calorie options.

Is the face of ‘healthy’ beer set to change?

Many think of beer as a high calorific drink which is likely to give you a beer belly. The move towards healthier lifestyles has meant that beer manufacturers are urged to fight this perception and come up with low-calorie options.

The market for ‘light’ beers has improved

In 2017 Bud Light re-entered the UK market 16 years after the US brand’s previous ill-fated launch. As well as having 27 calories per 100ml, Bud Light has a lower ABV than standard Budweiser at just 3.5%. The brand claims that the re-launch has been successful so far in attracting a younger audience.

Beyond ‘light’ – less calories, same ABV

However, some consumers perceive low alcohol beer as lacking taste and quality. This attitude leads innovation in the sector towards reducing calories without lowering alcohol content. In 2016, UK-based Skinny Brands unveiled Skinny Lager, a low-calorie beer made using a special brewing process which removes residual sugars from the drink. At 4% ABV, it is not low in alcohol but has a very low carbohydrate content – 2.97g for 330ml. With sugar being food and drink villain number one, the beer is likely to be increasingly well-received.

Over a third (35%) of UK consumers associate “healthy” with “low calorie” according to GlobalData’s 2017Q4 survey. However, this rises to 49%, when looking at the 35-44 year old specifically, and is slightly higher for female than male consumers. With a calorie count per bottle of just 89, Skinny Lager is bound to attract health-conscious consumers, especially among the aforementioned age group.

Gluten-free and vegan claims have become more common in beer

Skinny Lager also boasts gluten-free and vegan-friendly ingredients and it is not alone – a spate of craft beers have claimed such credentials recently. According to GlobalData’s primary research in Q1 2017, 3% of UK consumers say they follow a vegan diet, rising to 10% for the age group 25-34. This highlights Millennials as the consumer groups on the lookout for certified vegan products. The same age group is also more likely to opt for gluten-free products. 8% of consumers in the UK aged between 18 and 34 associate “gluten-free” with “healthy” according to GlobalData’s Q4 2017 survey. This compares to a lower ratio of 5% when looking across all age groups in UK. Low-calorie, vegan and gluten-free, rather than low alcohol content, are set to be winning attributes for beer targeting young adults.

https://www.globaldata.com/store/report/cs1726ct–snapshot-of-beer-and-cider-innovation-trends-how-key-consumer-trends-are-affecting-innovation-in-beer-and-cider/