The sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks are illegal in Kuwait and, therefore, 100% of sales generated in Kuwait’s alcoholic drinks industry comes from non alcoholic beer. The category saw an upturn in its performance in 2022 as it witnessed some recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the effects of the ban on smoking shisha inside cafés and restaurants.
Following the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the non alcoholic beer category grew positively in retail in 2022, while foodservice saw a minor recovery following the ban on indoor shisha cafés, which has been in place since 2020. The government’s prohibition of smoking shisha indoors in restaurants and cafés has had a knock-on effect, hindering on-trade sales of non alcoholic beer.
Alcohol consumption and sales have been banned in Kuwait since 1964, including sales via international hotels. The consumption of alcohol has been a criminal offence since 1983, with potential punishment including fines and imprisonment alongside deportation for non-Kuwaitis.
There is a huge divide between the wealthiest Kuwaiti households, who reside in very well-appointed expensive villas and who often own several luxury cars, and the poorest foreign workers, who can subsist on incomes as low as KWD80 per month. Additionally, Kuwait offers subsidised housing to all Kuwaiti citizens who are married, employed and who do not own their own home, as well as subsidised petrol, foodstuffs, utilities and healthcare.
Kuwait is a compact country with an extensive and well-maintained road network and high levels of urbanisation, with virtually the entire population of the country living in urban areas in 2022. Modern grocery retailing is very well-developed in the country, with consumers therefore having easy access to non alcoholic beer.
Alcohol is completely banned in Kuwait, with the government having no need to define a legal purchasing age or legal drinking age. There are no age limits set on the consumption of non alcoholic beer, the only product area within alcoholic drinks that is legally available.
No taxes or duties are imposed on non alcoholic beer in Kuwait, with all other alcoholic drinks being banned in the country.
On-trade volume sales of non alcoholic beer are expected to continue recovering during the forecast period. However, the channel’s development will be heavily influenced by whether or not the ban on smoking shisha inside cafés and restaurants is repealed in the early part of the forecast period.
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Alcoholic drinks is the aggregation of beer, wine, spirits, cider/perry and RTDs.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks research and analysis database.
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