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Non-Alcoholic Spirits: Deciphering Online Sales, Diversification and Consumer Ratings

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Jared Conway Bio
Spiros Malandrakis Profile Picture
Spiros Malandrakis Bio

The pandemic accelerated the shift towards moderation and mindful drinking, leading to an increase in demand for non-alcoholic spirits as a healthier and safer alternative. Nowhere is the market more dynamic than in Western Europe, where suppliers and retailers stock a variety of alternative distilled beverages for sober-curious consumers. Using Euromonitor International’s e-commerce tracking tool, Via, online data for stock keeping units (SKUs) can easily identify trends such as:

  • How is online prevalence of SKUs changing across leading markets?
  • What is the pricing range and assortment by country?
  • What is the online consumer engagement and satisfaction for these products?

Online presence of non-alcoholic spirits grows rapidly across Western Europe

Non-Alcoholic Spirits Chart 1.svgMonitoring the leading online retailers across Europe for a period of two years shows how the number of online SKUs has increased at double- and even triple-digit rates across all markets. This indicates strong supply-side dynamics of retailers stocking new varieties of alcohol-free spirits or “distilled non-alcoholic beverages” as strict EU and UK regulations prevent labelling products as a specific alcohol version. For this sample of SKUs being examined, the UK had the largest share of SKUs due to its strong culture of drinking and being a major spirits market.

Online sales of non-alcoholic spirits reached EUR4.4 million in the UK in 2022, double the combined total for France, Germany, Italy and Spain

Source: Euromonitor International

According to Euromonitor International’s new e-commerce system, online sales of non-alcoholic spirits reached EUR4.4 million in the UK in 2022, double the combined total for France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The UK can also provide some indication for other markets with regards to where this industry is headed; the number of SKUs for this sample grew by only 60%, whereas in France and the Netherlands, the number of SKUs increased by 246% and 221%, respectively as suppliers look to expand in these nascent markets by educating consumers on the benefits of these products.

Potential for greater segmentation in terms of price points to expand audience

Non-Alcoholic Spirits Chart 2.svgWith the increasing presence and variety of these distilled non-alcoholic beverages, creating a wider selection of price points to cater for increasingly curious drinkers is paramount for the category to become more widespread and not only seen as a luxurious option. Analysing Euromonitor International’s sample of SKUs for select Western Europe counties, the UK offers a wide variety of prices with limited gaps stretching from price points of EUR30 to lower tiered prices of EUR13.

In Italy and Spain, there is greater price polarisation between higher and lower tiered prices, indicating potential pricing white space opportunities

In the race to attract digitally-savvy consumers in this space, offering a diverse range of products online with distinct functional benefits can incentivise different consumer segments to try non-alcoholic spirits.

Consumer satisfaction online remains minimal

Non-Alcoholic Spirits Chart 3.svg

Monitoring online ratings for the category can provide an indication of how prevalent and supportive online engagement is for these early adaptor brands. For this sample of products, of the 226 SKUs that had reviews across the six Western European markets being tracked, only 11% of the SKUs had over 1,000 ratings across the retailers being monitored and of those SKUs, 65% were from just two manufacturers, Seedlip and Lyre’s. However, German brand Siegfried Wonderleaf scored the highest number of ratings though its presence on Amazon’s various country websites. On Amazon Germany, the brand’s SKU page had nearly 6,000 ratings at the end of 2022 and on its Spanish and Italian Amazon SKU pages, it had over 3,000 ratings.

In today’s digital age, where consumers often check online before making purchases, having a strong e-commerce presence can help consumers feel more confident with which distilled non-alcoholic beverage they are willing to experiment based on how their peers perceive the product. As this category continues to mature, it will be imperative for these companies to strongly push their online presence through a wide selection of price points and varieties supported by a solid digital reputation to separate themselves from newer entrants. For additional online insights, learn more about how Via can support your business and help unlock key strategic and tactical insights with its standardised online product coverage.

Note: Sample based on SKU prices found in Euromonitor International’s e-commerce tracking tool Via with data extracted in April 2023. Please note that due to ongoing improvements to the AI-led product matching of SKUs to categories, supplier, and brands, data and SKU counts can be revised based on system updates. SKU counts used for non-alcoholic spirits analysis: France (148), Germany (218), Italy (122), Netherlands (117), Spain (138), UK (419). SKU information extracted from the following e-commerce retailers: France (Amazon, Auchandrive, Carrefour, La Grande Epicerie, La Maison du Whisky, Nicolas), Germany (Amazon, Banneke, Bringmeister, Edeka, Hawesko, Kaufland, Mytime.de, Weinquelle Lühmann OHG, Weisshaus, Whisky.de), Italy (amazon, Bernabei, Carrefour, Esselunga a Casa, Iper, Tannico, Vino.com), Italy (Albert Heijn, Amazon, Carrefour, Gall & Gall, Plus), Spain (Amazon, Condis, El Corte Inglés, Hipercor), UK (Amazon, John Lewis, Majestic Wine, Master of Malt, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco, The Whiskey Exchange, The Whiskey Shop, Waitrose, World Duty Free).


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