AB InBev-owned Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) aims to shake up the Australian beer market with the launch of the first non-alcoholic beer in its 180-year history.
Called Carlton Zero, the beverage “is for beer lovers who want more opportunities to enjoy beer responsibly”.
Its release marks a long-term shift in Australia’s drinking habits: low- and mid-strength beers now represent 20% of CUB sales as consumers increasingly moderate their alcohol intake.
Carlton Zero aims to expand the number of occasions people can enjoy beer while encouraging moderate drinking.
While Australian sales of non-alcoholic beers have grown 57% over the last five years, the sales volumes of non-alcoholic beers are modest in the country compared to the US, Canada and Europe.
CUB said that launch of Carlton Zero – which is said to be slightly hoppy with a fruity aroma – is expected to “significantly increase” non-alcoholic beer sales in Australia.
CUB business unit president Peter Filipovic said: “We’ve listened to customers who have told us they want more opportunities to drink responsibly but still want a great-tasting beer. So we are rewriting the rules to give people a non-alcoholic beer that actually tastes like beer.
“Carlton Zero will be promoted to adults and comes as demand for non-alcoholic beer continues to grow in Australia and internationally. While non-alcoholic beer has been available in Australian supermarkets for years, we’re expecting Carlton Zero will shake up the market.
“It’s crafted with the same quality ingredients as our other iconic beers to give it a great-tasting flavour. This is an historic release for CUB and we are proud to add Carlton Zero to our portfolio of some of Australia’s most iconic beers.”
The beverage will be available in coming days in liquor stores and supermarkets across Australia in matte black cans and glass bottles.
Earlier this year AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito said he believes 20% of the company’s sales volumes will come from its low- or no-alcohol portfolio by 2025.
Currently, around 8% of the company’s volumes came from its low- or non-alcoholic lines.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019