Guinness to triple production of zero-alcohol stout amid rising demand

07 July 2023 by
Guinness to triple production of zero-alcohol stout amid rising demand

Guinness is to triple production of its zero-alcohol stout at its Dublin brewery in response to the growing consumer demand for no and low-alcohol drinks.

Ireland's best selling beer has made an investment of €25m (around £21.3m) in a new facility at its St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin.

The new production facility for Guinness 0.0 includes six new processing vessels with a total capacity of almost 90m pints.

The news comes amid a growing demand for lower alcohol options, which brewers said was down to consumers' desire to lead a healthier lifestyle.

According to research by KAM Media, 6.2m adults will be actively moderating their alcohol in-take this summer, almost as many as those who moderate during Dry January.

Meanwhile, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said in the past year no and low beer sales have generated 23% more sales (£91m) in pubs than the previous year (£74m) and have more than doubled since 2019, when sales equated to £44m.

Speaking to The Caterer, chief executive of the BBPA Emma McClarkin said: "This is exciting news from Diageo and reflects the trends of other UK brewers who are crafting new versions of iconic classics with all the depth and flavour but only some or none of the alcohol, it is incredibly impressive.

"As an industry we have evolved over centuries to serve public tastes and preferences, and this is no different. As a naturally low strength drink, beer is the obvious option for people who want to enjoy low and no options. We are proud brewers are leading the way in this category; it's a development that ensures even greater inclusivity as well as helping to support public health goals."

Barry O'Sullivan, managing director of Guinness' parent company Diageo Ireland, said: "This expansion in production capacity at St James's Gate is a testament to the quality of Guinness 0.0 and the growth of the non-alcoholic category, as consumers look for more choice on different occasions.

"We expect the growth of Guinness 0.0 to be another export success story for Ireland."

Alongside Guinness, a growing number of other beer brands have been entering the low and no-alcohol space – which constitutes anything up to 1.2% abv – with Peroni launching its Nastro Azzurro 0% beer in February this year.

Meanwhile, a number of alcohol-free craft lagers and ciders have been rolled out by independent brewers in the past year, including alcohol-free brand and pub operator Lucky Saint.

The brand said its retails sales value grew by 180% in the last year, with its June 2023 sales 50% up on Dry January 2023.

Lucky Saint founder Luke Boase said: "More people than ever are moderating year-round and with the rise of great tasting alcohol-free drinks and a desire to lead healthier lifestyles, it'll continue to grow."

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