Holding a glass of cola or hard liquor at a party isn’t fascinating anymore to a majority of the millennials in India. The soft drink industry is in dire need of new options which are refreshing and can tango with Indian youth.
The non-alcoholic market is already fairly large, it is almost 50,000 crores and definitely growing but there are also a few reasons that the non-alcoholic beverages acceptance and trend of consumption is increasing over the years. According to a recent report released by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the growth of the non-alcoholic beverage market in India can be attributed to rising awareness about healthy lifestyle and wellness, rising disposable income and an increasing number of people consuming soft drinks and juices with their meals.
Rise of the homegrown brands
Today, we see a lot of new players that have come into the market, whereas, earlier, there were only international giants acquiring larger shares in the market. Brands like Shunya have evolved to capture the millennial’s taste who are getting more inclined towards guilt-free consumptions. “We have taken it to the next level by not only making it guilt-free but by adding a lot of antioxidants, vitamins and made them healthy, with such kind of options being available people are definitely more carefree and everyone wants something other than water to quench their thirst,” shared Siddhesh Sharma, Founder & CEO of Naturedge Beverages Pvt. Ltd.
Moreover, marketing activities by leading brands, including endorsements by leading film stars, is also driving non-alcoholic beverage consumption in India. Recently, Shraddha Kapoor announced the partnership with Shunya.
Companies offering varities
According to Statista, the market is expected to grow annually by 9.01 percent (CAGR 2021-2025). As per a recent survey conducted, 81 percent of the Indian consumers stated that they are bored of Cola drinks and are open to new options. Several no-alcohol beers, low-alcohol and low-sugar beverages have hit the market lately.
Brands have also been experimenting with creating non-alcoholic clones of popular alcoholic drinks like gin and tonic, and rum and Coke. Svami is one such brand. “Before we launched our products, the only non-alcoholic drink options would be the regular Coke and Pepsi products, packaged juices and iced teas but nothing that is complex like a good cocktail. Taste is key, irrespective of the drink being alcoholic or non-alcoholic,” Aneesh Bhasin, co-founder, Svami Drinks commented.
Svami Drinks has launched three varieties in the RTD Non-alcoholic range namely Gin n Tonic, Pink Gin n Tonic and Rum & Cola. Pink Gin & Tonic has been well received by the customer and from the industry.
Alcohol brands embracing the change
According to research by Mintel, 38 percent of Indians wish to switch from standard-strength beer to low or no-alcohol versions. This trend is especially prominent among younger consumers in the 25-34 age group, 41 percent of young beer drinkers are willing to switch to low or no-alcohol beers.
Joining in the business opportunity, United Breweries, the makers of Kingfisher beer, have launched two non-alcoholic beverages. Kingfisher Radler is a malt and fruit juice mix that was introduced in 2018 in India. While Heineken 0.0 was launched in 2019 and is a non-alcoholic beer. AB InBev, the makers of Budweiser beer, also tried their hand into the non-alcoholic beer segment in 2019 with Budweiser 0.0 and Hoegaarden 0.0.
Considering the changing consumer preferences, companies like SALUD Beverages are gearing up to launch the non-alcoholic beverages range soon. Ajay Shetty, Founder-Director of SALUD Beverages feels that for the young drinkers, it is much about artificial vs non-artificial, not alcoholic vs non-alcoholic.
“So if a drink falls in the space of fresh, preservative-free, easy to drink and easy on the pocket, it will hit all the right spots with them. And this is the idea behind all Salud's offerings, really. Our focus is offering top-notch flavourful casual beverages that are easy and ready to drink, that you don't have to think twice about when enjoying a sip,” he commented.
In creating these drinks, sustainability and local produce are trending, classics are making a comeback with reinventions, and fresh’ is the word of the hour, with a focus on glassware and presentation.