- Dan Murphy's and BWS have seen a jump in the purchase of non-alcoholic beverages, as consumers look to moderate their alcohol intake.
- Sales of non-alcoholic drinks at the retailers have more than doubled in the last year.
- The news comes as short-term alcohol-free initiative Dry July kicked off this month.
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Beverage retailers Dan Murphy's and BWS have seen sales of non-alcoholic drinks more than double in the last year, becoming one of the fastest growing categories.
Both companies are part of Woolworths subsidiary Endeavour Group. They reported sales in the non-alcoholic category increased 103% over the last twelve months. In particular, non-alcoholic beer, wine, cider, ready to drink and spirits sales spiked during Christmas and July, with an uptick also seen during March when Australia went into coronavirus lockdowns.
Adam Fry, General Manager of Buying & Merchandising at Endeavour Group, attributed the rise in non-alcoholic beverage consumption to shifting consumer trends.
"This is a reflection of a broader trend where consumers are choosing to moderate, with particular interest from customers in metro areas," he said in a statement. "We expect this trend to continue."
Among the company's findings, non-alcoholic beer was the fastest-growing category.
"One of the reasons beer is so popular is that brewers have managed to create a product that replicates the flavour profile of the alcoholic version," Fry added. "Winemakers and distillers are following suit and many have managed to perfect the art of creating alcohol-free beverages that taste great."
The findings come as Dry July kicked off this week, which encourages people to cut out alcohol for a month while raising funds to fight cancer. This year, there was a little twist to the campaign, with the organisation launching "Dry(ish)" July so participants could opt cut their alcohol intake for 14 or 21 days because of the "challenging" start to the year.
Earlier this year, research from the Australian National University found Australians have been drinking more alcohol during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly one in four women who drank reported an increase in drinking during May 2020, compared to almost one in five men. The main reason respondents cited for their increased consumption was spending more time at home.
A number of Australian companies have been making non-alcoholic spirits and beer
Dan Murphy's and BWS stock a number of Aussie brands that make non-alcoholic spirits and beer.
There's Aboriginal-owned company Sobah, which produces non-alcoholic craft beer. The Queensland-based company was founded by Gamilaroi man Clinton Schultz together with his wife Lozen.
"Historically speaking, non-alcoholic beers have been known to be lacklustre, but with new technologies and brewing processes we can make non-alcoholic craft beer that tastes damn good," Lozen said. "We use Australian bush tucker to create a range of beers with truly unique flavours."
Then there's Lindeman’s Wines, which make low-alcohol wine, and Sydney-based Lyre's which produces non-alcoholic spirits. Lyre's recently signed a "six-figure" deal to be stocked at Dan Murphy's, which coincides with the company's one year anniversary.
"The launch into Dan Murphy’s stores nationally marks an exciting and significant milestone for Lyre’s," Mark Livings, CEO and co-founder of Lyre’s said in a statement. "This is a time when the sober-curious are seeking new non-alcoholic options, and this is happening in all corners of the country."