I’m a skeptic when it comes to non-alcoholic craft beers, spirits, and wines. How big can this market get without the functional benefits of alcohol, especially when sold at about the same price?
I recently posed the question to Athletic Brewing Co-founder and CEO Bill Shufelt during a panel I moderated for Credit Suisse in New York. His non-alcoholic beer brand has raised more than $70 million since launching in 2018 and accounts for almost half of the still-small US non-alcoholic beer market. Shufelt told me that most of his consumers don’t shun alcohol. Sometimes they just need a break and they like beer. He sees lots
While still early, there is growing evidence that leveraging established brands for new alcohol products is a winning way to break through tired or saturated categories.
As you will read in today’s issue, demand for PepsiCo’s Hard Mtn Dew appears to be outpacing the company’s ability to add distribution (story below). That’s a nice place to be and likely not by accident. PepsiCo and partner Boston Beer have launched in states where non-alcoholic Dew is already a strong seller, so there is built-in demand.