It’s not only ‘near beer’ anymore, sales of alcohol-free drinks surge, so do choices

Jan 17, 2023, 5:17 PM
Non-alcoholic drinks sales surge...
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 27: Belgium fans holds a Budweiser Zero can as they enjoy the pre match atmosphere prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Belgium and Morocco at Al Thumama Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Qatar was a controversial choice for the World Cup in November, but it was also big news when the country announced it would not allow beer sales at the stadiums that hosted games.

The move was the latest sign of the tension of staging the event, which is not just a sports tournament but also a monthlong party, in the autocratic country where the sale of alcohol is heavily restricted. It was also a significant blow to World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser and raised questions about how much control FIFA retained over its tournament.

But then Budweiser made the proverbial lemonade out of lemons by heavily promoting its new product ‘Budweiser Zero’, a brew with no alcohol.

“Near beer” as it is sometimes called, is not the only choice these days. Companies have released near-zero whiskey, alcohol-free rum and gin as well as zero-proof margaritas reported the NPR newsletter Planet Money.

“Younger Gen Z consumers are less interested in drinking alcohol than previous generations,” according to, a global information company. “But there has also been a wider wellness movement taking place throughout society, with more people from every age and stage of life trying to take better care of themselves.”

The website also said between August 2021 and August 2022, total sales of non-alcoholic drinks in the U.S. was $396 million, a year-to-year increase of 20.6%. said non-alcoholic beer accounted for 85.3% of those sales. Non-alcohol wine accounted for 13.4% and non-alcoholic spirits the final 1.3%.

“In the past year to date, sales of non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits accounted for 0.47% of total alcohol sales in the U.S. While this is still a small figure, this percentage share has steadily grown over the past 5 years,” the website said.

NielsonIQ broke it all down this way:

  • In 2021: it was 0.39% of total alcohol sales
  • In 2020: 0.30% of total alcohol sales
  • In 2019: 0.26% of total alcohol sales
  • In 2018: 0.22% of total alcohol sales

For those who consume non-alcoholic drinks, this does not mean that they are going sober. NeilsonIQ said 82% of the people who buy non-alcoholic beers, wines, and spirits also indulge in drinks that contain alcohol.

More than 70 new alcohol-free products were released in the past year NielsonIQ’s Kaleigh Theriault told Planet Money.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on November ...
Meg Kinnard and Michelle L. Price

Trump says beating of Nichols ‘never should have happened’

Former President Donald Trump says the footage of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers is “horrible” and that the attack “never should have happened.”
1 day ago
One the of climbers in the training camp climbing a wall. (KSL-TV's Alex Cabrero)...
Alex Cabrero

USA Climbing Camp for Paris 2024 begins in Salt Lake City

As the Summer 2024 Olympic Games draws closer, those athletes looking to participate begin their training. 
1 day ago
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 7:  Police investigate the scene of a reported carjacking reportedly...
Adrian Sainz

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

The Memphis Police Department has disbanded the special unit whose officers beat to death motorist Tyre Nichols
1 day ago
Demonstrators participate in a protest against the police killing of Tyre Nichols on January 27, 20...
Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death

Video showing five Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols, a Black man, has been made public.
2 days ago
An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacie...
Jordan Valinsky

CVS and Walmart cut pharmacy hours, close some locations earlier, citing staffing shortage

An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacies, as they close earlier in thousands of locations.
2 days ago
Video of the attack on Paul Pelosi at his San Francisco home was released after a California court ...
Jeremy Herb, Jack Hannah and Jack Forrest

Court releases video of attack on Paul Pelosi

The San Francisco Superior Court on Friday released video and audio recorded during last year's attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi, including police body-cam footage depicting the moment of the attack and the alleged assailant's police interview where he admitted he wanted to hold the then-House speaker hostage.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
It’s not only ‘near beer’ anymore, sales of alcohol-free drinks surge, so do choices