The trend toward healthier beverage choices shows no sign of slowing down. Consumers have grown increasingly mindful of their health and wellness, leading many to seek out better-for-you options to fill their glasses. Among these, alcohol-free beer (NAB) is an increasingly appealing choice for many consumers.

Health-conscious consumers are driving change

The global no-alcohol beer market is valued at USD 20 billion in 2023, with an estimated growth to USD 40 billion by 2033, reflecting an expected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.2% over the period 2023-20321. This signifies a shift in consumer preferences towards healthier, higher quality products.  Beyond health considerations, there is a rising interest in sustainability benefits, including local sourcing of ingredients and social responsibility. All this creates a demand for beer that delivers premium benefits, such as alcohol-free and gluten-free, paired with consumers who are willing to pay more for these products. But only if the flavor is right – make no mistake, taste is still king.

Alcohol-free choices expand …

As a global partner, we closely align with these trends and their potential opportunities for brewers. When it comes to alcohol-free beer, many breweries are moving quickly to tap into this growing market and significantly expand their portfolios. To illustrate, Heineken’s first 0.0% alcohol-free beer has rapidly expanded to over 100 global markets since its launch in 20172.

… but do they deliver the right experience?

The process of producing alcohol-free beer is generally done via one of two methods. The first follows the traditional brewing process and then removes the alcohol, while the second method stops the production of alcohol altogether. Regardless of the method used, brewers face a formidable challenge in trying to replicate the authentic taste and flavor of regular beer to match consumer expectations. The main challenge is to reduce or to change the unpleasant taste and flavor from unfermented wort in case no fermentation took place. Secondly, with regards to removing the alcohol after fermentation, mouthfeel matters too, and watery alcohol-free beers are something to be avoided. Indeed, there’s much for brewers to consider in their quest to deliver a consistently excellent drinking experience with alcohol-free beers.

We offer solutions for every step of the brewing process

dsm-firmenich has a broad portfolio of enzyme solutions and flavors that provides solutions to the above-mentioned challenges. Take, for instance, our latest innovation, Brewers TasteZyme™ G, which addresses a major worry brewers face when making non-alcoholic beer – achieving the desired flavor profile. The different production methods can result in beers that are overly sweet, lacking the refreshing quality of traditional beer. But Brewers TasteZyme™ G offers a unique solution to improve the taste of non-alcohol beer base.

For brewers aiming to produce gluten-free non-alcoholic beer -another trend among health-conscious consumers– our proven and easy-to-use Brewers Clarex® can be seamlessly integrated without compromising on taste or quality.

In addition to these innovations, enzymatic solutions like Brewers Compass®, and the Filtrase™ range help to optimize the brewing process to reduce costs and increase capacity, while also contributing positively to the sustainability of the finished product.

Make room on the shelves for innovations to come

The brewing landscape is evolving rapidly.  With changing lifestyles and a growing population of non-alcoholic drinkers, the non-alcoholic beer industry is on the rise. And the uptick is likely just the tip of the iceberg and could drive further innovations in this category – perhaps with the addition of vitamins, proteins and fibers to boost health benefits, or with fruit flavors to create unique taste profiles.

Working with our brewing partners to imagine the next on-trend beverage of choice - and providing solutions to ensure taste, texture and nutrition - is a challenge we look forward to.

Cheers to a tastier brewing future!


  1. Fact.MR  
  2. Heineken Investor Presentation – May 2023

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Published on

10 January 2024