Low Alcoholic Empirical Spirits

Alcohol-free & Low Alcoholic Beverages Here to Stay in Singapore

The category of no-alcohol and low-alcohol drinks continue to outperform alcoholic beverages in its share of the total beverage market.

Commanding a 3.5% volume share of alcohol industry, the market value of no- and low-alcohol grew from USD7.8 billion in 2018 to around USD10.0 billion in 2021.

Based on IWSR No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study, the category grew by more than +6% in volume in 2021. It is forecast that the volume will grow by +8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2021 and 2025.

The market for no- and low-alcohol wines, beers and spirits was worth USD3.1 billion in 2021, according to NielsenIQ.

That said, the IWSR study also found that only 5-6% of no- and low-alcohol consumers drink it after 11pm. Most consumers still enjoy a good beer, cocktail, wine or spirit in Singapore, known for its density of World’s 50 Best Bars and Michelin Star Restaurants.

“People go out for food, drinks and a good time in Singapore. It’s in the country’s DNA. Alcohol consumption in Singapore will likely remain an on-trade and social affair,” says Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, Managing Director, Spun Spirits, a Singapore-based bar and spirit consulting and distribution firm.

The rising appetite for non-alcoholic drinks has seen new and exciting products in the market.

Empirical Spirits canned cocktails for example are created by the alumni of the three Michelin Star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. Labelled Can 01 (10% ABV), Can 02 (8% ABV) and Can 02 (4.5% ABV), these lightly carbonated drinks are blends of ingredients like oolong tea, gooseberries, sour cherry, black currant buds and walnut wood.

Riding the trend is Saicho, the new single origin sparkling tea brand that is already making its ways into prestigious hotels, bars and restaurants in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Its pioneering Champagne-like teas are dubbed to promote as much nuance, flavour and provenance as premium wines.

“The rise of the no- and low- alcohol category may be a boon to the F&B industry. It presents greater opportunities for socialisation between people who drink and those who don’t,” he adds. “More people are also willing to pay top dollar for these no- and low-alcoholic beverages in a social setting and be a part of the conversation. This is a trend that appears to be here to stay for quite some time; it’s not just the latest gimmick that will pass in a year or two.”

As the no- and low-alcohol category gains traction, the next move is to ensure these drinks are more readily available at on-trade premises such as bars and restaurants in Singapore.

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