Rise of non-alcoholic spirits, beer and wines in the UAE

22 Sep, 2022 - BCB

Consumers worldwide are increasingly choosing 0% alcoholic drinks over alcoholic drinks, and, as a result, non-alcoholic beverage brands are popping up to capture hearts and minds. As per research, the global non-alcoholic beverage market size was estimated to be worth GBP 853.44 billion in 2021, and it is predicted to grow to GBP 1.4 trillion by the end of 2027 growing at a CAGR of 6.3%.

This trend has gradually made its way into the UAE with non-alcoholic spirits, wine and beers featuring in supermarkets, restaurants, bars, and liquor shops. A recent chat with a top executive at Emirates Leisure Retail stated that non-alcoholic adult beverages is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UAE.

Consequently, several international brands have made their way into shelves and bars in the UAE: Beer brands such as  Strykk, Budweiser, Biere des Amis, Nirvana, and Heineken; Wine brands such as Vintense Prestige, Martini Rosé, Lyre, Thomson and Scott Noughty etc; Spirits such as Sea Arch, Crossip, Bax Botanics, Memento, and Vibe etc.

Beyond the obvious religious or medical reasons to avoid alcohol, people have realised they can enjoy the feel of alcohol without the effect of alcohol, especially in social gatherings. Consequently, anyone who is not looking to consume alcohol but wants to explore new ways of drinking can indulge in alcohol-free alternatives.

While opportunities abound in this space, the regulations guiding non-alcoholic spirits, beer and wine are still very stringent in the UAE. Only drinks with 0.0% ABV (alcohol by volume) are considered alcohol-free. Consequently, any product classified as 0.5 ABV is subject to the 50% import tax as a bottle of alcohol and an additional 30% tax on buying from liquor stores in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Also, the product may be subject to an excise tax of 50% if carbonated or contain sugar or sweeteners.

To learn more about the opportunities in the market, please get in touch with Wuraola Ogundimu, Trade Manager at BCB, via email at wuraola.ogundimu@bcbuae.com