Beefeater Toasts for More Mindful Consumption with Launch of Alcohol-free Product
The demand for non-alcoholic beverages is still high, which is one of the reasons London-based gin brand Beefeater have introduced an alcohol-free version of their classic product.
We talked to Laura Rojas, Global Marketing Manager Innovation Beefeater at Pernod Ricard, to learn more about the launch and the upcoming trends in the non-alcoholic beverage category.
Why have you launched a Beefeater product without alcohol, and who is the primary target group for this product?
No-alcohol is a segment in strong growth (+35% volume increase in FY22 vs FY21), which will continue to increase thanks to the sustained momentum that the mindful consumption trend is enjoying. This is supported by the shift in consumers’ behaviours around their health and wellbeing, which has also impacted the ways in which they socialise nowadays. So, staying true to our passion for innovation and our aim to continue to drive growth inside spirits, we have decided to enter the no-alcohol space, introducing the first zero-alcohol expression by Beefeater, which captures the energy of our timeless London classic but without the alcohol. In terms of who the consumer is, our view is two-fold: Firstly, our core strategic target is consumers who decide not to drink but still want to take part in the occasion. We call them the Abstainers. And secondly, are the Substituters, who are also drinking full-strength spirits but are looking to moderate their consumption by alternating with non-alcoholic options.
How does Beefeater maintain its essence and brand identity while introducing a non-alcoholic version?
Launching an alcohol-free product under an international strategic brand like Beefeater was a very thought-through decision, given that maintaining the integrity of our brand is our main priority. We are thrilled to have landed on an expression that credibly represents the Beefeater profile and delivers an elevated drinking experience. Regarding brand identity, the packaging design and communications assets we developed for the launch are a true reflection of the energy Beefeater brings, representing The Spirit of London – our heart and home.
The main challenge when crafting a non-alcoholic product is to deliver a great-tasting experience.
What distinguishes Beefeater’s non-alcoholic product from other products in the market, and how did you approach the flavour profile to ensure a unique and satisfying consumer experience?
To stay true to the essence of Beefeater, our alcohol-free expression has been inspired by the iconic citric and juniper-forward taste of the master brand, bringing the Beefeater profile to life but without the alcohol. To produce it, we have added the essence of the classic Beefeater London Dry Gin to the base, and the botanical profile is achieved by using exclusively natural flavours, retaining this experience and the attitude of Beefeater.
In a traditionally alcoholic beverage industry, what challenges do Beefeater face in marketing a non-alcoholic product?
The main challenge when crafting a non-alcoholic product is to deliver a great-tasting experience. When an existing brand is launching an alcohol-free version, there is the added challenge of staying true to the brand’s profile. This is why we have dedicated a lot of time to developing this new expression, working with experts in the field and, most importantly, validating with consumers to ensure we launch a proposal that will delight both existing and new consumers.
Why do you believe so many people want to reduce their overall alcohol consumption?
People nowadays are becoming increasingly conscious of their health and wellbeing, and as part of this, they are revaluating their alcohol drinking habits, with many abstaining altogether and others moderating their consumption by alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The main challenge with the no-alcohol category so far has been the lack of options that feel elevated enough to eradicate the need to compromise with lower-than-great alternatives. For our Beefeater consumers, the Urban Explorers, ‘FOMO’ is a constant in their lives as they want to make the most of every day, and this is why, with this launch, we are bringing conviviality back to those who choose not to drink, creating more inclusive social settings for our consumers. Having said this, despite drinking habits evolving, the need to bond and connect persists, so the introduction of options like Beefeater 0.0% is not only highly strategic for the business but addresses a relevant global consumer trend.
As industry leaders, our ambition is to respond to global consumer trends such as mindful consumption and be present in all moments of conviviality.
There has been a lot of buzz regarding the increased popularity of low- and non-alcoholic beverages in recent years. What’s your take on this trend, and how do you see this evolving in the coming years?
The No-alcohol category is a very dynamic space, where the positive trend is expected to continue in the long term (+12% CAGR 22-272). As mentioned before, the reason behind this boom is due to an increased level of awareness for consumers to look after their health and well-being, which has led to an increased interest in alcohol-free options. What is most exciting is that even if still relatively small, the gin brands are driving over 40 percent of the growth, meaning there is a very big opportunity for globally established brands like Beefeater.
How do you see the role of Beefeater’s non-alcoholic product in the evolving landscape of mindful drinking and the demand for non-alcoholic alternatives?
As industry leaders, our ambition is to respond to global consumer trends such as mindful consumption and be present in all moments of conviviality. We have started our journey into this moderation space with the introduction of our mid-abv expressions, such as Beefeater Botanics and Beefeater Light, and we are now taking it one step further with the introduction of Beefeater 0.0%
Looking ahead, what future developments or expansions can we expect in Beefeater’s non-alcoholic product line?
The future looks bright for Beefeater, which also means exploring new opportunities in the no-alcohol space. For now, we are focusing on introducing our first alcohol-free expression, reaching new consumers worldwide.