In Focus
RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Less alcohol demand in APAC: survey

Chains may find opportunities to get a larger share by offering no-alcohol or healthier drink alternatives.

Teetotalism, the practice of abstaining from alcoholic beverages, are becoming increasingly prevalent in Asia-Pacific, with 71% of consumers drinking less alcohol in August 2020, according to a survey by GlobalData.

However, the adoption of alternative soft drinks remains low, at only one in five consumers. APAC customers surveyed are “more attracted” by health claims – specifically products noted to help support mental wellbeing – with such products purchased by nearly a third of consumers.

Going forward, GlobalData says it will be “crucial” for drinks brands to “blur the lines around traditional alcoholic products and offer ‘better for you’ messaging.”

“APAC consumers are turning away from alcohol driven by concerns around physical and mental health. While general health concerns take precedence, backed by almost half (49%) of the region’s population, weight management, fitness, physical appearance and emotional wellbeing are all considerable factors driving low or no-alcohol innovations,” Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, said.

Looking at alcohol consumption trends, GlobalData’s research reveals that, of the 71% of consumers drinking less, 20% have stopped drinking alcohol altogether.

Bryan adds: “As pubs and bars closed their doors this year, and tensions regarding public health heightened, consumers were forced to reassess their priorities and lifestyles.

“Trends are shaping new home-bound leisure and social occasions where consumers seek the same taste and feel of mature drinks without the negative implications,” Bryan added.

Bryan cited Japanese FMCG company Morinaga as an example of leveraging these trends. Notably, its Morigana Collagen in Haenuki flavor puts a healthy twist on the traditional sweet and low-alcohol Japanese drink by “highlighting the high collagen and alcohol-free claims.”

“GlobalData’s research highlights the importance of premium positioning and clear ‘better for you’ messaging. By leveraging wellbeing factors such as natural, immunity-boosting or skin health, brands can create a premium product that blurs consumers’ perceptions around traditional alcoholic products. A rebranding mission, of sorts. Going forward, it will be crucial for brands to blur these lines further, emphasizing the positive health credentials that will help reassure consumers, both mentally and physically, to tap into multiple consumption occasions and justify a potentially higher price mark up,” Bryan concluded.

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