Russians’ taste for non-alcoholic beer to grow at double-digit pace, says AB InBev Efes
MOSCOW (Reuters) – AB InBev Efes, a Russia-based unit of the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, expects double-digit growth in its non-alcoholic local beer sales in the next few years, after COVID-19 accelerated a shift towards healthier lifestyles. While many beer lovers across the globe shifted to at-home consumption during the pandemic, non-alcoholic beer sales in Russia – the world’s sixth-largest beer market – grew 13% year-on-year, while the overall beer market rose 4%, according to AB InBev Efes.
The company’s own sales of non-alcoholic beer in Russia jumped by 20% last year, Dmitry Shpakov, chief executive officer of AB InBev Efes, told Reuters. “Healthy lifestyles, which became popular long before the pandemic, gained more momentum last year and contributed to increasing consumer interest in non-alcoholic beer, delivering double-digit growth,” Shpakov said.
AB InBev Efes, which operates in Russia and Ukraine and offers BUD, Stella Artois and Spaten among other brands, expects this trend to continue over the next few years, Shpakov said. “The (non-alcoholic beer) industry has more than doubled over the last four to five years. And the further ahead we look, the more non-alcoholic beer becomes not a substitute for alcoholic beer, but a category in its own right.”
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