Young consumers want low/no-alcohol beers

India’s young prefer low/no alcohol beers

Young Indian beer lovers, who are increasingly becoming health conscious, are leading the way in responsible beer consumption.

The latest research from Mintel highlights that more than two in five (41%) Indian beer drinkers, aged 25-34 years, say they are interested in switching from standard strength beer to low/no alcohol (LNA) versions.

While alcohol moderation is becoming more pronounced among Indians as a whole, with an average of 38% of consumers interested in switching to LNA versions, those over 45 years (32%) are less enthusiastic about making this switch.

For its research, Mintel sampled 1,655 internet users aged 25+ who have drunk beer in the past 6 months. The top three barriers among Indian beer consumers include health reasons (48%), avoid getting drunk (35%) and avoid hangovers (31%).

Natasha Kumar, Mintel Food and Drink Analyst, notes: “Responsible and healthy drinking has become the mantra among young Indians today. Brands need to explore opportunities around reduced or no-alcohol options as this group makes up a significant majority of beer drinkers.”

With the current pandemic causing consumers to be even more conscious about their health and diet, the LNA category is expected to grow further. It offers the opportunity to connect with health-conscious and responsible beer drinkers, and prevent them from dropping out of the category.

Watching waistlines

Mintel research also highlights that many consumers are interested in trying low-calorie (43%) and gluten-free (32%) beer. In fact, over a third of consumers (34%) say low-calorie content is an important factor when purchasing beer.

As consumers claim that health is a key deterrent for regular beer consumption, the opportunity lies in expanding beer offerings that address these concerns and offer low-calorie, low-carb and gluten-free beers that can appeal to this need.

As one of the largest producers of millet in the world, Indian brewers can turn towards this unconventional grain to cater to consumer demand. Countries, such as Norway and Spain, can act as good reference points for Indian brands to take inspiration for gluten-free beer.

Finally, Mintel research highlights that the most preferred type of beer includes lager (63%) and wheat beer (51%). In addition, craft beer is consumed by almost half of Indian consumers (45%) and 75% agree that it is worth paying more for it over mainstream beer.

The popularity of lager and wheat beer indicates that lighter beers are more suitable to the Indian palate. For craft beer to appeal to a larger population of consumers, brands should innovate and introduce more craft beer varieties in lager, ale and wheat beer, the report concludes.