Innovative product positioning to drive demand for low-/no-alcoholic drinks in Thailand, says GlobalData

Lifestyle modifications and health & wellness trends are the key factors propelling the uptake of low-/no-alcohol drinks in Thailand. The alcoholic beverages market, particularly beer, has seen notable growth in recent years in Thailand. Fueled by product innovation by leading companies and the recovery of the hospitality industry, the no-/low-alcohol beer market in Thailand will expand by a volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% over 2022–27*, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Priyanka Jain, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, notes: “High alcohol consumption is a major health concern in Thailand, the third-heaviest alcohol consuming country in Asia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, GlobalData’s 2023 consumer survey reveals that 31% of Thai consumers have alcohol regularly. With increasing awareness about the short-term and long-term health consequences of alcohol consumption, such as liver disease, and digestive problems, health-conscious Thai consumers are gravitating towards “better-for-you” alcohol products with less alcohol by volume (ABV).”

Tim Hill, Key Account Director at GlobalData Singapore, comments: “The COVID-19 crisis accentuated awareness among Thai consumers about the need to moderate or curtail alcohol intake to maintain good health. This gave rise to more consumption occasions for low-alcohol and no-alcohol or alcohol-free products. This ties in with GlobalData’s 2023 survey, wherein, 81% of Thai consumers said they consume low-alcohol or 0% alcoholic alternatives at least once a week**. Low-/no-alcohol offerings have also generated interest among drinkers and manufacturers alike, as they address some of the social, political, and economic concerns associated with binge drinking and alcoholism.”

Jain adds: “However, manufacturers are facing enormous challenges amid high inflationary pressures. For instance, 62% of Thai consumers stated that they have stopped buying alcoholic drinks as they consider them too expensive at this time. Moreover, the limited shelf presence and high price point of low-/no-alcohol products are compelling Thai consumers to opt for cheaper alternatives**. The onus lies on manufacturers to expand the availability of these products and entice consumers through promotions.”

Hill concludes: “To expand their consumer base, low-/no-alcohol drinks manufacturers are targeting female drinkers through lifestyle-orientated product positioning. Leading companies are also leveraging alternative ingredients and production techniques to develop healthier alcoholic beverages with personalized claims, such as gluten-free, low-calorie, and low sugar to attract health-conscious consumers.

“Increasing on-premise footfall, rising tourist arrivals, and the resumption of social gatherings, celebrations, and mass-spectator cultural and sports events will boost the demand for low-/no-alcohol drinks in Thailand through 2023. However, the limited product awareness and weaker purchasing power will undermine the segment’s growth momentum in the immediate future. Manufacturers need to create awareness of these products through marketing initiatives.”

* GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Center ­– Market Analyzers, accessed in May 2023

** GlobalData Q1 2023 Consumer Survey­ – Thailand, with 508 respondents, published in May 2023

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