Thirst for soft drinks on the rise
The choice of non-alcoholic beverages has diversified in recent years.
It is undeniable, the demand for non-alcoholic beverages is growing in Quebec. While the offer was limited to non-alcoholic beers at one time, it has gradually expanded to wines, ready-to-drink and spirits in recent years.
The sale of non-alcoholic products increased at the SAQ in 2021-2022, according to figures recorded for the fiscal year that ended in March 2022.
Thus, sales in liters of these products by the state company grew by 40% in one year. This increase is explained in particular by a diversification of the offer, since 60 non-alcoholic products ended up on the shelves of the SAQ, which represents an increase in the offer of 43% compared to the previous year.  ;
However, these non-alcoholic beverages still represent a tiny share of the state company's sales, barely 0.2%, said SAQ information officer Linda Bouchard.
< p>While restaurants and bars can obtain supplies directly from non-alcoholic beverage brands, the SAQ still recorded “a few sales to bars and restaurants, including non-alcoholic wines,” said Linda Bouchard.
Number of products marketed at the SAQ in 2021-2022:
more than 43,900
< h3 id="h-a-future-promising">A promising future
More broadly, according to Global Market Insights, the global market for non-alcoholic beers in 2022 represents more than US$22 billion, a value that could double over the next decade.*
For comparison, the global alcoholic beer market revenue was US$554 billion in 2021, which is 25 times that of non-alcoholic beer.
However, although that non-alcoholic beer represents a small segment of the global beer market, Beer Canada “expects an annual increase of more than 10% as consumers seek a greater variety and styles of beer, including those with in alcohol,” read a statement last spring hailing the elimination of the federal excise tax on non-alcoholic beer in the 2022 budget.
What you need to know about drinkers
Almost three-quarters of non-alcoholic drinkers drink alcohol, which seems to indicate that these products mainly allow moderate consumption of alcohol and not a desire for abstinence.
*So-called non-alcoholic beers include alcohol-free and low-alcohol beers.