The Kuwaiti economy continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. There remains a major income gap between affluent locals and low-income expatriates, however.
With 100% of sales generated in Kuwait’s alcoholic drinks industry accounted for by non alcoholic beer, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic applies only to this category. Total volume growth remained marginally positive in non alcoholic beer over the course of 2020 despite the double-digit volume sales declines seen in the on-trade.
Alcohol consumption and sales have been banned in Kuwait since 1964, including sales via international hotels. The consumption of alcohol has been a criminal offence since 1983, with potential punishment including fines and imprisonment alongside deportation for non-Kuwaitis.
There is a huge divide between the wealthiest Kuwaiti households, who reside in very well-appointed expensive villas and who often own several luxury cars, and the poorest foreign workers, who can subsist on incomes as low as KWD80 per month. Additionally, Kuwait offers subsidised housing to all Kuwaiti citizens who are married, employed and who do not own their own home, as well as subsidised petrol, foodstuffs, utilities and healthcare.
Kuwait is a compact country with an extensive and well-maintained road network and high levels of urbanisation, with virtually the entire population of the country living in urban areas in 2021. Modern grocery retailing is very well-developed in the country, with consumers therefore having easy access to non alcoholic beer.
Alcohol is completely banned in Kuwait, with the government having no need to define a legal purchasing age or legal drinking age. There are no age limits set on the consumption of non alcoholic beer, the only product area within alcoholic drinks that is legally available.
No taxes or duties are imposed on non alcoholic beer in Kuwait, with all other alcoholic drinks being banned in the country.
On-trade sales of non alcoholic beer are expected to continue recovering strongly during 2022, followed by marginally negative growth for the rest of the forecast period, a continuation of the general trends that have been present in the category since 2015. The off-trade meanwhile is expected to continue dominating, registering moderately positive growth and underpinning a positive performance for the category in total volume terms over the entire forecast period.
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Alcoholic drinks is the aggregation of beer, wine, spirits, cider/perry and RTDs.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks research and analysis database.
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