Non alcoholic beer is the only alcoholic drinks category with a presence in Saudi Arabia, as alcoholic drinks are banned under Islamic law. The COVID-19 crisis resulted in a sharp fall in non alcoholic beer sales in 2020 with the lockdown from March until July and the closure of foodservice outlets having a negative effect on on-trade sales.
Premium non-alcoholic beverages are starting to see an increasing presence in the market as consumers look for more sophisticated drinks options, with this being aided by the rise of e-commerce. There is a developing mocktails trend with consumers looking to mix their own non-alcoholic cocktails at home, following recipes they have found online.
Carlsberg A/S and Aujan Industries Co remained the dominant players in non alcoholic beer in total volume terms in 2021 benefiting from the widest distribution reach and brand loyalty. The leading companies continue to invest in innovation and new product development within the non alcoholic beer, exploring new flavours and ingredients.
E-commerce continued to enjoy strong growth in 2021, with online sales of non alcoholic beer benefiting from the attraction of the convenience it provides and improvements in customer service. During the lockdown, many new local companies started providing delivery services at a cost as low as SAR5, with some even offering free delivery, alongside the existing delivery services offered by players such as Careem and Jahez.
The re-opening of foodservices outlets in 2021 led to people returning to drinking and dining outside the home, while increased tourism rates in the country helped support sales through the on-trade channel. Nonetheless, this was not reflected in an improved performance for non alcoholic beer which registered a further decline in on-trade volume terms in 2021, albeit not as steep as in 2020.
Due to the ban on sales of alcohol in the kingdom the focus will remain on non alcoholic beer. The category should see a gradual recovery in off- and on-trade volume terms over the forecast period as Saudi Arabia enters a period of normalisation and economic activities pick up, with an increase in tourism likely to be another growth driver.
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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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