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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 12/15/2014 - 17:51

Carlsberg ups health focus with low-alcohol beers expansion

Carlsberg is lining up a major focus on “healthy” no- and low-alcohol beer, starting with the launch of new radler-style beer Tourtel Twist in France next year.

The Danish brewer said it has identified a “very big opportunity” for so-called adult soft drinks and will roll out new products across Europe over the next few years. It will also increase the footprint of existing low-alcohol brands such as Nordic Blonde, with an abv of 0.5%, which was released in Denmark this year.

Carlsberg is lining up a major focus on “healthy” no- and low-alcohol beer, starting with the launch of new radler-style beer Tourtel Twist in France next year.

The Danish brewer said it has identified a “very big opportunity” for so-called adult soft drinks and will roll out new products across Europe over the next few years. It will also increase the footprint of existing low-alcohol brands such as Nordic Blonde, with an abv of 0.5%, which was released in Denmark this year.

The other main segment in Carlsberg's no- and low-alcohol focus is “alcohol replacement” products for consumers who enjoy the taste of beer, but do not want alcohol. Graham Fewkes, Carlsberg's head of global sales, marketing & innovation, said the company has had a “big breakthrough” in taste quality for no- and low-alcohol beers. Nordic Blonde is brewed using a process that adds back in the hops taste after the alcohol has been removed.

Carlsberg is well-placed to lead a ramp-up in no- and low-alcohol beers as it is already the global leader in the category because of brands in Russia. It is also a major bottler for The Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo in Scandinavia and has seen the soft drinks category impacted by health concerns over sugar.

Asked if declines for carbonated soft drinks in mature markets led to Carlsberg's new focus on health and wellness, Fewkes said: “It's certainly one element. The opportunity is there for natural health offerings, which drinks brewed from grains certainly are. They have much lower calorie levels than you get from normal soft drinks.”

Fewkes added that soft drinks “will remain an important part of the business as well”.