If 2022 was a race, and we had to pick just one big winner in the drinks industry stakes, then it would be No or Low alcohol (NOLO) craft beer.

That’s according to data from Kaddy Marketplace – Australia’s leading wholesale beverage marketplace for discovery, ordering and payments.

Drawing on the purchasing behaviour of the 3,000+ venues that use the Kaddy platform, it’s hard to miss the non-alc beer popularity, with Heaps Normal’s ever-popular Quiet XPA one of the top-selling SKUs across all categories, closely followed by its sibling, the Heaps Normal Another Lager, with the BrewDog Nanny State Hoppy Ale and Bridge Road’s Free Time Alcohol Free Pale Ale also selling in droves.

As Co-Founder Rich Coombes explains, there’s more to come too.

Heaps Normal released their brand new Half Day Hazy, and after just a fortnight of exposure on Kaddy, it has made it into the top 20 beers sold this week.

But as Coombes notes, the non-alc story doesn’t end with craft beer. The whole NOLO alcohol category is absolutely booming, growing at an astonishing 257% YoY on Kaddy Marketplace, led by smart products like the Smug AF non-alc cocktails plus the Lyre’s spirits and canned drinks.

Not that it’s a surprise that NOLO drinks have had a big year, with the IWSRs trend report released in January (and covered here on The Shout) noting how no and low-alcohol drinks are increasingly more approachable for consumers. Stir in an explosion of new products, with almost four times more non-alc SKUs on Kaddy Marketplace compared to the same time in 2021, and the boom is understandable. If you’re looking for another smash hit for 2022, then surely it would be brewed seltzer. Particularly coming into the warmer months, Kaddy Marketplace has seen a boom in not only sales, but in experimental flavours in the space. Products like W Seltzer’s Mimosa, MODE’s Yuzu, Cucumber and Basil, Coast’s Espresso Martini Seltzer and Saintly’s collection of cocktail-inspired seltzers are carving out their place in fridges for Summer trade.

The popularity of NOLO and seltzers on Kaddy are reflected in the recent Australian Financial Review Fast 100 company lists, with Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Spirits taking out the fastest-growing company and FELLR the fastest starter in 2022. A spectacular feat for two local beverage companies.

Fellr founders Andy Skora and Will Morgan. Janie Barrett via Australian Financial Review

Finally, while NOLO beer is the big story of the year, we can’t go past the rise in craft lager as the final big trend of 2022. Makers like White Bay, Yullis, TWØBAYS, Brick Lane and Mountain Culture have tapped into the trend to take lager seriously, and it has driven huge growth in the category, with Australian craft lager up 56% YoY on Kaddy Marketplace.

Between lager, NOLO beer and cocktails and premium seltzers, you’ve got the ingredients for not just the hits of 2022, but the hottest drinks of summer 2023 as well.

Ensure your venue has the latest trending products, with over 20,000 SKUs now on Kaddy Marketplace, including craft beer, spirits, cider, seltzer, RTDs, coffee, accessories and loads more. Create your free account to get $50 off your first order if you register by December 16th or log in today.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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