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Carlsberg moves deeper into alcohol-free beer with new Birell brand launch

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Carlsberg has said it expects the alcohol-free beer category to grow faster than beer, as it announces new alcohol-free brand Birell.

Birell will launch initially in Poland and Bulgaria

Birell will launch initially in Poland and Bulgaria

The company said today that it will roll out Birell in two styles - Pilsner Lager and Belgian Wit. The launch will take place initially in Poland and Bulgaria from this month, before a more widespread roll out in 2019.

The move comes after Carlsberg CEO Cees 't Hart this week hailed the company's alcohol-free portfolio as one of the key growth drivers in Q1 2018. A spokesperson for the brewer told just-drinks today that Carlsberg predicts the alcohol-free beer category will "grow five times faster than beer in the next five years". 

Carlsberg hopes that Birell, which contains fewer calories than regular beer and has isotonic properties, will appeal to consumers "who live an active lifestyle and no longer want to be limited" in their drinks options.

According to the brewer, Birell features the same body, foam and mouthfeel as regular beer. The product is free from added sugar, artificial preservatives and colours.

"The alcohol-free category has seen huge growth in the last few years as consumers develop greater awareness of the food and drinks they purchase," said Shawn Gallegly, VP of alcohol-free brews for Carlsberg. "As a result, more people are opting for alcohol-free drinks, but they don't want their choices to be limited to water or soft drinks."

Craft, speciality and alcohol-free beer provide "solid growth" for Carlsberg - CEO


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