Although people in the Middle East still drink more beer with than without alcohol, consumers in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have a growing appetite for the halal version of the beverage, which is the world’s third-most popular drink overall after water and tea.
According to The Economist, 2.2 billion litres of non-alcoholic beer was sold globally, an increase of 80% in five years. The Middle East accounted for more than a third of the total consumption.
Signup to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
“More recent sales growth is the result of growing consumer aspirations,” Maii Abdul-Rahmen, an analyst at the research firm Euromonitor told The Economist.
Guilda Saber, brand manager of Laziza, a Lebanese non-alcoholic beer, told the British news magazine that drinking beer, even if it is non-alcoholic, “taps into a popular desire for a globalised lifestyle that neither fruit juice nor even Coca-Cola can offer”.
Fatwas from leading clerics in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have declared it allowed for Muslims to drink non-alcoholic beer.