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Athletic Brewing heads to the skies through JetBlue partnership

Athletic Brewing heads to the skies through JetBlue partnership

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Dive Brief:

  • JetBlue has partnered with nonalcoholic craft beer maker Athletic Brewing to sell its beverages on the carrier’s domestic flights beginning this month, according to a press release.
  • In recognizing a rapidly growing demographic for no alcohol beverages, JetBlue will offer travelers Athletic Brewing’s award-winning Upside Dawn golden ale on all flights in the U.S. 
  • JetBlue becomes the first major U.S. airline to carry a nonalcoholic beer as more people are drinking less alcohol in favor of no- and low-alcohol beer and other spirits, citing health and wellness, lack of opportunity and shifting interest as main reasons, per a NielsenIQ report.

Dive Insight:

Through its partnership with JetBlue, Athletic Brewing is bringing its nonalcoholic beverages to the skies.

“We’re excited to take flight with JetBlue and allow flyers to relax at 35,000 feet with a great-tasting alternative to full-strength brews,” Bill Shufelt, Athletic Brewing co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “This is a huge milestone for Athletic and a key partnership for us in the travel industry.”

Athletic Brewing’s partnership with JetBlue follows a $50 million investment in the beer brand by Keurig Dr Pepper. A number of other companies have also been investing into the nonalcoholic category, including Molson Coors, which earlier this year introduced a nonalcoholic cocktail brand called Roxie, and Peroni, which recently announced it was launching a nonalcoholic beer.

While beer consumption in the U.S. has been declining for years, nonalcoholic consumption has been on the rise. The market value for no and low-alcohol category topped $11 billion in sales in 2022, according to data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis

Over the last few years new health-conscious or “sober curious” consumers have helped drive up the no- and low- alcohol category, according to NielsenIQ. Events like Sober October and Dry January present a growing group of nonalcoholic brands additional opportunities to market their products.

“The no/low-alcohol category is in growth mode, outperforming the rest of the U.S. drinks market in terms of percentage increase, albeit on a smaller overall volumetric base,” Brandy Rand, chief strategy officer at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, said in a company report. “No/low is increasing in significance as the ‘better for you’ movement in the U.S. commands an increasing portion of consumer spending.”

According to IWSR no-alcohol is forecast to see its volumes increase by 25% between 2022 and 2026.