Edenvale Blanc de blanc wine

Why alcohol-free wines cost the same as their alcoholic counterparts

If you’re new to the non-alcoholic wine scene, you may be surprised to know just how much the industry is flourishing. According to research and data from Nielsen, the no and low-ABV sector has increased by 506% since 2015.

Market intelligence company Fact.MR has predicted that the rapid growth of the non-alcoholic wine market will value the market at $10 billion by 2027. You’re not the only person who is getting on board the non-alcoholic alternative movement.

At Edenvale, we have marked our place as the Australian industry leaders, paving the way for the non-alcoholic wine industry; with our premium, alcohol-removed wines that taste as delicious or even more so than their alcoholic counterparts.

With the non-alcoholic and alcohol-removed beverage market continuously on the rise, there is one question that we keep seeing pop up – why do alcohol-free wines cost the same as traditional wines? If they don’t have alcohol, they should cost less, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. And we think it is important to share why the price of our alcohol-removed wines is so close to their alcoholic equivalents.

When purchasing a bottle of alcohol, even though it might make a dent in your bank account, the price is rarely questioned. It’s ‘liquid courage’ and will give us a buzz regardless of what it costs or tastes like, so we don’t second-guess the spend. Venturing to purchase a bottle of alcohol-free wine and looking at a price that is the same or higher than the alcoholic equivalent, can give a moment of pause.

Let’s take a deeper look into why alcohol-removed alternatives are priced the way they are.

How is the price of an alcoholic wine determined?

The production of traditional, alcoholic wines is a complex system that involves a large amount of land, labour, machinery and time. Depending on the size of the business and the winemaking process, the price can vary greatly.

In order to quantify the production costs of traditional winemaking, a Tuscan case study conducted research on a number of wineries using a full cost approach, which gives consumers a strong idea of the number of factors that contribute to determining the cost of a bottle of wine. The Tuscan research study analysed each phase of winemaking: Production, Processing I (from the grape to the fermented wine), Processing II (from the fermented wine to the aged wine), bottling, aging wine in the bottle, and lastly, marketing; in conjunction with the costs of each production factor.

These production factors included:

  • Family labour
  • Non-family labour
  • General costs (rents, administration, energy etc.)
  • Depreciation (for buildings, agricultural machinery, cars etc.)
  • Variable costs (pest management, fertilisers, vineyard equipment and tools etc.)
  • Land opportunity costs.

According to a research sample from the University of California, the price of a bottle of wine ranges from a minimum of $5 to a maximum of $325, with a mean of $29.20 per bottle. With such a large variety of price points, it becomes clear that the budget for creating the wine, as well as elements such as the stature of the brand, a brand’s competitors and the owners of the brand, all work together to determine the cost of a traditional bottle of alcoholic wine.

The production costs of alcohol-free wine

The similarity in price is mainly because the production costs remain the same, if not more, for alcohol-removed wines than they do for their alcoholic counterparts. As Edenvale wines are initially created as alcoholic wines, all of the above costs are taken into account. Alcohol-removed wine uses the exact same initial winemaking production process; however, the production process involves one additional element; the removal of the alcohol.

Edenvale’s alcohol-removed wines are produced using the most sophisticated and efficient methods to extract alcohol. This process is done utilising spinning cone technology, which allows for rapid separation of volatile compounds from their host material. This extraction method enables the wine to be produced through the regular wine production process, fermentation and aging while removing the alcoholic content at the very end.

Thus, it is more complex to create non-alcoholic wine than regular wine. Equipment, technology, time, and labour are all factors that make the production cost of non-alcoholic wine more than that of traditional alcoholic wine.

Creating a good quality alcohol-free wine rather than an average one

The key to making a quality non-alcoholic wine that tastes equivalent to its alcoholic counterpart is quality ingredients and sophisticated winemaking techniques.

While there are opportunities to cut corners when it comes to creating alcohol-free wines, this diminishes the overall experience for the customer. We understand that our customers love the taste of wine, created the way it was meant to be created, with full flavour and aroma. The only thing our customers do not want is the alcohol; therefore, we have worked on the best way to remove this alcohol without diminishing the structure, integrity, taste or aroma of the wine. This ensures that we can offer a range of varietal-specific wines that taste just as good as their alcoholic counterparts.

Modern, sophisticated alcohol-free wines are far more complex than the grape juice alternatives that have been on the market for many years. While some still see the sector this way, it is becoming far more accepted that consumers pay for the quality they receive.

People are becoming increasingly alcohol-free (and would pay a higher price for non-alcoholic wine)

Labelled the ‘sober-curious movement’, the rate of people choosing to drink alcohol-free alternatives is rising exponentially. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic prompted many to join the sober-curious movement, evaluate the reasons behind their alcohol consumption, and avoid alcohol based on personal or health reasons. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) triennial survey found that from 2016 to 2019, the proportion of those who have cut alcohol from their lifestyle has increased from 7.6% to 8.9%; approximately 1.5 million to 1.9 million Australians.

The rise and development of health and wellness as a global trend has led to people making lifestyle choices to benefit their health. This is progressively influencing food and drink culture. Some of these changes in lifestyle choices include movements that prompt lower amounts of alcohol consumption, like Dry July, Febfast and OctSober in Australia, which give people a chance to test the waters in reducing their alcohol consumption in the name of supporting charity.

Regardless of the reasoning behind reducing alcohol consumption, for many consumers, the ability to access non-alcoholic wine ensures they still feel a part of the occasion, instead of missing out or feeling as though they are drinking ‘childish’ alternatives. A wine that doesn’t contain alcohol but still replicates its counterpart in taste, look and concept guarantees inclusivity for all.

With the shifting market and growing demand for non-alcoholic drinks, consumers are less deterred by the higher price point of non-alcoholic wine as well as other beverages. If they can still attend that event or gathering they were invited to, and still have a drink in hand, then they aren’t missing out and feel included in the occasion.

Instead, the focus is on quality. Those who are looking to make a consistent lifestyle change towards non-alcoholic alternatives are looking for something that tastes just as good as an alcoholic drink or, often, better. If brands can prove to their customers that they are providing high-quality, delicious, alcohol-free beverages, customers are willing to pay for this. Here at Edenvale, we have built a customer base that continues to support our brand because they understand that we consistently offer good value, high quality wines that are true-to-varietal.

Benefits of non-alcoholic wine

Alcohol removed wines have many benefits and advantages over their alcoholic counterparts. There are significant health benefits to drinking alcohol removed wine. These benefits impact the price point of premium alcohol-free wines, alongside the debates about why ‘healthy’ soft drinks, or organic kombuchas, are more expensive than regular soft drinks, when they aren’t as sweet or as tasty (subjective to the individual) as the unhealthy option – considering the fact that, irrespective of taste, if you’re gaining health benefits from drinking one beverage over another, it has more to offer the customer. Thus, it makes sense to pay a bit more.

Going alcohol-free has immense physiological health benefits. DuPage Medical Group` recognises that reducing your alcohol intake can lead to weight loss, deeper sleep, balanced moods, improved heart health, enhanced liver function and an immune system boost, to name a few reasons. Decreasing alcohol intake also reduces the likelihood of hangovers, which have an adverse effect on hydration, mental health, stomach health and just make you feel bad.

The non-intoxicating benefits of alcohol-removed wines also increase general safety, as people are more likely to hurt themselves (or others) or end up in some sort of accident when they are drinking alcohol.

Beyond the fact that they are not intoxicating, alcohol-removed alternatives are also a healthier option because alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, calories with no nutritional value. When we drink alcohol, it prevents our body’s ability to break down fats, as our bodies prioritise removing the alcohol from our system, over all other processes, including absorbing nutrients and burning fats. If we can reduce the amount of alcohol consumption by drinking alcohol-free products like alcohol-removed wine, then we are in better stead for looking after our health.

You can shop the Edenvale alcohol-removed range online.

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