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The Zero Proof Revolution: why cider is a great choice for Dealcoholization

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in consumer preferences towards healthier beverage options. People are increasingly looking for alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages, and one option that has been gaining traction is non-alcoholic cider.

With its crisp, fruity flavors and versatility, non-alcoholic cider has become more than just a trendy drink; it’s a refreshing and wholesome choice for a wide range of occasions. According to a recent Business Wire report, “The global cider market is experiencing remarkable growth, with a valuation of USD 8.87 billion and a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.38%, set to reach nearly USD 13 billion by 2028.”  With the increasing interest in cider, and the growth in non-alcoholic market it is clear that there is a lot of room for NA ciders.

One of the primary reasons for interest in non-alcoholic cider is the desire for healthier beverage options. As consumers become more health-conscious, they are searching for alternatives to sugary sodas and alcoholic beverages. Non-alcoholic cider fits the bill perfectly, offering a satisfying taste without the negative health impacts of excessive sugar, gluten or alcohol consumption. Cider is also nutrient rich. Apples, the main ingredient in cider, are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Non-alcoholic cider can retain many of these beneficial compounds, making it a nutritious option.

Cider is also growing in popularity due to its variety of styles, including still, sparkling, sweet, dry, and flavored variations. While traditional cider is primarily apples, there are many other options such as pear, pineapple, and berries. The growing popularity of craft cider has opened the doors to consumers seeking innovative fruit blends, botanical infusions, and experimental styles. Non-alcoholic ciders often undergo the same careful craftsmanship and attention to detail as their alcoholic counterparts, ensuring a premium beverage experience for consumers.

With the growing trend in non-alcoholic beverages and ciders, BevZero has received quite a few requests for dealcoholization, and has found that the process for cider is just as easy, if not easier than wine.  Both products hold up extremely well to the low temperature vacuum distillation process used to remove alcohol.  However, compared to many wines and spirits, cider typically has a lower alcohol by volume (ABV), usually ranging from 4% to 8% ABV. This lower alcohol content makes it easier to dealcoholize without risking excessive loss of other volatile compounds that contribute to flavor and aroma. Additionally, when dealcoholizing cider, the fruit-forwardness can be more resilient to the process compared to some wine varieties. The natural fruitiness of cider can help mask any minor flavor changes that may occur during dealcoholization.

As with wine, it is best to start with a fully fermented product. Flavors and aromas that are developed during fermentation can’t be obtained in any other way, so starting with a high-quality cider and removing the alcohol as gently and efficiently as possible will help to ensure a complex and balanced finished product. During dealcoholization, the volatile aromas and flavors (essence) can be removed first, and then then the remaining product is processed to remove the alcohol.  The essence is then returned to the dealc portion to create a very successful non-alcoholic cider.

The surging interest in non-alcoholic beverages represents a broader trend towards healthier and more inclusive beverage choices. As more people embrace non-alcoholic cider as refreshing option, we can expect to see this market growing, offering even more innovative and exciting choices in the future.

If you are considering creating your own non-alcoholic cider product, it’s a great time to start.  The market is still fresh with expectation.  BevZero can help not only with dealcoholization, but with product development as well.  Give us a call today!