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Belgian brewers facing rising popularity of non-alcoholic beers

More and more people are turning to non-alcoholic beverages, a trend that has not gone unnoticed by the Belgian brewing sector.

Social media-driven initiatives such as Dry January encourage people to give up alcohol for a certain amount of time to benefit from the physical and mental health benefits of abstaining but increasing numbers of consumers, particularly young people, are continuing beyond the end of the campaign and remain tee total.

Krishan Maudgal, director of the Belgian Brewers’ Federation, says that growing awareness among people about their relationship with alcohol is one of the main reasons behind the shift. “Socially, a lot has changed,” he told VRT NWS. “There is more sense of responsibility and growing awareness about healthy living. People are more aware of their general lifestyle.”

However, Maudgal sees what he claims to be a ‘hardening’ of attitudes against alcohol and that the public debate on the topic is heavily weighted towards the negative.

“Of course, you have to be very conscious about alcohol and we have to fight alcohol abuse,” he said. “But the general tone seems hardened to me. You now mainly hear a negative message. You see many messages in which alcohol is presented almost as a murder weapon. Anyone who drinks alcohol should almost be ashamed.”

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