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    Belgians warm to non-alcoholic beer and wine

    © Belga

    Non-alcoholic beer and wine have been gaining popularity in Belgium in recent years.

    Based on excise duty declarations, the Finance Department has calculated that 239,294 hectolitres, close to 14 million litres, of these beverages were sold in 2018, almost triple the amount marketed in 2013 (86,370 hectolitres). In 2017, the sector accounted for only 146,771 hectolitres.

    “The figures do not account for individual sales, but are based on excise duty declarations, which are made when the goods are placed on the market,” Finance Department spokesman Francis Adyns explained. “They can still remain on the shelf or in storerooms for weeks.”

    Nevertheless, the increase has been significant. The figure went from 86,370 hectolitres in 2013 to 100,230 hectolitres in 2017 and 239,294 in 2018.

    Last year was a boom year for non-alcoholic fruit and vegetable juices: 1,960,710 in 2017 and 16,517,616 in 2018. The volume of water registered went from 10,834,989 in 2017 to 16, 517, 388 in 2018. All this was possibly the result of the long hot summer last year.

    The volume of sodas did not change much: 13,591,796 hectolitres last year as against 13,164,542 hectolitres in 2017. Coffee, on the other hand, dropped to 34,254,797 kgs in 2018 from 46,169,078 kgs in 2014.

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times