Alcohol Vs Alcohol-Free Beverage Pricing Compared

Jacques du Rand 2021-01-30

South Africans are nothing if not resilient and entrepreneurial. Case and point banned trade such as alcohol and tobacco during lockdown. I bet if you asked three people in your immediate friendship circle at least one of them "knows a guy" or at least "knows a guy that knows a guy".

We hear of so many stories of someone's neighbour selling alcohol. The private trade must be doing really well, considering that all the prices have been marked up by three times the store price! But it just goes to show that where there is a will, there seems to be a way. This also doesn't surprise me, as sometimes buying that 6-pack is cheaper even at three times the price than the non-alcoholic version!

Alcohol-Free Beverage Pricing vs Same Alcoholic Bev

With alcohol currently being banned under our lockdown restrictions, some people have opted to buy the non-alcoholic versions of their favourite alcoholic beverage. And they've made vast improvements in the taste too. Feel like a gin & tonic? There is an alcohol-free version. Wine, sparkling wine and beer all have their non-alcoholic equivalents too.

But unfortunately it usually costs more than the alcoholic version. Depending on the brand of course.

We had a look at 4 categories pricing for their alcoholic vs non-alcoholic versions. Some actually surprised us in costing the same!

Alcohol Vs Non-Alcoholic Beverage Pricing Compared

Beer (per 6) Gin (750ml bottle
Devil's Peak Lager


Devils Peak Hero (non-alcoholic)




Ginifer Non-alcoholic


Castle Light


Castle Free


Belgravia Gin & Tonic

(275ml x24)


The Duchess Botanicals

(275ml x24)



Wine (per bottle 750ml) Sparkling Wine (per bottle 750ml)
Van Loveren Sauvignon Blanc


Van Loveren Almost Zero White


JC Le Roux Le Domaine


JC Le Roux Le Domaine (non-alcoholic)


Leopard's Leap Classic Pinotage


Leopard's Leap Natura Red (non-alcoholic)


Graham Beck Brut


Graham Beck Brut Zero


We were expecting to see a much higher difference in price, but it does seem very much dependent on brand?

In the instances where the non-alcoholic beverages are higher than the alcohol versions, (or even the same) you might be thinking that beverage companies are just taking the mickey, but they aren't.

The alcohol-free version of the product is often more expensive to produce than it's alcoholic counterparts as there is usually an additional step – the removal of alcohol or the deployment of a technique to stop alcohol production. These additional measures add time and complexity to the production process which is reflected in the cost.

So there you have it. Perhaps we've been thinking about this all wrong.

If you'd like to shop for some non-alcoholic beverages or groceries in general, have a look at our recent review about online grocery shopping options in S.A