(Bloomberg) -- Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. has taken a $50 million minority stake in Athletic Brewing Company, expanding its investment in the increasingly popular nonalcoholic beer and cocktail category.

The investment makes Keurig Dr Pepper one of the company’s top stakeholders, alongside TRB Advisors and Alliance Consumer Growth, according to a statement. Other terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Athletic Brewing began in 2017 in Stratford, Connecticut, where the company’s first brewery was built. It now has a second brewery in San Diego. “This investment will enable Athletic Brewing to further accelerate our growth across North America,” said co-founder Bill Shufelt in the announcement.

The agreement expands Keurig Dr Pepper’s presence in nonalcoholic beverages after it bought the global rights to nonalcoholic ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique in June. 

Events such as Sober October and trends toweard fitness and wellness are driving nonalcoholic adult beverages. Demand for nonalcoholic beer was up 5% in 2022 through September from a year earlier, while sales of non-alcoholic spirits jumped 30% and non-alcoholic wine surged 49%, according to data from global e-commerce accelerator Pattern. 

The non-alcoholic beer category is forecast to reach $23 billion by 2025, up from $16.6 billion in 2021.

Watch: The rise of nonalcoholic beer (Video)

Competition has also intensified in the low-alcohol segment, with companies such as Molson Coors Beverage Co. and Boston Beer Co Inc. diving into the hard-seltzer category. However, hard seltzer sales have slowed. 

Keurig Dr Pepper shares rose 0.6% to $38.16 at 10:11 a.m. in New York trading. The stock is up 3.5% for the year to date, compared with a 20% decline for the S&P 500 Index. 

--With assistance from Tiffany Kary.

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