Now that the fun of American Craft Beer Week has come and gone, and all of us are sporting epic hangovers from seven days of brew celebration, let’s all get serious again about business. A report from the researchers at Mintel came out last week with a list of craft beer drinker demographic stats. The data might not be earth-shattering, and the numbers may reflect what one would expect, but there could be some takeaways for your business.
First, let’s look at the numbers from Mintel, and then I’ll pose my series of hypothetical questions about your business, with the data as the context:
- Consumers who were of legal drinking age in 2012 are most likely to report increased consumption of beer (14 percent), which includes 7 percent of respondents who are drinking more craft beer in 2013 compared to 2012.
- Discovery of new beers is popular with 93 percent of imported beer drinkers, 88 percent of domestic fans and 84 percent of craft beer consumers.
- Craft beers have found a way to appeal to 49 percent of Millennials and 40 percent of Gen Xers, but just 29 percent of Baby Boomers and 22 percent of Swing Generation/World War II.
- Hispanic consumers also turn to craft beer with 38 percent indicating that they consume craft beer at any time. But there’s room to grow since 58 percent of Hispanics aged 21+ report drinking domestic beer and 55 percent of Hispanics drink imported beer.
- Eighty-four percent of craft beer consumers like to choose their beer depending on the season.
- Liquor or package stores are the preferred outlet for craft beer purchases.
- Seventy-three percent of craft beer drinkers say that they usually know what brand of beer they are going to buy before they go to the store.
- One-third of craft and imported beer consumers ask sales associates for advice and information when buying beer.
- Forty-five percent of craft beer drinkers indicate that they would try more craft beers if they knew more about them.
- Beer drinkers aged 36 to 47 are slightly less likely than consumers aged 21 to 35 to show a preference for the taste of craft beer. Members of Generation X are more likely than their younger counterparts to indicate that imported beer and craft beer are similar value.
OK, so what can any of this mean for you? If the stats from Mintel are reflected in your market, discovery of new beers is popular and a majority of craft beer drinkers are young and already walk into the store knowing what they want to buy, how will this knowledge alter your marketing approach? Your distribution plan? What new ways can you create a buzz within your market to become top of mind for this experimental, knowledgeable customer?
Or how about that on-the-fence new drinker? Is there a campaign or new brand you could deploy in order earn their loyalty or interest as they start combing through the aisles and tasting the taps at their local bars? Seasonal beer offerings are definitely a good avenue for finding new interest, have you considered the positioning of your seasonal offerings and how they fit within the drinking profile of your area?
Anyway, hope that endless string of questions helped shake out the Craft Beer Week cobwebs because while it is a great time for the industry to come together and party and celebrate beer, there is now the entire rest of the calendar ahead, where plenty of challenges and opportunities await. There are a lot of people out there craving your beer, they just don’t know it yet. And if you think you have the answers, let us know in the comments below.