While the stereotypical image of a craft beer consumer is a bearded, plaid-laden white male, demographics are shifting to embrace a more diverse market where that may no longer necessarily be the case.
Women are surging into a 32 percent share of the overall craft beer market (Nielsen Report), while women ages 21-34 compose a full 15 percent of overall craft drinking volume (Brewer’s Association). Women in founding, brewing and marketing positions in the beer community are also growing, as institutions such as Pink Boots Society promote inclusiveness in the industry.
Hispanic influence in the craft beer market is also on the up and up. By 2019, “Hispanic beer spending is projected to grow 31 percent” (Univision, IHS Global Insights) and “43 percent of Hispanic consumers order craft beer in restaurants and bars at least once a month, and 31 percent consume craft beer at home” (Technomic).
However, the heftiest demographic influence is age — “58 percent of craft beer drinkers are younger than 35” (XenoPsi). Among weekly craft drinkers, millennials try 5.1 different brands per month [and] 15 percent try 10-plus brands per month. Brewers need to offer a broad variety of beers to keep the consumer within your portfolio” (Nielsen Getting Inside the Mind of the Craft Consumer).
With the prevalence of such a younger, more tech-savvy age group, spending trends, brand loyalty and rationale for product purchase is also shifting. “74 percent of craft beer drinkers use mobile for a beer purchase before going to the store,” while 60.2 percent of craft beer purchasers who used mobile at the shelf used their smartphone to get information about a beer they were considering purchasing (XenoPsi). According to the Association of National Advertisers, “34 percent of millennial consumers respond positively to ‘When a brand uses social media, I like that brand more.’” (Barkley, SMG, BCG).
And, while being active online is important to this group, an even higher percentage (62.8 percent) base their decision on reading the labels on bottles or the package (XenoPsi), thus your packaging is the most relevant way to relay your message to the customer and convert to a sale.
With all of these factors in mind, being inclusive should be a part of your marketing plan as a means to reach out to the new generation of craft beer consumers.
Written by the team at Watermark Design, a nationally-recognized branding and design studio. Watermark has been marrying design + craft beer since 2010, creating award-winning brands and package design for their clients’ breweries. Their love of beer + storytelling through design collide into some amazing collaborations. They are passionate about their craft, if you are passionate about yours, give them a call.