Finnish craft brewery Everyman’s Right Brewery has set out plans to become the first carbon-negative brewer in the world. If successful, this process could widen beer’s consumer base and set a precedent for other brewers, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
“The craft beer market is becoming ever more diluted and is now mainstream,” said Ben Holmes, consumer analyst at GlobalData. “Therefore, new companies need to find innovative ways to attract consumers with a significant brand story or a unique selling point that piques interest. Even though it will take a while to see if the process will work, the attempt to innovate provides an indicator of how brewers are trying to attract consumers beyond branding and flavor.”
How will they accomplish this? Everyman’s Right will recycle spent grains to produce biogas, which will provide energy for future production. The excess biogas can be used to generate electricity or can be later used in transportation.
It does have the potential to appeal to new consumers and could widen beer’s consumer base, given 35 percent of global consumers say how environmentally friendly an alcoholic beverage is always or often influences product choice, according to GlobalData’s 2016 Q3 global consumer survey.
“Though great in theory, it can be quite hard to imagine that the method will be cost-effective when scaled up to larger production levels, especially given that it is in its inception.” Holmes continued, not wanting this parade to go by without a rain cloud. “However, the brewery has stated that these plans are all in an effort to make the industry a lot more sustainable, especially with so many smaller firms opening their doors.”
While Everyman’s expectations are high, it highlights the potential in the market for new ideas and room for growth. Carbon negativity is a fresh selling point given how other firms have only just begun to set targets towards carbon neutrality.
“If successful, the process involved will act as a great standard to the alcohol industry as a whole, while also being an outstanding innovation in the food and drink sector,” Holmes said. “Though it looks unlikely for a large-scale adoption in the near future, this should inspire more firms to go the same route due to the long-term reduction in costs, especially for smaller businesses.”