While beer consumption across the globe seems to be stagnant or even slightly declining, there are certain markets within the beer industry that appear to be thriving. There is the old saying of consumers are “drinking less but drinking better.” Premium and craft beers seem to be responsible for this attitude.
Craft Breweries are small, independent operations. They produce roughly 6 million barrels of beer a year (or less) and are responsible for roughly 3 percent of annual U.S. sales. That last sentence should tell you they are the polar opposite of the major breweries in America. The big brewers have been around for what seems like the entire history of this country and have survived prohibition. To think that our craft breweries can topple these behemoths is unrealistic, but they can and do, carve out a very nice profitable piece of the market.
With over 7,000 breweries contributing to U.S. sales in 2018, the next question is “what do these craft beer drinkers look like?”
Craft beer drinkers are predominantly male, between the ages of 21-34 and typically earn between $75,000 and $99,000 annually. They drink craft beers weekly. This is a good start, but a survey conducted showed the above group is less than half of all craft beer drinkers. The remaining percentage consume craft beers several times a year, just not as regularly. The good news is under half of the individuals surveyed said that they are drinking more craft beer, while a third of the craft beer drinkers said they are drinking more in general.
How can you capitalize on this growing market? The following tips might be a good start!
- Invite New Beer Drinkers with Promos & Events
Many beer drinkers are intrigued by the idea of craft beers, but might feel a bit intimidated to explore and order something that they have never had before. Create events that allow beer drinkers to explore new flavors. Beer and bites perhaps? The launch of a new craft beer?
- Add Beer Cocktails to your Menu
Cocktails are fun and very friendly to the palate. Cocktails also allow you to play with different flavors that might be more approachable for some people.
- Market to Beer Lovers
Some of your customers already love craft beers, knowing and understanding what they are about. Make sure you are also creating opportunities for these beer lovers to visit your restaurant or bar more often. Happy Hour could be replaced with “Craft Beer Hour” certain days of the week, or you might just add a special menu for craft beer lovers during Happy Hour.
- Make it Easy!
It might be time to take another look at your menu and make sure you have enough craft beers to please all palates, but not so long and complex that it becomes a task to read the menu.
- Take it to a New Level
Place craft beers under a different light by creating beer and food pairings or by pairing local food with local craft beer. This approach will not only open the door to non-traditional beer drinkers but will also enhance the experience altogether.
Understanding as much as we can about a new market developing within the beer industry and the types of consumers who are interested in purchasing these products, we can make informed decision and begin to see the benefits of adding more choices for our guests. Just in time for end-of-summer fun!
See more articles like this in the FR&L Magazine – Beverage Edition.