Craft Beer Drinkers Want the Flavorful Choices to Keep Flowing

Dec 20, 2016

If you want to go out for a beer in Denver, you’ll probably have to do a little research first. With more craft breweries per capita than 47 other states, we have plenty of options when it comes to ales. And much like the beer category nationwide, an enthusiasm for experimentation and exploration has led to a dynamic market full of different styles, ingredients, and flavors. What used to be a choice between a handful of large corporations has now become an evaluation of hundreds of smaller breweries, and there’s no sign of the craft industry slowing down. So if Big Beer wants to get in on this exciting—and delicious—trend, they’ll need to gain further consumer insights into how potential acquisitions and offerings will be received by these adventurous craft beer drinkers.

The Research

Our research focused on understanding how craft beer drinkers think about and consume craft beer, so that larger beverage companies can leverage these insights towards attracting the desirable segment. Our market research took the form of an Agile Attitudes & UsageTM  study* with a target audience of males and females 21+ years old who had purchased craft beer in the last two weeks. This quantitative research was then guided by the following questions:

  • What are their typical beer consumption habits, including volume, styles, and types?
  • Where do they purchase craft beer, including which brands, purchase drivers, etc.?
  • Why are they motivated to purchase/consume craft beer, and what are their attitudes about consuming it?

The Results

Turns out craft beer drinkers are far from exclusive in their beer choice. About half of respondents had consumed domestic, imported, and craft beer in the two weeks preceding the study. While most drinkers were aware of nationwide brands, it was the heavy beer drinkers who were more aware of regional and local brands. No particular brewing style or brand dominates the craft beer market either, according to a healthy distribution of styles consumed and brands recognized. Our respondents valued craft beer for its uniqueness and variety of flavor, and most agreed they taste better than domestic or imported brands.

In fact, flavor and taste were the top ranked factors by respondents when deciding which craft beer to purchase. Given that consumers can’t always taste a beer prior to purchase, brands should focus on how to communicate a unique and favorable taste in their advertising and marketing materials.

Though flavor was the the most important factor in consuming a craft beer, there are plenty of other perceptions and priorities that influence a consumer’s decision. Download the full report to learn more about respondents’ beliefs and behavior surrounding craft beer, including

  • Which brands have the highest awareness and usage scores among respondents
  • How craft beer drinkers learn about new brands
  • Where and when craft beer is typically consumed as well as purchased
  • How craft beer drinkers feel about corporate acquisitions and supporting local business

*An Agile Attitudes & Usage study is an online quantitative study used to explore consumer attitudes, usages, habits, practices, and behaviors. Survey clicks are balanced to population level data on age, gender, and region to ensure a natural fallout of the sample.

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