According to the Market intelligence agency Mintel, while brand awareness rises to the top of factors driving purchase among overall beer drinkers, craft beer drinkers are more discerning and most likely to say that beer style, such as an IPA or stout , is important in product selection. 23% of respondents drink craft beer, with craft consumption highest among those between the ages of 25-34.
Mintel Food and Drink Analyst, Beth Bloom, notes that “… this focus on style and flavor is a major element that differentiates a craft beer drinker from the rest.” Among the top factors that craft beer drinkers consider when making a beer selection are style (51%) and full-bodied flavor (44%).
While the stereotype of craft beer drinkers is that they are more particular about the beverage products they choose, the research shows they are by no means exclusive in their beer drinking. 83% of craft beer drinkers also drink non-craft. What's more, US craft drinkers are more likely (49%) to associate craft beer consumption with casual events than formal events, perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for a few rounds with friends.
Bloom estimates sales of craft beer (including craft-style offerings) reached $20 billion in 2014, doubling sales just five years prior, and the category is forecasted to reach $36.3 billion by 2019. The steady growth of the category is due, in part, to the 55% of respondents who report that they are willing to spend more for craft beer than non-craft.
15% of those surveyed are influenced to try a new beer when they see people who are similar to themselves drinking it, and 44% of craft beer drinkers say it is a source of pride to try as many different kinds of beer as they can, says the report. The majority of beer drinkers age 22-34 say the brand and style of beer you drink says a lot about you, showcasing the value this group places on image. Furthermore, craft beer drinkers overall are more likely than those who drink non-craft to say they are knowledgeable about beer, and 53% like to share their knowledge of beer with others.
However, women who drink beer are significantly less likely than their male counterparts to consider themselves knowledgeable about beer, finds the study. Just 17% of US women drink craft beer, compared to 29% of men. That said, craft beer has found a sweet spot with 25-34 year olds where consumption is highest at 29%. Younger US consumers age 22-24 prefer domestic beer at 46%.
“… new drinkers may take a couple of years to become interested in craft beer, said Bloom. “… the craft nature of the category is evident in the fact that drinkers of craft offerings are significantly less likely than drinkers of regular domestic beer to say the purpose of drinking is to get drunk…”
The study data showcases the importance of food pairing to the category. 47% drink craft beer with a meal. Recent research from Experian Marketing Services shows 25% of foodies drink microbrewed offerings vs. 14% of consumers looking for cheap and easy food options. Bloom further notes that “… a number of craft beers include suggested food pairings on their packaging or in their product descriptions… strengthens perceptions that craft beers are meant to be appreciated and savored…”
For more information about the study from Mintel, please visit here. Here’s to ya.