Massachusetts Beverage Business



2O1O was a great year for craft beer but there’s still a lot of work to be done on the part of the brewers. According to the latest research from Mintel, domestic beer is the clear favorite, followed by imported varieties; but 33% of all beer drinkers aged 21 and up are drinking less imported beer because they’re drinking more domestic craft beer instead. Only a small percentage of beer drinkers (13%) say they prefer domestic craft or microbrew beers (compared to 43% for domestic and 22% for imported), but 59% say they like to try them, and 51% would try more craft or microbrew beers if they knew more about them. Consumer education is the key to cultivating growth in the craft/microbrew market. “Craft beer is most popular with the 25- to 34-year-old crowd, so manufacturers would be wise to target this demographic and educate them more about artisan beers.” says Garima Goel Lal, a senior analyst at Mintel. However, price is a deterrent for some drinkers when it comes to trying or purchasing craft beers. Forty-one percent of drinkers only enjoy craft/microbrew beers as a treat because they are expensive. Meanwhile, 29% report drinking less craft beer than they did a year ago because of the price. But the market still shows resilience, as 29% of consumers who report drinking more beer than they did a year ago say they are drinking more craft/microbrew beer as an affordable luxury. “The good news is, it appears that the influence of the recession is becoming less pronounced on the beer market in terms of losing volume. The number of beer drinkers who are drinking less beer has decreased since 2OO9.” notes Garima Goel Lal. Mintel’s research also found that the package their beverage of choice comes in is just as important as the beer itself: 63% of beer drinkers prefer a bottle, 2O% prefer to drink from a can and 8% are partial to draft beer served from a large container. Just 2% prefer a keg.

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