The craft beer market has a range of different consumers. There are the avid beer consumers who are tapped into the latest styles and trends, but there also are the ones who lean on their friends for suggestions. But no matter which type of consumer an individual is, he or she is not at a loss for some new, unique beers as the segment continues to grow.
In order to help beer fans stay on top of this evolving market, the Brewers Association released its annual “Beer Style Guidelines.” This year’s book included more than 100 changes. Among them was the addition of eight new styles of beer, bringing the total to 152, the association says.
With all of this information to sift through, one might think that beer consumers could become overwhelmed with virtually endless choices. However, data shows that the variety of styles and flavors is helping the category to reach more female beer consumers.
In a May 2 Nielsen Insights piece titled “Craft Beer Style Preferences Start and End with the Consumer,” the market research firm highlights several styles that have been more preferable among woman than men.
The herb/spice sub-segment (think ginger beer) showed the most sales growth with an annual sales increase of 375 percent, based on Nielsen data from the 12-month period ending Jan. 2 in measured off-premise channels. That sub-category actually shows a higher incidence of females listing this beer among their favorite craft beer styles, citing an English-language survey conducted by Harris Poll from Nov. 20 to 30, 2015. Women are 55 percent more likely than men to prefer herb/spice beers.
Sour/American wild ales also performed well in the 12-month timeframe posting sales growth of 73 percent. This sub-category also was the one with the highest female-to-male index as women are 75 percent more likely than men to choose this beer style.
However, the market research firm is quick to point out that these styles aren’t the biggest craft beer sellers overall. Although blonde/golden ale, which accounts for a valuable portion of the craft beer market, has the highest incidence of male and female consumers naming it their favorite craft beer style (30 vs. 36 percent). Nonetheless females still are 20 percent more likely to choose this style of beer.
Craft beer continues to provide exciting, new complexities to the beer market. In our annual Craft Beer Supplement, the editors of Beverage Industry elaborate on more interesting topics and companies. For instance, a Channel Strategies feature highlights the increasing role that food and beer pairings are playing in the industry. The supplement also includes a feature on True Craft Holdings, the craft beer distributor division of Madidus LLC. And be sure to read about New Belgium Brewing’s opening of its new Asheville, N.C., facility.
This all leads up to our June 22 webinar “A Competitive Landscape: How Craft Beer Looks to Continue its Growth.” Beginning at 2 p.m. ET, the free webinar will include insights from Danelle Kosmal, vice president of beverage alcohol practice for Nielsen, Dan Wandel, senior vice president of the beverage alcohol market insights group for IRI, and Laura Bell, vice president at Bell’s Brewery.
Be sure to tune in for some valuable craft beer insights.