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Craft Made “Great Progress” With Women Consumers in 2016; Needs to Shake “Snobbery” Perception

Craft made “great progress” with women consumers in 2016, according to analysis of annual Yankelovich MONITOR consumer survey data presented by Tropos Brand Consulting’s Mike Kallenberger during Brewers Assn Power Hour. Number of total craft consumers grew in 2016 surveys that had 9800 respondents overall, 2700 beer drinkers and 1400 “craft” drinkers (defined as “weekly” craft consumers).  And women made up a greater share of that growth. Indeed, women grew from 25% to 28% of total weekly craft beer drinkers in 2016. And “women accounted for over 1/3 of new craft drinkers” last yr vs just 25% in 2015, Mike showcased. Breaking it down by race/ethnicity, just under 2/3 of total craft drinkers were White, up from 60% in 2015. African Americans grew from 10% to 12% of total.  Yet Hispanic craft consumers actually dipped from 21% to 18% and Asian/Other down from 9% to 8%.  That doesn’t necessarily mean less Hispanics are consuming craft however. Craft consumption is “growing among all groups,” but “just growing faster among some versus others,” Mike clarified.

Craft Needs to Shake “Snobbery” Perception with “Fringe” Drinkers; Talk Styles, Not Food Pairings Craft segment’s ability to draw in more “fringe” consumers that haven’t quite adopted craft brands into their regular consumption patterns partly relies on its ability to shake perception of “snobbery,” Mike thought.  That can be craft’s “biggest turn off.”  Generally, “fringe” consumers can get “enthusiastic about beer styles” because they want to “understand” them better “just so they can be knowledgeable enough so they don’t feel intimidated.” So “education should focus on making people comfortable by informing them about beer styles,” opposed to beer dinners or other more specialized events that require “deeper education.”  Indeed, “insider knowledge can become intimidating and even a source of snobbery.” Even among craft and import drinkers, separate Tropos survey found that roughly 1/3 of respondents agreed that “even though I love craft beer, I have to admit there can be quite a bit of snobbery to it.”  And typically, women are “far more likely” to feel “alienated by snobbery,” he added.

Plenty more consumer driven insights and interesting thoughts shared thruout presentation. Thinkin’ a bit outside the box, celeb endorsements, “if done well, can be effective” for a craft brand, Mike thought, perhaps using less traditional, more subtle methods that somehow “associate” celebs with brands.  Craft can also utilize more “traditional quality cues” with packaging, such as slick bottles/labels, glassware, dark/black colored lables, etc, to exude higher “status” and potentially draw from imports drinkers. Cos can “find ways” to create ties to their brands “outside of the context of beer,” i.e. thru community events or social media. And perhaps just spitballin’ here, Mike wondered if craft could play a more prominent role in clubs, since those are typically filled with young, diverse consumers, where “status” matters.  (Editor’s note: see CBN Vol 7, #37 for further info/analysis from Mike’s CBC presentation last year.)

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue #: 26
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