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Craft beer sales jump 110 percent

 Taking a step away from their parents’ domestic choices, millennials are flocking toward craft beers in droves. According to a new report from research group Mintel, the sales of craft beer should reach $20 billion by the end of the year, more than doubling its numbers in just five years. 

Taking a step away from their parents’ domestic choices, millennials are flocking toward craft beers in droves. According to a new report from research group Mintel, the sales of craft beer should reach $20 billion by the end of the year, more than doubling its numbers in just five years.

What your beer says about you
The research found that nearly a quarter – 23 percent – of respondents drink craft beer, which is not a far cry from the 30 percent of consumers who exclusively drink noncraft beer. The bulk of those who drink craft beer are millennials – those aged 25 to 34 – and they have some interesting things to say about their beer-drinking habits.

For example, 70 percent of respondents said the brand of beer one drinks says a lot about a person, and 66 percent put just as much stock in the style of beer. Those who drink craft beer also are more likely to lean on style when it comes to product selection – more than half say it’s an important factor. Compare that to 11 percent of noncraft beer drinkers who put an emphasis on style.

“There is a strong sense of community in the craft beer world,” said Beth Bloom, a food and drink analyst for Mintel. “Consumers like to share knowledge with one another and are highly invested in the products that they choose. Not only that, but craft brands share exposure through collaboration, a practice almost wholly unique to the craft beer market. As such, tap rooms, bottle shops, and beer-garden-style breweries, where craft beer can be discovered, discussed, consumed on-site, and even purchased for at-home enjoyment, make for a complete, customizable experience. Craft beer is not only a beverage choice; it appears to be a lifestyle choice.”

Importance of craft beer marketing
So what does this information mean to marketers: A lot.

Not only do these craft beer drinkers – a massive and growing segment of the beer-consuming population – take their drink seriously, but they also are more likely to be swayed by what they see on store shelves. According to the report, 13 percent of craft beer drinkers said if the beer they typically drink is not available, their next choice is a product that “looks cool.” Similarly, 8 percent said the printed labels or packaging design is important when they are making their purchasing decision.

All this means that craft brewers should not only be focused on turning out a great product, but working with a designer to create great custom decal stickers for their products, which can boost their sales.

“The leading purchase driver among craft beer drinkers is style, pointing to a more discerning consumer base,” Bloom said. “… In that regard, the craft beer boom shares much in common with the wine renaissance over the past decade. They may not be brand loyal in the strictest sense, but they enjoy supporting local breweries and sharing in that sense of community that the smaller brewers have instilled. This presents vast opportunity for product trial and customization, which will keep the market interesting in the near future. Craft beer allows for people to express their individual sense of style while also allowing for experimentation … and that’s a very exciting thing for a lot of people.”

These craft beer drinkers not only like to share in the community of smaller breweries, but 47 percent say they take pride in trying as many beers as they can, which opens a huge window of opportunity for new craft brewers to make their products stand out on the shelf to attract new customers. 

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