Research carried out by There’s A Beer For That in celebration of Beer Day Britain last month (June), showed more than 60% of consumers surveyed had only tried up to five styles of beer, despite there being more than 140 available.
Lager was the most popular style, followed by pale ale (18%) and dark at 6%, leaving some in the sector frustrated at consumers’ reluctance to expand their beer repertoire.
There’s a Beer For That programme director David Cunningham said: “Our research highlighted some interesting facts about the British public’s knowledge of beer and identified some real areas of opportunity for retailers, pub, hotel and restaurant operators to grow their sales.”
Stick to their favourite drinks
More people tend to stick to their favourite drinks, he said, but there was interest from many consumers in finding out more about different styles of beer.
“Our research revealed that knowledge of the taste of the beer style was the most influential factor when purchasing a beer.
“So we have an intriguing challenge where people want to expand their repertoire of beer styles but need more information about their flavour and taste, as well as having the opportunity to try before they buy.”
The survey response also showed consumers would be more willing to try beer – if they didn’t like it – if they were given more information on flavour profiles and styles that would suit their palate.
Opportunity to grow
Cunningham said: “Our research proves there is a huge opportunity to grow beer among beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike by educating people about the different taste profiles of the wide variety of beer styles and beers now available in the UK.”
One of the areas available to boost beer sales and to entice more consumers into the category was by pairing the drink with food, he added.
Just 10% of consumers surveyed currently drink beer with food, mainly because they did not think flavour combinations would work and because they were unsure of how to match a beer with food.
There’s a Beer For That programme developer Neil Gannon said: “We have been working with brewers, pub companies, retailers and beer experts to develop a proven range of programmes that help educate consumers on the diversity of beer styles and tastes, and that promote beer and food.”