Craft beer is a ‘customer driver’

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Beer expectations: some 47% of craft ale drinkers expect craft to be cask
Beer expectations: some 47% of craft ale drinkers expect craft to be cask
Operators should ensure they are communicating their beer offer both at their pub and online, according to a new report.

Insight from 4,000 drinkers were included in Marston’s on and off-trade reports, which have been designed to guide operators when it comes to providing their customers with what they really want.

The on-trade report stated the biggest growth area of craft is keg ale (up 48% in volume) while craft lager is also performing very well (up 25% in volume).

Decline in packaged

Packaged craft is the only area seeing decline (a drop of 0.6% volume) due to a 15% fall in rate of sale, which has been driven by a switch to draught craft as more outlets stock it, and a greater variety of choice.

The continued growth of craft on keg is being driven as much by supply as it is demand. However, that growing visibility has impacted on drinker expectation.

Craft ale drinkers now expect craft to be either cask (47%) or keg (41%). Some three years ago, that would predominantly have been cask ale. Lager drinkers however, are more expecting of cask than they are keg.

Capitalising on craft

For 60% of beer drinkers, choice of venue is completely or to some extent, dictated by their desire to drink craft.

Of those drinkers, 82% will decide on the venue of choice for their social group therefore showcasing the importance of communicating craft beer’s availability. The younger drinker (aged 18 to 34) is also more inclined to influence their group (according to 87% of respondents).

The report outlines top tips on how to capitalise on craft:

  • Utilise world lager alongside the craft offering. The smallest amount of craft beer drinkers talk the loudest and while they decide upon their social group’s choice of venue, the rest of the group may want something recognised and accessible.
  • If there’s space on the keg line-up, consider using cask and packaged to provide additional choice for craft beer drinkers.
  • Use cask and keg alongside each other to provide a complete breadth of range. With the flavour and serve quite different between the two, operators should be sure to communicate with customers so they know what to expect.
  • Craft beer is a customer driver. Operators should ensure they communicate on-site and on social media, which beers they have available and when.

Related topics: Beer

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