Speaking at The Morning Advertiser Beer Summit event today (12 July), Marble Brewery events and communications manager Hannah Davidson described how small-packs can whet the consumer appetite and bring new drinkers into draught products.
“Packaging isn’t the end of draught beer unless you are doing draught beer wrong,” she said. “We want to increase the experience of coming to the pub, and that involves bringing in different people who want to discover beer.”
“Small-packs can whet consumer appetite and they will then want to see how that fits with the wider context of your beer range. Its about supporting the customer on their journey so that they then come into your bar and buy the draught product.”
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Around 11% of Marble’s total packaged product is in small pack, and while the brewery is cask-led, it sells a lot of small-pack to the independent on-and off-trade, as well as in its three pubs in Manchester.
On the subject of where small pack fits into the wider offering of the pub, Davidson argued that it ought to act as a “compliment” for draught product, and cited takeaway discounts and barrel aged bottle beers as two options pubs could look to explore more in future.
“Bottled product is 6% of what we produce at Marble, but it has a really high value,” he said. “Some of these beers have spent two years in barrels so they command quite a high price premium for customers looking for a special occasion.”
“Ultimately when you have packaged products they need to complement the products you have on draught. You need to make sense of the beers you are selling, and just having more of the same styles like pale ales and New England IPA devalues what you are selling on draught.
She added: “We also sell a lot of Belgian beer – they’re not cool or craft but they are different and that is something that is really great for the consumer.”
Davidson also described how a dispute with trading standards over Marble’s ‘Pint’ beer being sold in 500ml cans had brought new customers into the brewery’s venues in Manchester to try its beers.
She said: “It changed the way in which people perceived our beers; we now get people who have seen our beer on BBC news coming into our venues and wanting to try a Pint of Pint!”
The Beer Summit was brought to you by The Morning Advertiser in association with Diageo and law firm TLT.