Style and price both key to beer

12 December, 2014

Beer consumers are as likely to buy on style and product heritage as price, an exclusive OLN retailer poll has shown.

In a survey of independents and supermarkets, 28% said price had the most influence on shopper choice – the same as style – with 25% saying heritage was also a key driver.

The research indicates the industry is beginning to shed the legacy of selling at substantial discounts with 71% agreeing that a growing number of consumers will pay more for beer if it has a point of difference.

Merchandising, marketing and pack format were considered the least important cues for consumers, although having beer chilled was seen as crucial for 11% of retailers.

The survey confirmed the growing interest for craft brews with 90% of retailers saying consumers were seeking craft or speciality beers in the past year.

Despite ongoing differences n the trade over the definitions of craft and world beers, only 36% of retailers thought this was hampering their appeal to consumers.

When it comes to persuading shoppers to pay more for beer, perception that it is a craft product was seen by 47% as the main influence.

The fact a product is not mainstream or sold in supermarkets was viewed as important to commanding a bigger price tag by 64%, and 23% said retailer recommendations were vital to encouraging consumers to trade up.

For 87% of those polled, sales of world beer had increased or stayed the same in the last year, compared to 86% for ale sales.

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