What Puts the “Craft” in Craft Beer?

Craft beer consumers aged 21-34-years-old make up the group that is most aware of craft beer terms.

Craft beer is booming, but what is influencing craft beer customers path to purchase and what buzzwords can retailers use to better reach these consumers? Wonder no more. Danny Brager, senior vice president of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice has introduced new data and insights to help demystify today’s hottest trends in the $5 billion craft beer category.

This unique new research will help retailers and manufacturers understand what craft beer buzzwords influence consumers’ purchase decisions and what characteristics help consumers identify craft beer products.

Highlights from this research include:

  • Unique flavors (48%), high-quality ingredients (48%) and not mass produced (33%) are essential characteristics that help consumers to identify the “craft” in craft beer.
  • Barrel/wood-aged, sour, citrus and tropical dominate label characteristics and their sales are seeing growth to match (+27%, +62%, +116% and +135% respectively).
  • More than 70% of consumers have the highest awareness levels of terms: traditional, hoppy, drinkable and limited edition, compared to just 30-40% of craft beer drinkers aware of hazy, funky, grassy and mosaic.
  • Males are more aware of craft beer trends compared to women (55% male vs 45% female).
  • Of legal aged U.S. craft beer drinkers, the 21-34-year-old group is the most aware of craft beer terms, with 66% familiar with buzzwords. Comparatively, only 33% of consumers aged 65 and up are aware of the craft beer terms.
  • Terms including drinkable, independently owned, limited edition and west coast (IPA) are more likely to positively influence purchase decisions compared to terms funky, piney, hazy, which are less likely to have any influence on purchase decisions.

Tapping into today’s craft beer buzzwords can empower retailers and manufacturers to develop products using words that resonate with beer drinkers looking for their next craft purchase.

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