Industry News

Strategies to Compete in Next Craft Phase

Brewers Association Chief Economist Bart Watson shares what craft breweries will need to do in order ramp up their game to stay competitive in the next level of craft beer expansion.

Strategies to Compete in Next Craft Phase
Image by: Brew Public

Brewers Association Chief Economist, Bart Watson, gave a webinar on Feb.2 for ShipCompliant/Sovos discussing the next stage of craft brewing. According to him the “rising tide lifts all boats period” for craft beer ended in 2014. The next period will be survival of the fittest, not everyone can succeed at the same time. Craft brewers are going to need to do very different things to be able to compete. They’ll have to balance their current model with more innovation and differentiation.

Asked by an audience member: “When innovation is your norm [like in the craft beer industry], what kind of growth is still there?

“That’s proving to be challenging. It’s hard to build those long term sustainable brands amidst constant variety seekers. But we are seeing brewers who are thinking of innovative ways to appeal to consumers including “built-in” rotation within a brand, i.e. brands that offer different versions of essentially the same beer with different ingredients, or IPA variety series. And perhaps brand building within craft segment ends up sourcing consumers that’re “different” than “core craft consumers” that’re constantly seeking variety.”

Ways to Stay Competitive

  • continued IPA growth and variation within IPA
  • focus on other growth styles (some of which happen to over-index with women) such as sessions, farmhouse, blond/golden ale, sours, Fruit/Veggie, Herb/Spice and shandy/radler
  • figure out where brands can find growth geographically
  • search out “non-traditional drinking occasions” which give you general public exposure and not just to “core craft drinkers”
  • experiential ways to promote your brand

See the original article on: Beer Insights


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