What do On-, Off-Premise Beer Buyers Want?

As shelf space and tap handles become increasingly harder to acquire or stay on with a consistent basis, craft beer is always looking for ways to increase sales to the beer buyers, both on- and off-premise.

The reflecting change is shown by the amount of “promiscuous” craft beer drinkers and the industry continues to try to find new ways to entice a consumer to stick to their brand, be it in marketing, branding or style shifts.

Brewer Magazine contacted two up-and-coming craft breweries and its decision makers: Hathaway Dilba, a partner and Director of Promotions for Madison, Wisconsin’s Ale Asylum and Sumit Vohra, the CEO of Raleigh, North Carolina’s Lonerider Brewing.

BREWER: Thinking in terms of beer buyers (beer bar taps, retail, etc.) what adjustments have you made to your portfolio recently to help better sales?

VOHRA: On-premise individual buyers just want more variety. On-premise chain buyers and off-premise buyers want profitable and intentional portfolio variety.

DILBA: First of all, being willing to listen to feedback is critical because a national craft beer trend doesn’t always translate to all of your distribution markets. Based on feedback and market trends, we have highly diversified our portfolio and offering more seasonals throughout the year.

 

BREWER: Where these changes reflective of previous sales, consumer feedback, those buyer’s feedback or something else? How important are these factors to your production outlook?

DILBA: Our distribution partners give us feedback and suggestions in quarterly meetings that have often led to new style releases or additional types of packaging to offer our consumers.

VOHRA: Consumers will always guide you to their interests. I would say we use a healthy mix of consumer feedback/trends and our own innovation. Trends are always lagging indicators.

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BREWER: Do national trends reflect your local sales? How or how not?

VOHRA: Yes, IPAs are still hot, Saisons are in. Session IPAs are on decline. There is too much pumpkin beer. And, Pilsners/Golden Ales are upcoming.

DILBA: I’d be lying if I said no but we truly do try to march to the beat of our own drum.

 

BREWER: Do you feel a brewery or an area of can create a buzz on a style that perhaps isn’t a national norm?

VOHRA: Of course, but whether that buzz will last is a key question. “Breakfast Stout” used to be a buzzword but is not really heard as that anymore. The longevity of “buzz” is declining.

DILBA: Absolutely. The New England IPA is a perfect example.

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  1. Pingback: Communicating Through Entire Sales Channel, Brewery To Consumer

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