How Craft Breweries Can Capture the Hispanic Market

Breweries are always on the lookout for new ways to win over customers. An entire ethnic group of consumers could be the next craft beer market according to one communication company.

Lopez Negrete Communications recently released a infograph that showed that there are more Hispanics who consume beer than non-Hispanics, and they prefer imports over American suds.

In 2015, Hispanics spent $3.6 billion on beer at retail according to Lopez Negrete with 49 percent of adult Hispanics over the age of 21 drink beer compared to 48 percent of non-Hispanics.

Overall, Millennials make up 35.5 percent of craft beer consumption yet Hispanic Millennials are only 14 percent of that market share. However 54 percent of Hispanic Millennials say they would try craft beer if they knew more about it.

“The fact that craft brewers have quality beers with real, bold tastes means that fundamentally they are in a good position to address the market,” said Lopez Negrete’s Director of Business Analytics Gerry Loredo. “Marketing is critical for this segment to choose to move from imports to craft. Think about the path to purchase you want these consumers to follow: “Which of my styles has the best taste fit and brand story to make a connection with this consumer? When and where are they going to open up my message?” Generating trial when and where Hispanics are actually congregated and drinking beer is going to be the quickest way to generate not just trial, but also a meaningful connection between the consumer and that particular craft brewery.”


So what do craft breweries need to do to help educate more Hispanic Millennials to help bolster the sales of their product to that demographic?

“The sheer number of brewers, styles and packaging can be a real barrier to Hispanic Millennials engaging with craft brew,” Loredo said. “When there are too many choices without a way to navigate and evaluate them, the tried and true tends to persist.”

He added that Hispanics prefer Mexican and larger European imports as well. A part of the infograph provided to Brewer Magazine showed that Hispanic beer drinkers are less likely to drink American brands (22 percent) vs. imports (25 percent).

“[It] means they have a certain taste preference and range that is not as broad as the craft brew offerings,” Loredo said. “This issue is compounded by the fact that Hispanics tend to drink and share beer in larger gatherings, so the risk of bringing an unusual and untried beer to the group can inhibit experimentation and trial.”

One approach Loredo suggested for craft breweries is to consider is having a “gateway” style that is close to a Mexican/European beer in order to bring Hispanic beer drinkers into the fold and then encourage experimentation with more esoteric and interesting styles.

“Our feeling is that Hispanics prefer bold flavors in both food and drink,” he said. “That is why they tend to drink mainstream beer less and instead go for the stronger taste of imports. This is where they have gone primarily because of the proximity of Mexican beers from a cultural and country-of-origin perspective.”

However, the fact that European imports have also successfully marketed to Hispanics suggests that they are interested in having choices when it comes to beer, he noted.

“Craft brewers need to help Hispanic beer drinkers navigate the labyrinth of different beer styles and offerings,” Loredo added. “Highlighting that the beer is local is not enough to drive meaningful trial.”

He pointed out that Hispanics are more likely to drink beer with food than the general market and a brewery should question if its beer pairs well with food, especially Mexican foods.

Here is the Lopez Negrete infograph:


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