Contrary to reports which saw locked down US beer fans opting for core brands and less expensive offerings, a recent UK study suggests the opposite.
Here’s the deal…
According to a new survey of 2,364 beer enthusiasts, carried out by Brew//LDN and KAM Media, three months in lockdown has significantly changed the way many UK beer-lovers are consuming beer.
In spite of numbers indicating that consumption remains stable, the survey found that there has been a profound shift in consumer habits…UK beer fans drinking beer more often, buying beer from different ways, searching out new beer directions, and even embracing new online drinking occasions.
46% of survey participants reported buying beer directly from a brewer for the first time during the lockdown, with 87% indicating that will they will continue to even after sheltering-at-home restrictions are lifted, signaling a huge paradigm shift in how UK beer fans purchase beer that may continue post-pandemic.
And while some surveys in the US found locked down consumers opting for mainstream beer brands and core titles, UK beer lovers have been exploring new tastes with 57% of respondents saying they are now more interested in searching out unique beers than they were before the lockdown and 47% of those surveyed seeking out premium options.
This from Katy Moses, managing director of KAM Media…
“Lockdown has provided beer enthusiasts with the opportunity to develop their ‘hobby’ further by exploring new, unique and interesting beers. Many have not only increased their repertoire of beers, but they’ve also been sourcing them from new and different channels, such as direct from the brewer and online subscriptions.”
“This change will only lead to a more discerning and demanding beer consumer, and could ultimately impact where they source their beers from in the longer term.”
Daniel Rowntree, co-founder of Brew//LDN, agreed with Moses that a major shift has occurred…
“A new breed of beer enthusiast is emerging from lockdown. The challenge for brands and breweries is to ensure that they remain relevant to the customer across all elements of this mix, from traditional occasions in the pubs and taprooms, to at-home occasions, Zoom nights, to drinks in the park and more.”
On level, respondents were found to drinking slightly more frequently — an extra two days a month — but consuming fewer beers per session (-9%), which as Beer Today explains means that “overall consumption has remained stable.”
And 79% of survey participants reported significant support for local breweries which could continue.