Don’t let your beer brand go stale

In the UK, the beer landscape is changing. According to Mintel, it is worth £17.7billion in total sales per year and 62% of all adults in the UK drink it! However, in general, young people are drinking less with 27% of 16-24 year olds saying they never drink alcohol at all compared to 19% who said the same ten years ago. This is reflected in the total amount of sales which are also falling; with keg and lager sales falling by 25% and 11% respectively in the past six years.

Despite the fall in sales, the number of breweries in the UK is increasing at a rate we’ve never seen before; over 160 new breweries have opened in the past year making the current amount 1,704 in Britain alone. So, the amount of people drinking beer is falling, but the number of breweries is increasing… does this not seem like a contradiction?

This craft beer revolution has sparked a change in consumers’ behaviour as well as in the way our supermarkets shelves look.

On one side, the increased choice allows beer drinkers to be more experimental. And this audience, always wanting to try out the next new beer, has become highly unpredictable and hard to captivate with one brand. Brent Ryan from Newport Storm argues that:

‘Bad beer might honestly sell as well as great beer because the customer is just going to move on to something new anyways’.

On the other side, it has also provoked a shift in the places customers are buying and drinking their beer. Consumers prefer now social gatherings at bars instead of pubs, and they are now more frequently picking up higher priced, more intriguing beers to drink at home. When looking at a market shelf it is easy for consumers to feel overwhelmed by loud designs that are all trying to grab their attention, especially as everyone within the beer market seems to be playing in the same territory by trying to outdo each other with how ‘outside of the box’ they can appear. This probably comes from the need of being perceived as innovative and independent, which is what consumers look for in craft beer.

However, although it may seem these craft beers are independent on the surface, in reality many of them are part of a bigger family. It is still to see if consumers, who are becoming more and more knowledgeable, will feel let down when they find out.

In a nutshell, the current market means that brands are facing some very important challenges. Standing out in such a busy and vibrant market, inspiring loyalty within an experimental market and being honest to your brand and audience, are all challenges which could diminish the potential of your brand if not tackled in time.

Download our report now where we look at these questions (and more) in further detail, and see how we can help discover the answers behind the new and exciting beer market.

Fancy a chat? Drop Tim Rooke a line on or give him a bell on 0113 201 8157.