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Seasonal Brews & Millennials = A Recipe For Success

Posted by Aidan Lundy on Nov 7, 2016 9:33:00 AM
Aidan Lundy

Seasonal beers and promotions, do they really work?

Actually, they do. Market research reports that seasonal brews are not just a blip on the sales screen. Brewers report sales increases of up to 26% with seasonal flavors.

Let's take a look at what the experts say seems to work.

In The Words Of Industry Leaders

For the craft beer manufacturer, sometimes it pays to listen to the words of wisdom from big names in beer who have walked a mile in the shoes of beer obscurity in their early days:

Jim Koch, the founder of Boston Beer Company which produces the Sam Adams brand, is not surprised at all that seasonal beers are popular. He recognizes that as far back as 2008 seasonal beers were increasing in popularity. That's why his brewery has been crafting seasonal brews for more than 25 years. In his own words:

"It's grown to be a bigger piece of the business."

Goose Island Beer Company reported a sales increase of 22% more in seasonal brews in 2010, compared to the their numbers in 2009. And years later, seasonal flavors are still in high demand. Brand Director Adam Lilly had this to say about those special recipes that hit the market temporarily throughout the year:

"Our growth in seasonals has continued every year and continues to grow."

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Best Flavors For Fall 

The pumpkin spice craze could very well be the signature of 2016 seasonal flavors. But why pumpkin? Marketing researchers at Nielsen report that 2015 ranked pumpkin flavored beer as number five in seasonal favorites. Pumpkin flavored cider was number 12. They expect those rankings to rise this year.

If you crafted a pumpkin spice seasonal beer recipe, you should expect to see noticeable rewards for your efforts, especially during the months of August, September and October. That's when the majority of pumpkin flavored products fly off the shelves. Check out these numbers where pumpkin seasonal beer sales rose phenomenally, comparing total sales in 2012:

  • August 2013 pumpkin beer sales increased 366%.

But don't think that you've missed the market just because the high sales seasonal quarter of August-October is practically over. Although more than 90% of seasonal pumpkin flavored brews sell during that time, beer producers also enjoy about 70% of seasonal sales throughout November. 

Who Is Going Craft Beer Crazy?

Millennials seem to be fueling the craft beer craze. Probably because they like experimenting with new things. Their culture is marked by a preference for items that are locally made or created through sustainable methods. Community oriented, they like the idea of a small, independent brewing company rather than a corporate conglomerate model. When trying to craft a brand, this is the generation to reach because Millennials are the largest group in the consumer population with buying power of more than $170 billion annually.

Here are a few tips on how to market to Millennials:

  • Digital Marketing: 24% of Millennials claim technology as their hallmark characteristic.
  • Philanthropy: One third of Millennials are brand-name skeptics. Rather than be impressed by the success of a large corporation, Millennials are impressed by commitment to philanthropy.
  • Top 3: The top three attributes that will capture Millennial brand loyalty are: trustworthiness, creativity, & intelligence.

Fine Tuning A Hyper-Segment

Successful Millennial marketing should take it a step further by creating multiple hyper-segments of this consumer group. Not every Millennial is exactly the same despite similarities that are widespread. Data filters can further define areas through sub-groups such as those who primarily rely on marketing through their mobile device or social media. There are Millennials known as urban hipsters, strong professional women, and others considered under-employed who still live at home with their parents. Advertising professionals have defined as many as 12 distinct Millennial sub-groups, each with their own unique characteristics that set them apart from the others.

Putting It All Together

In the end, a craft beer brewery has to gather all the data and put it together in an effective marketing strategy. Why not trust marketing professionals to do it for you?

Experts with experience in the best media promotions can capture the best of a seasonal market and maximize your Millennial market potential.

20 Low Cost Marketing Tactics for Craft Alcohol Brands


Tags: Craft Beer Marketing