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Craft Beer Endangering Iconic Brand

HallofFameMarketingBendigoCraftBeerDespite being a nation of beer drinkers, Australia is putting down its iconic ales and choosing the more niche market craft beers. And the ‘big brands’ are taking note and launching their own ‘craft beers’. Using information from a recent article in Ad News written by Sarah Homewood, we look at how some Australian brands have addressed this trend.

Beer consumption is sitting at a 65-year low, with a recent IBIS World report saying, per capita, beer consumption has declined sharply as drinkers give up traditional brands such as Victoria Bitter, in favour of premium beers and other beverages like cider and wine.

The report highlights that an overriding trend affecting the industry and its product ranges is a shift in consumer preferences from quantity to quality. With beer drinkers savouring more premium (and often times regional) craft and internationally branded beers, the increase in per-unit prices of these beers is offsetting the decline in consumption.

Such a demand has seen the number of microbreweries in Australia increase over the past decade to around 150 in 2014/15. The rebrand of Tooheys after 145 years with the roll out of their ‘Darling Pale Ale’ can be seen as a response to consumer demand. There is also a new Crown Golden Ale under the Tooheys brand. CUB has joined in with the introduction and expansion of its Matilda Bay craft portfolio under the Fat Yak brand, with Lazy Yak pale ale.

Many major and niche craft beer producers are also looking at the potentially lucrative female market which is said to be lower in consumption than in the US. Any player in the craft beer space will need to aware of the trends towards locally made and community-based products. The ‘Craft’ of beer making and the methods and persona of the brewer will play a much bigger role in the beer life cycle.

Social media has allowed for smaller players to build awareness and product trial where they historically would have struggled to get their products to market. The viral aspect of their digital presence has helped to build their brands. The rise of Craft Beer and Cider festivals at regional and metropolitan centres has also allowed exposure for these new players in the market.

What is your favourite beer? Do you try Craft Beers, and if so do you like them and drink them regularly?

With two hotel clients, Railway Hotel Castlemaine and Golden Square Hotel Bendigo, I have watched this growing industry over the last few years. The craft beer and ciders are growing in popularity with many hotels/pubs offering a large range on tap and bottled versions of their liquid delights. If you would like assistance with marketing your business, contact Hall of Fame Marketing Bendigo..

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