Artisan beers popular with a third of drinkers in US, finds Mintel

Craft beers: growing in popularity in the US

A third of US beer drinkers are drinking craft beers produced in the US in favour of imported products, according to the latest research from Mintel.

It found only a modest percentage of beer drinkers (13%) say they prefer domestic craft or microbrew beers (compared to 43% for domestic and 22% for imported), but an impressive 59% say they like to try them, and 51% would try more craft or microbrew beers if they knew more about them.

Consumer education is the key to cultivating growth in the craft/microbrew market, says Mintel.

“Craft beers have increased in popularity in the past five years, and enjoyed a boost in their consumer base,” said Garima Goel-Lal, senior analyst at Mintel. “Craft beer is most popular with the 25-34-year-old crowd, so manufacturers would be wise to target this demographic and educate them more about artisan beers.”

However, price is a deterrent for some drinkers when it comes to trying or purchasing craft beers. Forty-one percent of drinkers only enjoy craft/ microbrew beers as a treat because they are expensive. Meanwhile, 29% report drinking less craft beer than they did a year ago because of the price. But the market still shows resilience, as 29% of consumers who report drinking more beer than they did a year ago say they are drinking more craft/microbrew beer as an affordable luxury.

“The recession hit many industries hard, and the beer market was no exception,” said Goel-Lal. “The good news is, it appears the influence of the recession is becoming less pronounced on the beer market in terms of losing volume. The number of beer drinkers who are drinking less beer has decreased since 2009.”

Mintel’s research also found the package their beverage of choice comes in is just as important as the beer itself for the consumer: 63% of beer drinkers prefer a bottle, 20% prefer to drink their beer from a can and 8% are partial to draft beer served from a large container. Just 2% prefer a keg.