CraftBeers_Blog_504x309Shoppers want products in stores that are local, different and rarely seen elsewhere. These types of products draw shoppers in and, if retailers keep updating the range, they keep coming back for more too. From a retailers perspective an ideal product shouldn’t be very price sensitive and should be easy to add value to in the store.

Sales of craft beers up 31%

The one product category that ticks all of these boxes is craft beers. They have become so popular that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have added craft beer to the list of products that they use to work out UK inflation. Craft beers are now 2% of beer volume sales and are growing by 31%. According to Nielson 600,000 new consumers were added in the past year. Mintel claim that in the past 6 months 1 in 5 people have consumed a craft ale.

Wide range of choice

The great thing about craft beer is that there are some many different types to choose from which makes is easy for retailers to stand out from their competitors. Many of the craft brewers are also happy to create own label versions too. The National Trust use this technique with different locally brewed beers at different locations.  Stores like Marks & Spencers sell own labeled craft ales. You could even get them named after your town, your store or even for a one off event such as a wedding or even Christmas.

Adding value in the store

All of this choice could make it difficult for shoppers to actually select which beers to buy. There are two ways that retailers can help them. The first is a typical promotion such as a mixed selection of something like 5 for the price of 4. This reduces the risk to the shopper if they don’t like one of the beers and is a good spur to get initial sales moving.  Because craft beers are not yet price sensitive I’d recommend not doing too many promotions. You don’t need to.

Make it easy to buy with good signage

The second way to really add value to shoppers is to provide small signs under each beer explaining the source of the beer, what it tastes like and what it goes well with. Exactly the same as many retailers do with wine. However, many sucessful retailers are much more informal with beers than they are with wines. Tell stories in the signage to make it really powerful. Keep these messages informal and also have fun with it on other signage in the store arround products that go well with specific beers. This informality and localised wording will make each of your stores stand out from competitors who use “standard” signage across the whole country.