The craft brewing industry has experienced rapid growth in the last ten years and with this growth comes unique challenges and opportunities for differentiation. The industry contributed $55.5 billion to the us economy in 2014 and created more than 424, 000 jobs. According to the Brewer’s Association, most Americans live within ten miles of a craft brewery. This industry holds a prominent position in American culture and is only growing. Americans consume 20.3 gallons of beer per capita each year.
The top challenges facing the industry today are: responsible marketing, environmental impacts, and community involvement. Responsible marketing is marketing only to those that are allowed to use the product and is something that brew companies take ver seriously. MillerCoors states that “its simple: 21 means 21. We work with a number of partners, including local law enforcement, parents, retailers, distributors, universities, community groups and industry associations, to help prevent the underage access to alcohol”.
An entire movement around sustainability has evolved in the last decade and it has become the relevant thing to incorporate into business structure across industries. Trends in the brewing industry have centered around becoming more environmentally conscious in brewing practices and internalizing social costs that beer contributes to. For example, Sierra Nevada utilizes over “10,000 on-site solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells to power its facilities, is one of the country’s largest privately-owned photovoltaic systems”. This transition to becoming more sustainable works well with the agile structure of many craft brew and microbrew companies.
Another example of initiatives breweries are making is with Heineken. They have instituted a recycling bottle program that aims to reduce the amount of materials used when packaging their productWe are an organization who aims to create awareness about this type of sustainability in the brewing industry. We particularly want to reach and inform millennials, who are the main consumers of craft beer in the United States.
The demographic for the beer consumer is very wide and spans across a multitude of generations and many different types of people. Our target demographic is the millennial generation and we chose this for several reasons:
- According to a 2011 study by the Harris Poll, 37% of Millennials say beer is their drink of choice, compared to 41% of Generation Xers
- Craft beers have found a way to appeal to 49 percent of Millennials and 40 percent of Gen Xers, but just 29 percent of Baby Boomers and 22 percent of Swing Generation/World War II
- Woman make up only a quarter of the population that drinks beer, but that number is steadily increasing as more variety of beer types and styles are being introduced to the market
- Education: 42.6% of consumers have a bachelor’s degree, 21.1% have a master’s degree, 8.5% have a PHD
Through our social media outlets, we are attempting to get our content out to the millennials in order to spread information about the brewing industry.