Cheers to the beer industry!

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It may be dry January for many, but here at onefourzero, a number of exciting product developments in the beer industry is making us thirsty. Beer is cool once again, thanks to new trends and innovative products reaching the market in the past couple of years.

For a while it seemed like the traditional pint had started to be put aside as a drink for the older generation, while millennials turned to funky cocktails. Well, no more – exciting trends in the craft beer market (mainly by way of aggressively marketing it as ‘cool’) have come to save the day. Although the beer industry was never in jeopardy thanks to its many ever-loyal drinkers, its positioning as an Artisanal drink is embracing younger drinkers and new demographics. As a result, the number of independent breweries has risen.

According to CGA, compared to 10 years ago, Britons are now drinking less, but better – and beer is responsible for almost half of all on-trade drinks sales in the UK, accounting for 69% of the value share of the market. With the cost per pint wavering between £2.35 and £5.19 across the country (no prizes for guessing which price represents London…), this is also a sector that welcomes the widest public.

But what kind of beer are people currently buying? Check the most interesting trends in the breweries right now…

Craft beer and IPAs

After an explosion in this market around the world, up to 10 million people are searching for craft beer and IPAs on Google every month now, being 1 million just in the UK. This has increased tenfold over the past 4 years – in December 2014, only 100,000 searches were made for these terms in the country. Furthermore, overall online sentiment towards craft beer and IPAs is very positive, with only 9% being negative over the course of 2018.

Cannabis-infused beer

This popular trend in Canada is now also growing in the UK. With more and more countries legalising cannabis, could people want to drink it rather than smoke? Online commenters are calling the product a “miracle”, while others remind users that the drink doesn’t necessarily causes psychoactive effects (it uses CBD oil instead, a common ingredient in other cannabis products such as health supplements, although studies about ingredients are ongoing). However, there are still a number of legal issues surrounding this product that investors would need to consider.

Low-alcohol beer

As our recent blog showed, the popularity of boozeless beverages is increasing. In the beer market, this also applies to their non- and low-alcohol alternatives, with Google searches for terms related to ‘low alcohol beer’ increasing from under 1000 searches a month at the end of 2014 to up to 10,000 searches a month by the end of 2018. However, this industry continues to have some negative stereotypes put towards it, with 41% of online sentiment towards low-alcohol beer products being negative, compared to 23% positive.

This may be caused by posts from alcohol drinkers mocking the idea – but for people looking to not drink as much, it is a great alternative, reason why the trend is steadily growing. Those commenting on it positively describe it as “great for a balanced life”, and “light, full of flavour and yet low in alcohol”. As these products become more popular, negative connotations with the idea will likely lessen.

According to the Beer Barometer sales data from the British Beer & Pub Association, sales in the third quarter of 2018 were up 4.4% on the same period in 2017, probably pushed by the World Cup. While the beer industry remains cautious because of Brexit, the overall scenario is optimistic, especially since the Chancellor’s decision to freeze beer duty and cut business rates for thousands of pubs in the latest Budget.

It seems now is a good time to invest in the beer industry, as so many innovative products and ideas are creating new trends. If you want to seize on this exciting opportunity, why not get in touch with onefourzero to discuss how we can support you in identifying the fastest growing assets with our digital due diligence service?

For more information on how onefourzero’s digital data & market analysis can help you understand a brand’s equity and leverage trends in your product and campaign development, click here or contact