McCannBlue say “Craft Beer companies must seize the moment’’


McCannBlue say “Craft Beer companies must seize the moment"

By Colette Sexton, Sunday Business Post

We did an excellent piece of research recently on the growing craft beer and cider market and called it ''The Discovery Beer and Cider Report''. This week, Susan Kelly, our Strategic Director was interviewed by Colette Sexton of the Sunday Business Post and here is the article, as it was published on Sunday March 8th 2015

''The time is ripe for craft beer makers to become trailblazers in the alcohol market, according to Susan Kelly, Strategic Director at McCannBlue. The advertising agency carried out a report into the beer and cider market in Ireland and found that 60% of people did not know any craft beers. ''The market is akin to America in the 1850's when people were exploring the new frontier to the West. It's a grandiose analogy, but it's apt.

According to a report by the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland, craft beers accounted for about 1.2% of the entire beer market in 2014, compared to 7.8% in the US. Kelly said this showed that there was huge potential for craft brewers to expand their sales, describing it as an untapped market''.

She also said that the McCannBlue report found that beer drinkers were not part of a ''homogeneous market'' because not all people trying new beers and ciders are the same or have the same motivators or values''. Instead there are three main types of people who drink beer: explorers, who try new beers of their own accord; pioneers, who are experts with a thirst for knowledge; and settlers. This last group is divided into followers, who are looking for group participation and projectors who are looking for sophisticated and artisan products.

Kelly said marketers and advertisers should focus on pioneers. The pioneers are the taste-makers. They like to talk to their friends about new beers. They seek out information on new beers online. They'll encourage their friends to try these new things'', she said.

She said the majority of people were settlers, and changed their habits at a slower rate.

Kelly said that craft brewers needed to come together to educate people about their drinks, to ensure members of the public were confident when selecting a new beer. The report found that 70% of people want to learn more about craft beers.

The craft community needs to come together to educate the consumer. That's really important going forward because there is real potential in the craft beer and wider continental beer market to end up like the wine market, where people default to price first due to a lack of knowledge, Kelly said.

She said that individual craft brewers must work on their brand story, decide what makes them different and promote it.

''The way you get people to try and adopt a new beer or cider brand in Ireland has changed. In the 1980's brands usedhuge TV and outdoor campaigns. That doesn't have to be the way anymore. It is now happening through word of mouth'', she said.

She said that the online space was very important and that smart brands were targeting bloggers who are passionate about beer and cider.

Offline still had a major impact, she said and brewers needed to use taps, point of sale and packaging to get noticed. They should also be targeting barmen and women to promote their drinks. ''Successful beer and cider brands in the future will be those who target a sizeable and profitable segment with relevant and meaningful strategies based on consumer insight, she said''.

McCannBlue has carried out extensive research on the Discovery Beer and Cider category. The quantitative research which was a nationally representative online survey* of 1011 adults aged 18+ and asked about their consumption behaviours, category interests, motivations and barriers regarding Discovery Beer and Cider, was carried out independently by Amarach Research. The qualitative work including friendship groups was completed by Susan Kelly. We also commissioned independent film maker David Wolfe to develop a short film piece on the changing bar scene.

If you are interested in hearing about this presentation in more detail, call Susan Kelly at McCannBlue on 01-2343900 or email her