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Quest for Hoppiness – The Influence of Craft Beer Packaging

How to compete in a market segment as fast growing and diverse as Craft Beer?
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Quest for Hoppiness – The Influence of Craft Beer Packaging

Whether we are strolling around the aisles of supermarkets, browsing the menus of bars and restaurants or the pages of online shops – we are confronted with a growing number of craft beer brands.
More than 1,800 new craft beer creations hit the market last year. The immense growth not only challenges retailers to fill their limited store space with the most promising brands – it causes increasing competition among brewers.
How to Compete?
According to Nielsen’s most recent Craft Beer Category Design Audit 66% of American craft beer buyers say that package and label are “very” or “extremely” important for attracting their attention. 60% say that package and label are “very” or “extremely” important in convincing them to actually buy the beer. Overall, 71% state they like to try brands with bold and interesting packaging.
No Label – No Brand
In America craft beer is often sold in multipacks or carriers making them an influential part of the packaging. In comparison it is highly unusual to find craft beer in multipack formats in Europe. The beer is sold in single serve glass bottles, meaning the focus – and with it the role and power of the influencer – is on the labels.
While package and label design is relevant for all consumers, women (75%) are slightly more influenced by design than men (66%). The target consumer for craft beer is similar to that of any other beer. However, the demographics are evolving: according to Zenith Global women between 21-34 currently represent the biggest growth potential for the segment.
Capture Their Attention
The dominant packaging type in the craft beer sector is the glass bottle but cans are increasing in popularity. Pressure Sensitive Labels and Shrink Sleeves lend both container types the premium appearance that will make the difference when lining up with all the competitive brands on the shelves!
Self-adhesive labels offer the widest variety of sizes, shapes and design possibilities for limitless creative freedom to breath life into a brand. Additionally PSL come with decisive advantages for production efficiency, label performance and costs.
Shrink sleeves offer 360° decoration from top to bottom. To achieve an eye-catching look there are various materials, varnishes and special inks available.
Direct print decoration – especially for cans – is often associated with high minimum order quantities or even fees for small runs. In the craft beer segment runs are usually smaller und come with a vast range of designs. Due to the variety in brews and seasonal creations it is not suitable for the craft segment. In comparison PSLs and sleeves offer higher flexibility and faster turn-around times. Combined with digital printing they can easily fulfil the specific demands of any customer – whether large or small.
Innovation around packaging type, design and limited editions will continue to drive interest in the craft category and attract a wide variety of consumers. Knowing the target groups and their preferences when picking a beer from the shelf will define the successful brands of the future.