Weekly Newsletter from PROOF Insight

PROOF’s Craft Beer Report; Women’s World Cup brings boost to pubs; Cocktail drinkers and ABV

Research news

Craft breweries suffer in cost-of-living crisis

Craft breweries are among the worst affected by record inflation rates, with many independents struggling to keep afloat. According to international consultancy Mazars, 45 craft breweries went insolvent in the 12 months to the end of March 2023, compared to just 15 in the previous year. The rapid rise of craft beers led to an oversaturation of the market and fierce competition for spend from the price-conscious consumer. In addition, PROOF research has shown that 92% of brewers have witnessed a change in the cost of raw materials.

PROOF’s Craft Beer report found that craft drinkers are naturally experimental and eager to try new beers. Therefore, the craft beer consumer can be considered particularly disloyal to brands, with just 8% exhibiting brand loyalty to 1 or 2 brands. In light of the cost-of-living crisis, when driving repeat purchase is as important as ever, brewers find themselves with consumers that are disloyal to brands and are reducing their spend on ‘luxury’ items. Moreover, brewers are not only competing within their category: 72% of craft drinkers also regularly consume mainstream lager. With consumers being more risk-averse in times of economic hardship, they are turning to the familiar staples instead of trying new, small-batched and often more premium-priced craft beer.

Sources: PROOF’s “Craft Beer” Intelligence report, Drinks Business

Get your copy: PROOF Intelligence: The Craft Beer Report

Industry news

Women’s World Cup final provides a boost to pubs

Early signs suggest that pubs saw trading increases of between 14% and 28% due to the Women’s World Cup final on 20th August. Furthermore, the online booking service DesignMyNight reported a 138% increase in bookings compared to the previous Sunday. The boost may have been hampered by restrictions on licensing hours in many pubs as calls to alter licensing laws for special events are refreshed.

Sources: Morning Advertiser, DesignMyNight, British Beer & Pub Association

Cocktail drinkers want to know more about ABV

52% of cocktail drinkers see ABV as an important consideration, vs. 43% of all alcohol drinkers, according to PROOF’s latest Intelligence report. Drinkers failed to realise the variation in ABV between serves – underestimating the strength of Margaritas whilst overestimating the strength of Pina Coladas. Displaying ABV on menus is not common, although 45% would like to see it – this could help inform consumer choice, whether their motivation is indulgence or moderation.

Sources: PROOF Intelligence – The Future of Cocktails

Strange brews & news

What to pair with fast food…

Wine expert, Chris Cassell, believes that high-end alcohol isn’t just for fine dining, stating that a Big Mac goes perfectly with a red Burgundy and McChicken Nuggets pair with a Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Dead Man’s Finger has taken it to the next level by releasing the ‘finger liquor good’ rum blend inspired by KFC’s 11 secret herbs and spices. The rum is designed to be drunk with a splash of cola alongside a bucket of KFC.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Spirits Business

Investments, acquisition & openings

  • Star Pubs & Bars to add another 100 pubs to the Just Add Talent managed operator business by 2026
  • Delivery app Getir is to cut over a tenth of its global workforce
  • 42 Holborn, a Mediterranean all-day dining concept, is to open up in London later this year
  • Tom Kerridge announces plans to open a second Butcher’s Tap & Grill
  • The Ainsty, York, has reopened as a Hive Pub after £500,000 investment from Greene King
  • The Keel Tavern, Sunderland, will be opened in November by Vaulkhard Group
  • Sonas Capital have acquired The Acorn Brewery in South Yorkshire
  • Lima Group will relaunch it’s Covent Garden restaurant as Lima Cantina next month
  • Wine Valley has opened a cocktail bar and wine shop in Bicester in collaboration with Diageo

Sources: Propel, Restaurantonline.co.uk, Morning Advertiser

Product launches & campaigns

  • Hofmeister gains distribution in Loungers six years after being brought back to the market
  • Soho House is to open its first Scotland site in Glasgow
  • Brown-Forman’s El Jimador launches an inclusivity campaign, Reserved for Everyone, which aims to democratise high-end tequila
  • McGuigan announces plans to launch mid-strength wine at 7% abv
  • Union XV has launched its first gin, using ingredients from every continent
  • BrewDog has launched a scheme entitled “Beerometer”, which will see prices of lager in its bars drop in line with the outside temperature

Sources: Propel, Spirits Business, Langton Capital

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