The beer industry is bustling right now, filled with new
customers, new beers and new opportunities. As a result, the
brewery industry is also attracting a lot of interest, from people
wanting to start their own breweries to
investors looking to support the growth.
One of the critical things to ask when entering the industry is:
Who is my customer?
If you're starting a brewery or looking to expand your
existing operation, you must carefully consider this answer.
It's often not nearly as simple as it sounds.
Most companies who enter the 'craft' beer industry make
the assumption that the craft beer drinker is their target
customer. That may be true, but quite often that is far from
reality. Take time to consider the following things:
What channels of distribution have you chosen? If you
are focused on the restaurant and pub sector, you need to truly
consider the patrons of each venue. Pub customers are different
from casual dining customers, for example. Their drinking patterns
and their choices are radically different. If you are focused on
retail, you need to understand that females do much of the beer
shopping in Canada. What will attract them to purchase your
What is the flavour profile of your beer? If
you are creating a beer with big, bold flavours and aromas, then
the craft beer consumer should definitely be on your radar. If you
design a beer that has some decent body but is quite sessionable,
then you are probably closer to attracting the mainstream
The majority of beer consumed in Canada is still
mainstream. It is estimated that 60-80% of all beer
drinkers are shopping for light, discount, standard lagers and
premium lagers. It is much easier to move a standard lager drinker
slightly up the ladder than to make them take a leap of faith into
the world of bold beers.
The micro industry is relatively small. Only
6% of beer consumed in Canada is in the micro or craft segment. The
import segment commands 15% share of the market and quite often,
these drinkers enjoy both imports and craft beers.
Creating a well-researched
business plan and understanding your beer, your brewery and
your customer will really open doors for you.
MNP is releasing a whitepaper in early 2015 on strategies to
benefit food & beverage processors of any size, at any stage in
your business lifecycle. If you're interested receiving this
free whitepaper, please
sign up here.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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