A Whole World of Beer
Today’s consumers demand new tastes and flavours. Just look at the demand for flavoured ciders, premium spirits and cocktails as proof. And now it’s the turn of packaged beers and ciders, sales of which are already worth £2.4bn to the on-trade according to CGA – that’s bigger in total than vodka!
Stocking and selling packaged drinks gives operators a genuine growth driver, and brings new people into the beer category. Premium pricing, ease of storage and no wastage through excellent shelf life, drives profits too! Here’s how to maximize your sales…
Get the range right
Today’s consumers care about authentic beer brands and styles. They want to explore, matching their mood and venue to a drink that offers authenticity, quality and a taste profile that generates both excitement and refreshment. When picking your range therefore, you need to have beers for every palate:
Central & South America – Light in colour and easy drinking, with taste and mouth feel akin to what you’d expect from a mainstream USA beer like Budweiser. Watch out for the ABV’s though – some are higher than you’d expect. Look at Mexican and Caribbean beers too, like Corona, Sol, Red Stripe and Cusquena!
North America – American craft ales are often fuller bodied and stronger tasting than mainstream brews. Pale ales, IPA’s and some really original stouts are all available, and interest in American brews has never been higher – Samuel Adams Boston Lager is the world’s leading craft beer!
Australia/Asia – Normally well balanced, many of these beers use the very finest ingredients available to produce a beer that perfectly suits the cuisine of that area. Cobra with Indian food, Singha with Thai, Tsingtao with Chinese or Sapporo with Japanese for example. And why not add some fun to your menu with brands like New Zealand’s Yeastie Boys?
European – The range is endless; encompassing everything from heavy stouts and porters, to light and refreshing Pilsners, taking in oddballs like Weissbiers and high ABV Trappist ales. Specialist Belgian beers are enormous sellers – look to brands like Duvel, Chimay, Vedett, Liefman, Hoegaarden, Grimbergen and Leffe as your base and then add Austrian and German top guns like Stiegl, Erdinger, Warsteiner and Bitburger. Czechoslovakia should be represented by Pilsners Urquell, Budvar and Staropramen, and Italy by Peroni, Poretti, Ichnusa and of course Birra Moretti. Finally, add beers from Iberia, including Sagres and Portugal’s world best seller – Super Bock.
Know your audience
Customers love something different – and are prepared to pay for it. Establish your credentials as ‘the’ place to enjoy genuine world beers by:
• Hold themed events and world beer tastings
• Set up a beer club
• Use the branded and often innovative glassware available to ensure maximum impact and a perfect serve
• Offer foods to match world beer varieties
• Look out for limited editions
• Have clear displays of what’s available and what’s new – behind the bar and on POS
Toast the occasion
How better to drive world beers than to pair them with world events? Opportunities include:
• South American Beers and the Rio Paralympic Games starting 7 September
• American Beers and the Ryder Cup in Minnesota, USA starting 30 September
• Far Eastern brews and Formula 1’s races in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia
• Southern Hemisphere brews during November and December’s Rugby Union Internationals involving teams like Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa
• 16 days of ‘Oktoberfest’ – the perfect opportunity to launch your world Beers range with a focus on German Pilsners, accompanied by grilled sausages, chicken or duck, served with Knödel
(dumplings), red cabbage and raclett
Pair with food
Choosing a wine to suit the meal is the norm. However, nowadays more and more customers want to accompany their meal with beers from around the world.
Pick your beer stock so they can:
Complement – by matching flavours you can enhance enjoyment of both the dish and the beer. For example, dark beers go with red meats, game, venison, smoked and cured meats, chocolate and
cheese. Wheat beers go with fish and white meats.
Contrast – choose flavours that highlight the differences, working on the adage that opposites attract. Blonde beers with chocolate and cheese, and ales with red meat.
Cut – cleanse the palate while eating rich, fatty and spicy foods. IPA’s, lagers and pilsners are ideal.
And don’t ignore brews specifically designed for particular foods. Birra Moretti has launched two beers to go with Italian food – one that’s perfect with pasta, the other with raw and grilled seafood.
See Take Stock’s guide in the January/February 2016 edition for more information about food and beer matching – available online at www.takestockmagazine.com
Your world beer range needs to be served chilled, so take into account the key drivers for fridge revenue:
• Get your range right – based on CGA advice, your split should be 55% beer; 35% Cider and 10% RTD.
• Maximise visibility – 38% of consumers admit that what they see behind the bar influences their buying decision, so back up your fridge display with one at eye level that shows what’s available. Emphasise speciality too!
• Get the fridge layout right – dedicate the top shelf to new, innovative products. Next down, group together your key category brands and favourites. Finally, use the least visible areas for slower selling lines or top bar call names like J2O and Coca-Cola.
• Train staff – 32% of consumers are influenced by bar staff, so make sure yours can confidently promote your new products and promotions.
One of the beauties of World Beer is that there is a format for every size of outlet.
Cans: More and more brands are releasing their beers in 330ml format. Easy to store and stack in the fridge, cans cool quickly and colourful packaging attracts the eye. Easy opening makes them ideal for beer bucket deals too.
Bottles: The most common format and perfect for both fridge and back bar display. The premium bottled look, coupled to branded glassware allows premium pricing too.
Draught: Found your customers can’t get enough of world beers? Why not install best selling draughts? Top names include Cobra, Grolsch and Pravha – all with bar fonts and glassware that have real eye appeal!
“There is always scope for rotating premium lager and here licensees should balance popular premium options with introducing lesser-known ‘future favourites’ into the mix. Outlets should dedicate a significant portion of fridge space to premium bottled beers. By stocking premium brands, outlets can ‘premiumise’ the choice available for their consumers, driving increased rate of sale.” Scott Parker, trading manager for Beer & Cider, Molson Coors