When conducting alcohol market research, it’s essential to understand the unique dynamics that drive the industry. With the rise of craft brews, flavoured spirits, wine and more, alcohol sales and consumption have become a major sector of the global market. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 things to consider when researching the alcohol market.
The alcohol market can be complex to research, so it helps to start with a comprehensive understanding of the top-level trends. In the USA, for example, total alcohol sales increased by 4% in 2019, driven by an 8.9% growth in craft beer. This was followed by an increase in wine sales of 4.9%, and a 2.7% increase in spirits sales. These figures highlight the growing demand for craft beer and flavoured spirits, and therefore should influence how companies target their market research.
Beyond understanding the overall trends, there are several other elements to consider when researching an alcohol market. Firstly, regionalisation is important. Different countries and regions have different regulations and consumption habits, so understanding the local context can help to determine how best to conduct research. It’s also important to research customer demographics. Age, gender, education, income et cetera influence how the marketplace looks and changes.
Second, monitoring changes in distribution and sales volume is important. In 2019, for instance, the rise of e-commerce as an alcohol sales channel increased substantially. Companies can track changes in distribution solutions either through market research conducted directly or through market insight provided by data providers. This research can give a detailed picture of how the alcohol industry distributes its products, consumer preferences, and can also inform future marketing strategies.
Thirdly, technology plays an increasingly important role in the alcohol market. This can range from determining the most effective way to deliver products to customers to leveraging digital marketing to connect with a wider global audience. Understanding how tech companies can support the alcohol industry is essential for conducting market research and staying up to date with the latest developments.
Fourth, foodservice market research into the alcohol market is essential for understanding customer behaviour. Tracking menu item popularity, customer reviews, local promotional activities and pricing structures can go a long way to increasing reach and revenue. For instance, menu analysis data can show which alcoholic drinks are particularly popular with which demographic groups. This kind of insight can help to target marketing campaigns accordingly.
Fifth, the liquid ingredients used in alcoholic beverages often play a big role in determining customer preferences. Knowing what types of ingredients are used in different beverages can help companies make informed decisions about which products to promote. To do this, market research needs to be conducted to gain insights into the types of ingredients used, pricing and customer feedback.
Sixth, companies must factor in market size when conducting their research. Understanding the size of the alcohol market in individual markets, both in terms of geographical coverage and verticals, is important for understanding potential future growth.
Seventh, companies should consider local trends. For instance, the increase in “dry January” campaigns over the past few years highlights a trend in consumers limiting their alcohol intake for a month. Being aware of such behaviour can make a big difference when formulating market plans.
Eighth, when researching the alcohol market, companies should remember to look beyond the numbers. Understanding customer sentiment and behaviour is essential, and requires companies to utilise a variety of sources. This can range from consumer trends to reviews on social media to better understand what customers want.
Ninth, companies should look into the competitive landscape of the alcohol market. Looking at the types of beverages different companies are selling, as well as the pricing and promotion strategies they use, can help to provide businesses with an idea of how best to target their research and potential areas for growth.
Finally, it’s essential to factor in emerging trends. For example, the demand for low-calorie and healthy alcoholic drinks is growing, driven by the emergence of natural and organic produce and dietary trends. To remain competitive, companies must pay attention to such changes.
Overall, conducting research into an alcohol market can be a complex and challenging task. By identifying and capitalising on the top 10 considerations for alcohol market research outlined in this article, companies can gain a better understanding of the ever-evolving industry and position themselves for long-term success.