While consumer preferences seem to be shifting away from bigger brands, it’s no secret that craft beer is booming. Now, some new survey data indicates just how much consumers (and especially millennials) are spending on fancy beers.
According to a survey of over 2,000 Americans conducted by C + R Research, the average American between the age of 21 and 70 is spending $59 per month on craft brews. For men, the average monthly cost was $66, while women spent $50. Across the spectrum, almost all respondents said they imbibed a craft brew at least once in the past month. Just under half (49%) said they drink craft beer at least once a week, and 91% of them prefer craft labels over bigger brands overall.
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So what’s the attraction? A vast majority of respondents pointed to taste as something they specifically look for in craft beer. And they’re willing to pay more to get it: 76% said that price does not influence their decision-making when it comes to craft beer. What’s more, a full 86% said they’d be willing to pay more for a favorite craft brew, even if cheaper alternatives were readily available.
The survey data also helps explain and contextualize industry growth. 41% of survey respondents said they’d visited a brewpub or brewery in the past month, which might account for their explosion in the growth of breweries and taprooms. US Brewer’s Association data tells us there were more than 7,346 craft breweries operating in 2018, up from 6,490 the year before. And with 94% reporting that their craft beer intake is up from what it was last year, it seems that this growth is poised to continue.
As it turns out, millennials aren’t killing the craft beer industry. A majority (56%) said they drink craft beer at least once a week, and they spend slightly more ($63) than older drinkers on average.
The survey offers an interesting set of data points at a time when bigger breweries are looking to get their mojo and market share back. Consumers do like drinking beer, it seems, as long as it’s the good stuff. Some massive breweries have responded by adding craft brands to their portfolios, while others have explored less alcoholic options and fruitier brews. Overall, however, it would seem that rumors of beer’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.