Thirst for growth

29. April 2020
by Teun van der Zijden

The simple days where brewers just made beer, have long gone. Consumers have become increasingly conscious about their alcohol and calorie intake, and when they do decide to indulge in an alcoholic beverage, they want to make it count. As a consequence, specific pockets of growth have popped up over the past decade, ranging from light beer to craft beer and from cider to radler, the beer-lemonade mix of German origin.

Hard seltzer is the newest craze in town. The mixture of flavoured soda water and alcohol is winning over the younger drinker by storm, starting in the US but already making its way across the pond. Like with many innovations in the alcoholic beverage space, the market is being created not by the beer majors but by fresh, challenger brands.

Interestingly, brewers adopt different strategies in trying to jump on the bandwagon. Where some decide to launch - or acquire - their own, dedicated seltzer brands, others choose to leverage their marketing power and introduce their seltzer variations under their own, existing umbrella brands. Evidently, the efficient marketing machines behind the largest beerco's are well suited to create brand awareness and support distribution. But whether the elusive Younger Consumer, so sought after by all brewers, will buy into this branding strategy, remains to be seen. If the fate of some of the most prominent craft beers is something to go by, there's no guarantee for sustained success...

(Article in Dutch only)

The views reflected in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms

De bierconsumptie neemt in Nederland nog wel toe, met bijna 3% in 2018. Maar de toename komt niet uit traditioneel pils. Alcoholvrije en speciaalbieren noteren de meeste groei. De consument is in voor alternatieve drankjes.