BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends

2017 BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends – A 5 Year Comparison of Survey Data

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Comparing BC Craft Beer Consumer Data from 2013 to 2017

Since 2013 we have collected consumer data in the annual BC Craft Beer Survey. Each year the majority of questions remain consistent as a measurement too to gauge shifting preferences over time. With five years of data we can see trends and an evolving mindset in the BC craft beer consumer.

As with all survey data, the trends here must be understood for what they are. This is a representation of those consumers that are engaged in craft beer and not British Columbians or beer drinkers as a whole. As the craft beer market share grows there is also a shifting demographic and consumer group that would be defined as being engaged in craft beer.

The first trend is as to the age of craft beer drinkers. Since starting the survey in 2013 we have seen a shift to an older population. The proportion of consumers between the ages of 19 and 34 has seen significant decline while consumers between the ages of 43 and 57 have seen significant rise. Since 2017 the largest age group has shifted from being 27-34 to being 35-42.

BC Craft Beer Trends - Consumer Age

Over the past 5 years the percentage of consumers drinking 3-5 days per week has remained relatively consistent as the largest group. The number of drinkers drinking 6-7 days per week has shrunk however and the number of drinkers consuming beer 1-2 days per week or less has increased. There appear to be more casual beer drinkers today than there were 5 years ago.

BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends

Over the past 5 years the average number of beer events attended has been flat at just over 2 per person per year. The number of breweries visited per consumer has increased however from a low of 3.95 in 2013 to a high of 7.61 in 2017.

BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends

With the rise in brewery attendance it should come as no surprise that the brewery being reported as the primary place of consumption has also risen. In 2017 the percentage of consumers that reported the brewery as their primary place of consumption surpassed that of a bar or pub for the first time at just under 20% of respondents. Home remains the largest primary consumption location but has seen decline since 2013.

BC Craft Beer Trends - Primary Purchase Location

Similar to the primary place of consumption, the primary place of purchase has also changed over time. BC private liquor stores have seen decline in recent years but remain the most prevalent response. Since starting the survey in 2013 the brewery has surpassed Government liquor stores as a primary purchase location among craft beer drinkers.

BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends

Perhaps the largest shift in consumer preferences can be seen in packaging format preferences. The Bomber (650ml) bottle has been the preferred format since 2013 but has seen significant decline nearly every year. A similar trend can be seen in single serve bottles. Growlers also appear to be losing some traction with cans taking up the slack. Standard sized cans have grown significantly with large format cans climbing from near non-existence to being second to only bomber bottles in 2017.

BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends

When asked what the most important factor is when making a beer purchase decision, flavour remains the most important factor but has seen a continued decline year over year. The most significant change here comes in the ranking of Style seeing a continued increase in importance.

BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends

When asked to rank decision factors on a scale of one to five, style, reputation and brewery are seen as being most important with brewery location, packaging, review and price being least important. In general the importance of most factors have decreased over the five year study period. Coinciding with a large increase in beer variety availability this could suggest an increased willingness to try new beers without being prompted by external motivation.

BC Craft Beer Consumer Trends

In five years we have seen a lot of change in BC Craft Beer. Dozens of new breweries have opened and the number of beers available has increased exponentially. We have seen the introduction of BC Liquor Store Cold Zones, increased availability of new new packaging formats and even a few breweries have closed.

With all this change, there are shifts in the numbers too, but for the most part they are less dramatic than the industry itself. What do you think? Where will the numbers go next year and what changes will shape the beer that you and I will be enjoying tomorrow?

Leave your comments below.



About Author

Dustan Sept

Dustan Sept is the founder of Beer Me BC. His passion for craft beer drove the creation of beermebc.com in 2012. To learn more about the beermebc.com editorial team visit beermebc.com/the-beer-me-bc-team/.

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