Sales of Craft Beer Soar, Set to Triple by 2017

Filed under: Bites & Bits , Author: Caron Golden , January 28, 2013

While the economic downturn has affected consumer spending across many sectors, craft and craft-style beers are defying recessionary trends with an impressive upward trajectory. Indeed, latest research by Mintel on the craft-beer market in the United States shows that sales of craft beer nearly doubled between 2007 and 2012—increasing from $5.7 billion in 2007 to $12 billion in 2012.

Fireman’s Brew, Inc., a Los Angeles-based craft-beer company founded by two firefighters, offers a Pilsner-style lager (Blonde), a German-style Doublebock (Brunette) and an amber ale (Redhead).

Moreover, the trend toward craft-beer options is set to enjoy robust growth through 2017, with Mintel forecasting the segment to grow to $18 billion by 2017—a result that will see the segment tripling in the decade between 2007 and 2017.

“While the craft and craft-style beer category remains a small segment of the $78 billion U.S. beer industry, the category has been able to stabilize the overall beer industry, which has experienced volume declines in the domestic and imported-beer categories since 2008,” says Jennifer Zegler, beverage analyst at Mintel.

The rise of craft beer in the United States has been supported by increasing consumer demand. Nearly a quarter (24%) of consumers who drink beer indicate that in 2012 they drank more craft beer sold at stores compared to 2011. Meanwhile, more than one in five (22%) report consuming more craft beer in bars or restaurants.

While overall some 36% of U.S. consumers drink craft beer, half (50%) of older Millennials (25 to 34 years old) do so. And craft beer also wins on taste. Some 43% of both Millennials and Generation X say that craft beer tastes better than domestic beer, compared to 32% of Baby Boomers.

Craft beer is not free from challenges. Only 17% of Millennials and 18% of Generation X say that craft beer is a better value. Instead, a majority (56%) of consumers of all ages feel that domestic beer is a better value compared to craft beer. Nearly half (45%) of consumers would try more craft beers if they knew more about them.

Mintel research found that 50% of overall craft-beer drinkers express interest in locally made beer, and 25% are interested in purchasing craft beer where it was brewed. Another 39% say they are influenced to purchase a craft beer if it has a personality to which they can relate.

“Buying local is not limited to supporting one’s home base; it also provides consumers with the ability to support towns that they do not currently call home,” Zegler says.

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Caron Golden


Founder of premier organization of personal chefs inspires students to follow their dreams of culinary entrepreneurship.

Candy Wallace, executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), today was recognized by Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies as its 33rd Distinguished Guest Chef.

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