“Craft beer”: UK drinkers puzzled by what the term actually means

When it comes to beer, many Brits are still unsure as to what the term “craft” actually means, acording to new research from Mintel, published today.

Mintel says the findings highlight a strong demand for alcoholic drink companies to create a definition, as 59% of those who buy alcoholic drinks say it’s important that the alcohol industry defines what is meant by the term ‘craft drinks’.

Today, a third (33%) of Brits who buy alcoholic drinks say it is hard to tell which brands are ‘craft’ and 30% say they don’t understand what the term ‘craft’ means. Despite this, over a third (38%) of Brits purchased a craft alcoholic drink in the three months to November 2015.

When it comes to their own definition, a unique flavour is most widely used to define an alcoholic drinks brand as ‘craft’, cited by 47% of Brits. Other factors include a brand which uses high quality ingredients (42%), takes more time or care in production (41%) and one which produces drinks in small volumes, for instance a microbrewer (41%).

And it seems that “small is beautiful” for craft drinkers. Over a third (35%) of Brits who buy alcoholic drinks say that brands cannot be ‘craft’ if they are acquired by large companies and 28% agree that brands cannot be ‘craft’ if they get too large in size. Indeed many Brits are keen to support the little guys, as over half (54%) of those who buy alcoholic drinks say that buying craft alcoholic drinks is a good way to support small businesses.

We’ll have more on craft beer, and on Mintel’s research, in the April issue of Wholesale News.

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