Raft of events taking place in Scotland could help beer sales
OUTLETS that offer their customers a varied range of quality world beers could be well placed to take advantage of this year’s sporting and cultural events.
Although world beer has been a vibrant sector in the trade for several years now, beer firms reckon a potential influx of visitors from overseas this year could pique interest for the category in Scottish bars and pubs.
“There are a host of brilliant sporting events this year which I am sure the on-trade will be licking their lips about,” said Peter Karsten, managing director of World Beers, importer of the Amazon, Schöfferhofer and Huber beers.
“With these international events coinciding nicely with the rise in interest in the craft beer scene, which has demonstrated that consumers want to discover new tastes and trial different beers from smaller, niche producers around the world, operators shouldn’t be scared to stock an array of different craft and specialty beers from home and abroad.”
Simon Green, marketing director of Global Brands, the firm behind the Buddy’s and Amigos brands, said summer 2014 “will be an exciting time for the Scottish on-trade”.
“Undoubtedly the combination of the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the influx of international tourists will increase the demand for world beer,” said Green.
World beer drinkers are looking for stylish and authentic products.
“For some consumers it will be a prerequisite to the international sporting experience, for others the sporting celebrations will be the perfect inspiration to explore world drinks.”
World beers present an “excellent profit opportunity” for licensees this year, according to Hugo Mills, sales and operations director for Scotland at Molson Coors – the firm behind Cobra and Staropramen. But stocking the right products is key.
“World beer drinkers are looking for stylish and authentic products that have a unique taste and story,” said Mills.
“With people travelling to more exotic places, their knowledge of beers from around the world is increasing, as is their willingness to experiment and try something new.
“Outlets need to tailor their range with this in mind.”
From German wheat beers to American lagers, ‘world beer’ as a category clearly covers a lot of ground. And the best ranges will incorporate a variety of different styles, according to Graham Archibald, national account director at Morgenrot, distributor of world beers that include Alhambra, Krombacher and Quilmes.
“It’s not essential to stock one of every style but I would recommend providing a scope of different styles, ABVs, taste profiles and also take into account your food offering,” he said.
“Look for beers with a point of difference whether it’s due to beer style, brewing techniques, heritage, packaging, provenance, food matching qualities, ABV or flavour.
“Consumers are continuing to be more experimental and discerning so make sure you have some world beers with the wow factor.”
Licensees considering which brands to stock should take inspiration from the range of events taking place in Scotland this year, said Chris Mitchell, beer brand manager at Chilli Marketing, the firm behind the Saint, Cusquena and Abro brands in the UK.
Mitchell said the nationalities participating in these events should have a direct influence on which brands operators stock.
“These events will draw in consumers from differing nationalities, something operators can capitalise on through themed events and promotions,” said Mitchell.
“Operators should stock brands which target the nationalities of these events. Highlight these on menus to add intrigue and engagement with the consumer.”
In fact, how an outlet promotes its world beer range could be almost as important as the range itself.
Jonathan Barnes, national account manager at Budvar UK, who handles the company’s Scottish sales, advised licensees to offer customers samples of new world beers, as well as making sure that bar staff are knowledgeable about each of the brands they are selling.
“Make your commitment to the world beer idea on your website and in your social networking,” he said.
“List everything you usefully can about the beers you have. The importers or brand owners will be only too glad to help and give advance warning of new ones coming in.
“There’s always something to tell or sell about the category.”