Conventional wisdom says that craft beer is booming, but a new report published by marketing intelligence firm Mintel suggests that three in five UK drinkers would like to see the industry define what is meant by the term ‘craft’.
The Mintel study revealed some strong results for products already perceived as ‘craft’, with 38% of UK consumers said to have bought a ‘craft’ alcoholic drink in the three months to November 2015, however 30% of Mintel’s respondents said they do not understand what the term craft means.
When asked to provide their own definition, consumers most strongly associated craft with ‘unique flavour’ (47%), with other popular factors including the use of high quality ingredients (42%) and small-batch production (41%).
Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel, said the lack of an industry-agreed definition of craft “has not hindered the growth of craft so far”, but added “it has led to the term being misinterpreted and increasingly, misused”.
“Consumers are likely to become increasingly demanding of brands which claim ‘craft’, and the onus is on these brands to ensure that they can provide clear evidence of their craft credentials,” said Wisson.
“The uncertainty around the term dilutes its ability to differentiate brands or justify a higher price.
“This suggests the need to reference other, more tangible points of difference to capture customers’ attention.”