Craft Beer Sales Boom Online Through COVID-19
A study of just under 17,000 Australian craft beer drinkers has revealed a significant change to consumer purchasing channels with a big increase in online as a direct result of COVID-19.
Created by craft beer retailer Beer Cartel, the 2020 Australian Craft Beer Survey is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken with Australian craft beer drinkers. It is the fifth year the study has been run.
Richard Kelsey, Director of Beer Cartel said the growth of craft beer sales online was of no real surprise for him as Beer Cartel had been living this growth over the past year.
“We’ve seen first-hand this switch to online and know the pressure it has put on our own business, with two to three years growth compressed into just one. We’ve had to double our staff and re-engineer our processes to keep up with the massive increase in demand. And while that is just our business, I’m sure it is being reflected across the whole industry,” said Mr Kelsey.
Key findings of the research included:
Black Hops has been voted Australia's best craft brewery. For the first time consumers have chosen Black Hops Brewery on Queensland's Gold Coast as Australia's best, followed by Balter and Bentspoke.
COVID-19 has significantly increased online purchasing. Prior to COVID-19 38% of drinkers had purchased beer online in the last year. This has increased significantly with 53% of all respondents having purchased beer online since April this year.
Online purchasing has been strongly driven by Australian brewery websites and Australian craft beer speciality websites. Brewery website purchasing has doubled from 14% in 2019 to 28% in 2020. Similarly, purchasing from craft beer speciality websites has increased from 19% in 2019 to 27% in 2020.
Consumers have shown strong support for Australian independent craft breweries through COVID-19. Drinkers indicated since COVID-19 they were purchasing less Australian and international mainstream beer while local and Australian craft beer purchases increased. This coincides with increased awareness in the Independent Seal (60% awareness) and 93% of respondents agreeing that 'Australian breweries need our support more than ever'.
COVID-19 appears to have impacted consumers very differently. While for some their weekly spend on beer during COVID-19 has dropped, for a large, particularly during COVID-19 peak (April - May 2020), spend increased as people began stocking up on beer at home similar to other commodities.
Steve Blick, Ecommerce Head for Stone & Wood, said their brewery had experienced a similar surge in online sales as a result of COVID-19.
“Shortly after the country went into lockdown it felt like online sales of beer was the new toilet paper and we experienced a bit of a spike in people purchasing directly from our online store. A lot of these people were buying beer online for the first time, so we definitely felt the pressure to try and provide a really good experience for them,” said Mr Blick.
To learn more about the 2020 Australian Craft Beer Survey visit: http://www.beercartel.com.au/blog/2020-australian-craft-beer-survey-results/
High resolution images and interviews available on request.
Director, Beer Cartel
Phone: 0405 251 864
Email: [email protected]