Global Craft Beer Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% during the forecasting period (2022-2029).
Craft beer is one of the main types of beer that is processed with a traditional or non-mechanized procedure by small breweries. The American Brewer Association (ABA) defines a craft brewery as ‘small’, ‘independent’ and ‘traditional’. The annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less, refers to a small craft brewery. Whereas in an independent craft brewery, less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned and controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member. The demand for low-alcoholic beverages has been rising with the growing interest of health-conscious consumers. Wider choice of the new product range offered by key players with improved taste and low alcoholic content in beer for those of 2.8% ABV and less is driving the market. The global craft beer market is valued at USD XX million in 2020 and is forecasted to reach USD XX million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period (2022-2029). However, the threat from other alcoholic beverages, like wine, is one of the major hindering factors to the craft beer market.
Rising number of craft and microbreweries
The increasing socializing trends, especially among the millennials have increased the visits to the taprooms and brewpubs. This has also led to an increase in the development of small and independent breweries. Thus, breweries are improving beer production to cater to the surging demand of consumers. According to the Brewers Association, small and independent brewers in the U.S produced 26.3 million barrels of beer in 2019, with volume growth of 4% than the prior year. The craft production in 2019 accounted for 25.2% of the beer retail market in the U.S, which has supported the overall market growth.
Moreover, the emergence of numerous varieties of strong and flavorful craft beers in the market, such as honey-flavoured, fruit & spice, tart & funky and malty & sweet flavours has drawn consumers attention. The floral flavours such as chamomile, lavender, and elderflower add a subtle taste and smooth quality to the beers, along with balancing and complementing flavours. The inclusion of new ingredients and innovative flavours in beers have increasingly appealed to consumers worldwide.
Beer in general has been the subject of many government regulations. Regulations serve several objectives such as enhancing government revenues through beer taxes, protecting consumer health, protecting society from alcohol abuse, reducing the price of bread grains, and constraining market power. Similarly, with the surge in demand for craft beers, governments have endured two-way interaction with rules and regulations. On one hand, regulations have stimulated, or constrained craft brewing compared to microbrewers. On the other hand, the growth of craft brewing has induced changes in regulations that have facilitated the subsequent entry of craft breweries.
The on-trade segment is expected to dominate the global craft beer market, by distribution channel
The global craft beer market has been segmented by distribution channel into on-trade and off-trade. The on-trade segment is expected to hold the highest market share in the year 2020. The on-trade distribution refers to the sale of alcoholic drinks in bars, restaurants, clubs, pubs and other distribution channels in the hospitality industry. The on-trade craft beer is expensive as compared to off-trade; as a result, the craft beer market is growing substantially in developed economies on account of the high hospitality industry growth coupled with high consumers’ spending ability. The off-trade distribution (distribution through retail stores, wholesalers, and online stores) market is expected to witness significant growth in developing and emerging economies on account of the low to medium consumer buying power. According to the Marston Beer Company’s off-trade beer report 2019, nearly 16% ale and 35% of larger drinkers prefer purchasing beers from these off-trade channels. According to a survey by Stonegate Pub Company and Molson Colors in 2018, 87% of the consumers preferred comfortable drinking at home which has positively impacted the segment growth. Moreover, as the culture of "Sit Home and Booze" got on the rise throughout the pandemic period, the off-trade distribution segment witnessed remarkable growth, as store and online alcohol sales soared across the world.
The Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period.
By geography, Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest CAGR of xx% during the forecast period. High consumption coupled with consumer preference for flavoured brews is expected to drive craft beer market growth over the projected period. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as China and India, are expected to witness the fastest growth in the market, due to its increasing demand for beer, disposable income of the people, urbanized population, expansion of key companies in many countries and increasing craft breweries across the region. Over the last five years, the China craft beer industry has grown 250%, with more than 1000 craft breweries functioning in the country, which has contributed to the regional market growth.
North America is expected to hold a significant market revenue share of XX% in the year 2020. The majority of players in North America are focused on offering flavoured craft beer. Overall U.S. beer volume sales were down 2% in 2019, whereas craft brewer sales continued to grow at a rate of 4% by volume, reaching 13.6% of the U.S. beer market by volume. Craft production grew the most for taprooms.
AB In Bev, Heineken NV, Constellation Brands, The Boston Beer Company, and the Sierra Nevada are some of the key players in the market with their product innovation, in terms of flavours and packaging. In the past, low ABV beers have been mostly considered tasteless, but are now getting a reboot by craft brewers. The scenario is much prominent in European countries like Sweden, where brewers are seeking to bring changes to the craft beer market. The craft beer industry is constantly changing, but with planning, breweries can prepare themselves for what the craft beer market demands. The players are also focusing on strategic mergers to expand their business and fortify their market presence. For instance, in May 2019, The Boston Beer Company and Dogfish Head Brewery signed a definitive merger agreement to expand their opportunities for future developments. In December 2019, White Owl Brewery has launched a strong craft beer called Spike, which is a handcrafted German Weizenbock with banana and clove flavour. In January 2019, Genius Brewing Ltd. Launched a 3% ABV craft lager in the U.K to promote ‘smart drinking’ as it has only 79 calories per can.
COVID-19 Impact: Negative impact on the craft beer market due to lockdowns in various countries
COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of various pubs, restaurants and taprooms by the governments to maintain social distance norms. This has negatively impacted the global craft beer market. According to a study by the Brewers Association, the total brewery sales in the U.S went down by 30.5% in May compared to the previous year. Nearly 89% of the brewing companies, either had stopped or slowed down their production, as the Y-o-Y sales had declined in April. However, as the situation of COVID-19 has gradually improved, with lesser restrictions being imposed on foodservice channels, the craft beer market is likely to gain back its elevating consumption levels from this year.
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