Blonde Beer Research

Goals

Assist the creation of a pitch deck on the entrance of a new brand into the US by providing insights and direction that can impress investors that NOW is a good time to enter the market with a new blonde beer.

Umbrella direction for research is divided into three categories; to find information on the market, including market size and market attributes; to find information on the customer, including demographics and psychographics; and to find any insights for marketing and advertising these products.

Specific information to be found includes:
THE MARKET
- What is the market size, how much money is being spent?
– Is purchasing of it seasonal or year round?
– What style of beer is most often labeled as blonde and performs the best (e.g Kolsch, lager, ale, etc)?
– Which companies are fastest growing in the blonde beer market? Why are they growing?
– What are the trends around online vs. retail vs. hospitality in beer sales?
– What are the trends surrounding place-based marketing for beer e.g. beers branded after a city or county or town?
- How will coronavirus/COVID-19 affect the future of beer sales and blonde beer?

THE AUDIENCE/CUSTOMER
– What are the top blonde beers on social? What other social insights can be gleaned?
– What are the demographics and psychographics of the top blonde beer audiences/customers?
– What factors most influence or are most important to each persona to influence purchase?
– What geographies/regions buy the most blonde beer?
– Does experience with beer relate to purchasing habit (for example, that more experienced drinkers don't buy blonde but new/light drinkers do)?

PITCH DECK INSIGHTS
General insights on bottle/can design, go-to-market strategy, ad strategy/targeting and market opportunity

Early Findings

  • A blonde beer can also be known as a golden, summer, or blonde ale. It tends to be easy-drinking, with no dominating malt or hop features. It's known for its simplicity. It is forgiving in the sense that it can have honey, spices and fruit added in, and may be fermented with both lager or ale yeast.
  • An American blonde ale is lighter on body and flavor, which makes it one of the most popular beer types in the country. It ranges from 3.8 to 7% ABV, has medium to high carbonation and a sturdy head. They gained prominence in the 1980s as craft brewers lured drinkers away from the mass-produced lagers that most consumers are familiar with.
  • The craft beer market in the US is worth $8b. Growth is forecast to continue, although at a slower rate than the past five years simply due to market saturation. Some of the biggest players are the Boston Beer Company Market Share, D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and New Belgium Brewing Company.
  • According to the Beer Judge Certification Program, common commercial examples of golden ale include Pelican Kiwanda Cream Ale, Russian River Aud Blonde, Rogue Oregon Golden Ale, Widmer Blonde Ale, Fuller’s Summer Ale, Hollywood Blonde, and Redhook Blonde.
  • While there is no available information on the revenue of most blond beers (probably because many of the companies that produce them are privately-held), there are several sites that rank the best beers. These include the Great American Beer Festival (2019 winners for the Golden/Blonde category found here) and the US Open Beer Championship (2019 winners for the Golden/Blonde category found here).
  • Several of the largest beer brands also offer blonde beers. For example, Anheuser-Busch InBev has Beach Bum Blonde Ale. The top brewers in the US are Anheuser-Busch Inbev (39.9% share), MillerCoors, LLC (22.6% share), Constellation (10.6%), Heineken USA (3.3%), and Boston Beer (2.5%). In 2018, the US beer industry sold $119.3 billion in beer and malt-based beverages.
  • Lager continues to dominate demand, followed by ale, then malt, then stout/porters, and other types of beer.
  • Most beer is sold in cans (60%), followed by glass (30%) and then kegs (10%).
  • In general, while blonde beer seems a popular beer in the US to both produce and drink, based on our initial research, the market size for blonde beer is unavailable- most likely because it is a subcategory (meaning revenue might not be broken down this far) and many of the companies that are producing it are privately-held (meaning revenue does not have to be disclosed). Information on total beer market size divided by broad categories is potentially available behind a paywall which you can see linked here. Companies also tend to make several types of beer, blonde beer being just one offering in a variety- meaning that their growth may not be ascribed to the popularity of blonde beer alone. The recommendations that follow take this into account.

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