Retail perspectives: Regionality and quality are a window of opportunity

Some pretzels and a beer
© Pixabay, User: Anerma

Trend regionality: Regional, environmentally compatible and top-quality food is experiencing an upswing. Especially younger consumers are more discerning about products and make conscious buying decisions. In the beverage industry, too, high-quality, regional products are gaining popularity. This new consciousness can be harnessed as an opportunity for retail: Companies offering quality regional brands, expertise and individual advice attract customers and win their loyalty.

Sales argument: Regionality

Local products have never been more popular. The local factor also plays an important role with beverages such as beer, wine or mineral water. Customers are increasingly willing to pay more – around 20 percent – for regional products. This change in purchasing behavior is often attributed to a feeling of authenticity, greater trust in regional producers and the wish to support them actively, and a better ecological balance due to shorter supply chains.

The craft beer scene capitalizes on consumer curiosity

The regionality trend is boosting the craft beer scene, which is booming as small breweries cash in on consumers’ informed choices and curiosity. Customers take a closer look these days at the beverages they drink: they want to know where they come from and what’s in them, and they’re ready to experiment with different beer styles and new specialties from local breweries. The plethora of beverage choices appeals especially to millennials – that is, young people born around 2000. Although they are generally not keen on beer, they find the ever-increasing variety of beers in Germany irresistible. “Every week, a new beer is launched somewhere in Germany,” said the German Brewers’ Association speaker, Marc-Oliver Huhnholz, recently in an article on the subject. The market has enormous potential.

In fact, the craft beer scene may be the trend that counters the slump in beer sales over the last few years – a decline confirmed in figures published by the Federal Statistical Office. In the first half of 2017, beer sales dropped by 2.1 percent year on year. One all-time-favorite has borne the brunt of this development: the classic pilsner beer. While still a market leader, its popularity has suffered a setback amid flourishing new beer flavors. Market research shows that retailers who mainly stocked pils in the past are now open to trendy new beer styles. Craft beer’s market share in Germany is currently at a mere 1 percent, but the many specialty beers and consumers’ buying behavior are clearly shifting demand in a new direction.

Conscious consumers are causing an upheaval in the beer industry – and this affects the future of beverage retailers

The craft beer boom and regionality – the new beer market is shaking up large breweries. An overly rigid focus on pilsner beer has caused some breweries to miss out on the craft beer trend and find themselves in direct competition with medium-sized regional companies whose appeal is based on feel-good factors such as home-grown products, trust, honest work and authenticity.

This shift in demand presents beverage retailers with both a challenge and an opportunity. Using expertise and product knowledge to influence consumers is the way to go. Winners of the Germany’s Best Beverage Retailer competition run by the Federation of German Industry and specialized magazines prove how effective this can be. Instead of leaving consumers to their own devices, future-oriented retailers offer their customers a buying experience and exert a positive influence through personal contact, individual advice and an enticing range of products. The result: Consumers who leave the store with sound product knowledge will come back.

Retail and beer trends at drinktec

Personal contacts can be nurtured at drinktec. Topics and trends in the beverage retail sector will be covered in detail at PRO FachHANDEL, the leading trade fair for beverage and convenience specialists. The communication platform will run simultaneously with drinktec for the first time. And place2beer is the ideal meeting place for brewers, beer lovers and everyone who has anything to do with beer.

place2beer supporters:

  • Barth Haas Group
  • Bayerische Brauerbund
  • Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association (BFBi)
  • Deutscher Brauerbund
  • Gebo Cermex
  • KHS
  • Sahm GmbH
  • The Brewers of Europe
  • William Reed Business Media

drinktec Blog-Team

The drinktec team writes reports on everything to do with drinktec and gives insights into what is going on behind the scenes of the trade fair.