Research conducted by There’s A Beer For That has shown that consumers are more interested in knowing about the ingredients that go into their beer than other drinks or even their food. Poll results* revealed that whilst natural ingredients in food and drink are important to two thirds of Britons, more than 88% said that natural ingredients are important to them when choosing a beer.
The online survey, timed to coincide with harvest time and British Food Fortnight, tested consumers understanding of the ingredients and ‘goodness’ properties of beer as part of the campaign’s strategy to reignite the nations love of beer by inspiring and educating drinkers.
Commenting on the results of the research, David Cunningham, Programme Director of There’s A Beer For That said “It was no surprise that British consumers are more inclined to buy food and drink if it is made from British ingredients or that more than two thirds confirmed that natural ingredients in food and drink is important to them. And yet a higher number, 88%, said that natural ingredients are important to them when choosing a beer and 76% think that hops and barley being sourced from British farms for brewing beer is important. This suggests that consumers are more discerning about their choice of beer than other food and drink and want to know more about the provenance and quality credentials of Britain’s national alcoholic drink.”
The data also highlighted the need for further education in trade as 58% of respondents were interested in knowing more about how the food and drink they consume is made and sourced. And whilst 44% thought they knew what the main ingredients of beer are, only 22% recognised that beer is brewed using water, barley, hops and yeast.
“In an environment where consumers are increasingly interested in how their food and drink is made, and with 57% confirming that they always look at ingredients on food and drink products, it is in every brewers’ interest to continue the culture of sharing their passion and talking about the ingredients they use” added Cunningham.
Results from the survey formed the cornerstone of a radio day organised by There’s A Beer For That in which the messages of natural ingredients, the goodness of beer and the diverse styles and tastes that come from these ingredients were shared with an estimated audience of over 4 million people.
“The key findings of the research were shared with 27 radio stations around the UK on an intense day of broadcasting” explained Programme Director, David Cunningham. “Along with our media partner Hartley UK, we worked with JB Gill, formerly of boy band JLS, and BBPA Policy Manager and Beer Sommelier Steve Livens, to explain the findings and raise awareness of natural ingredients used in food and drink, with particular emphasis on brewing beer. Since leaving JLS, JB has become a farmer and is a regular contributor to BBC’s Down on the Farm and Countryfile. Their combined knowledge of farming, local community, brewing process and ingredients through to matching beer with food proved to be a winning formula with listeners all over the country, with JB adding relevant and informed celebrity advocacy to our message.”
Additional research findings exposed that understanding beer styles and tastes also remains a mystery to many drinkers, with only 10% of the survey respondents being able to name more than six styles of beer when there are over 150 different styles available worldwide.
“Almost two thirds of those questioned agreed that clever use of ingredients produces many different styles of beer and only 18% said that all beer tastes the same” continued Cunningham. Interestingly, it was the 25-34 age group who were most in need of education around beer styles and tastes, with 33% commenting that all beer tastes the same. Communication with consumers is therefore key and highlighting the naturalness of ingredients in beer and demonstrating the role they play in the style, taste and look of the beer is critical to encouraging trial and driving sales growth.
“There’s A Beer For That runs a series of information campaigns on these goodness themes as we’re aware that it can be more straightforward for a category voice to share messages about goodness and health than individual brands. We’ve reached over 60 million people through consumer communications and the social media posts which feature ingredients, goodness and health considerations achieve the highest levels of engagement amongst our 200,000 daily followers. This demonstrates that the beneficial attributes of drinking beer in moderation is an interesting message for the British consumer, but one that as an industry and category we obviously need to communicate factually, responsibly and consistently” concluded Cunningham.
* The research was carried out amongst a representative sample of 1000 people by OnePoll as part of an awareness campaign commissioned by There’s A Beer For That