Look Out for Health-​Conscious Beer Options

The American beverage industry has introduced new offerings catering toåÊHealth-​Conscious consumers wanting wholesome, low-​alcohol options. Using tea, fruit juices and adding more gluten-​free options, beer makers are hoping to entice more women. With this line of thinking, beverage calories are shrinking, and "healthier" versions are making their way to bar and store shelves.

"From fermented black tea to beer mixed with lemon juice, beverage makers say they are trying to add nutritional value while curbing alcohol content and calories," Rebecca Ruiz writes in The New York Times. "With these moves, some brands are seeking to capture the loyalty of the elusive female consumer ‰ÛÓ for whom casual alcoholic beverages like beer have typically had less appeal ‰ÛÓ without alienating men."

Social drinkers and beer lovers are choosing alternatives to standard beers, like hard cider, and gluten-​free drinks, to be more in line with their personal health standards.

"Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones, called health and wellness a major trend in the beverage industry. 'Consumers are reading nutritional labels more and more,' he said, 'and the only alcoholic beverage that really does well with women is wine'.‰Û

Light beer, including brands with moderate levels of alcohol, accounts for approximately half of all beer sold, according to the Beverage Information Group.

"Among the new entrants looking to appeal to health-​conscious buyers is Kombrewcha, a carbonated tea-​beer brewed with agave sweetener that went on sale in Connecticut and New York last year. Made without malt or barley, it is gluten-​free. Its label additionally flaunts the drink‰Ûªs probiotic cultures, folic acid, antioxidants and 65 calories. The beverage is available in long-​neck bottles and on draft," Ruiz reports.

‰ÛÏThere‰Ûªs gluten-​free beer, seaweed beer, beet beer, all kinds of fruit beer,‰Û said Giuseppe Pezzotti, senior lecturer on beverage management at Cornell University‰Ûªs School of Hotel Administration. ‰ÛÏThey‰Ûªve been around, but they‰Ûªve been local.‰Û Now, ‰ÛÏyou‰Ûªre seeing them all over the place.‰Û

"Giants of the beverage industry, too, have recently tried to bring some unique drinks into the mainstream, positioning them as lower-​alcohol or beneficial alternatives," Ruiz writes. "Last summer, Heineken introduced Amstel Radler in the United States. The drink is 40% beer and 60% natural lemon juice. It has 2% alcohol and 145 calories a bottle."

"Adam Fleck, director of consumer equity research at Morningstar, called the low-​alcohol beverage market a growth segment, noting how well Michelob Ultra, a light beer with 4.2% alcohol, had outpaced regular beers in recent growth."

Here are the cold hard facts about beer drinkers: 33.3% of Americans enjoy a brewski at least once during a typical week. It makes sense for beverage marketers to want a bigger piece than the 35% of women who already do drink beer. AudienceSCAN reports that 53.5% of the beer-​loving audience also loves attending sports in person. And they're 90% more likely than average Americans to tailgate beforehand.

Beer and fishing go hand-​in-​hand, with 32% casting out in their free time. Try toasting these beer drinkers in text-​link ads on websites, where 25.5% of them took action after seeing the ad in the past month. Or give magazine advertising a try ‰ÛÒ 19% started an online search after reading some.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.