Monday, January 21, 2013

New Label Overload?

It was bound to happen.  The marketplace may be saturated.  Every time I turn around a new brand is rolled out or an extended product line is announced.  Customers have been conditioned to expect new and potentially exciting beverage options to appear on retailers shelves with more regularity than ever before.  Are the customers complaining?  Nope.  The producers are.
The problem has long existed for wineries, but now brewers are decrying the variety.  Shanken News Daily reports that "The number of active brewers in the U.S. has risen to a record high...[t]he figure represents  an increase of almost 20% from last year."
Sheer volume alone can create problems, but the same publication also mentions concerns due to bars rotating tap handles rather than dedicating certain spots for a longer period of time.  "The tactic - while often successful strategy for on-premise [bars and restaurants] operators - is damaging to all craft brewers."
Bob Sullivan of Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, Missouri had this to say, "It's actually a disservice for new craft beer startups as they're getting even less of a chance to build their brands."  Restaurants and bars do not care about building a brand for someone else.  They want to build their own brand and they can do that by offering their customers new beers that constantly arrive on the market...from new and established craft brewers.
Sorry folks, the market that allowed craft brewers to exist in the first place - customers wanting variety - will also be a huge hurdle for you to clear to remain viable.

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