Posted by Fifty Team

06 Oct, 2021

Craft beer “down under” is on the up.

In celebration of Fifty’s recent expansion into Australia, we decided to take a deep dive into one of the country’s most exciting emerging markets - craft beer.

Despite Australia’s beer manufacturing industry as a whole declining 1.8 % from 2015 to 2020, the nation’s craft beer industry has grown 6.2% in the same five year period and is now worth over $800 million AUD.

This decline in demand for traditional beer can be attributed to consumers’ growing thirst for higher priced premium and craft brews over traditional beers.

In a recent article from ABC Australia, Independent Brewers Association (IBA) chairperson Peter Philip said the Australian market was becoming "very competitive" having skyrocketed over the past decade to more than 600 independent brewers nationwide.

Using the Fifty platform, we analysed the audiences of some of the top craft beer brands in the country to provide us with a broader outlook of the Australian craft beer market.

Pub culture prevails

Craft Beer Aficionados, a primary audience within the Australian craft beer market
Craft Beer Aficionados

Surprisingly, Devoted Craft Beer Aficionados only made up 6% of the audience, suggesting that craft beer itself is not the primary interest of craft beer drinkers, but that they have a range of wider interests that inform and influence their purchasing decisions - a key insight that brands need to be aware of when advertising to the craft beer audience.

A common thread throughout this audience is their strong affinity for pub and bar culture, suggesting that this audience is more likely drawn to the social aspect of drinking and the institutions that stock craft beer, as opposed to the beer itself.

There is, however, a keen interest in the heritage and process behind craft beer, as demonstrated by the number of independent breweries within this audience’s top influencers, which serve as primary points of engagement, such as Stone & Wood Brewing Co., Mountain Goat Beer and Two Birds Brewing

Sports & beer: the perfect match

Sports Lovers, a key audience within the Australian craft beer market
Sports Lovers

Beer is the most popular beverage consumed while watching sport, and the results from our study reaffirm that this traditional relationship between sport and beer remains. Sports Fans made up 20% of the craft beer audience, with soccer, AFL, rugby, cricket and golf all featuring among the top interests.

In that same vein, we also see a gambling theme emerge, as well as an active participation in sports on show too, illustrating how this audience’s passion of sports extends beyond just watching the sport as these audiences are looking for.

Craft beer fuels creativity

Affluent foodies, a key audience within the Australian craft beer market.
Affluent Foodies

There appears to be a significant level of sophistication to this audience, which is one of the key differences between the craft beer and mainstream beer market. 16% of the craft beer audience was made up entirely of Affluent Foodies, whose interest in publications like Gourmet Traveller and The Good Food Guide, denotes a shared passion for fine dining and experimental eating and drinking.

As well as Foodies, we also identified a number of other creative audiences, including Photography Creatives, Keen Travellers and Film Buffs, which speaks to the wider cultural pursuits pursued by craft beer drinkers and reinforces the level of sophistication of this audience. Top influencers included BBC Travel, Viator and TimeOut Film.

Introducing the industry disruptors

Tech Professionals, a key audience within the Australian craft beer market.
Tech Professionals

Somewhat surprisingly, we saw significant engagement from Tech Professionals and Enthusiasts. This interest spanned from Founders and Business Leaders through to Software Developers and Web Designers.

Gaming and cryptocurrency also emerged as popular interests, highlighting a passion for. Innovation and disruption. Influencers such as crypto trading platforms Coinbase and Blockchain indicate that this audience is particularly interested in emerging technologies, and likely has cash to burn.

Hops vs health

Healthy Lifestylers, a key audience within the Australian craft beer market.
Healthy Lifestylers

Our study also revealed a somewhat unexpected overlap between health and beer. We saw a number of audiences devoted to healthy lifestyles, mostly through the lens of exercise, with yoga indexing particularly highly amongst female audiences and cycling emerging as the preferred activity amongst males.

This uptake of craft beer by Healthy Lifestylers speaks to a wider trend of “considered consumption” permeating through the food & bev industry. As consumers have become increasingly health-conscious post-pandemic, so too have craft brewers, giving way to a new range of beer options like Hop Valley aimed at health-oriented drinkers who don’t want to compromise on flavour.

The fact that craft fans are already generally more clued up on the ingredients and alcohol content of different brews means that they could also be a prime audience for “healthier” or low-calorie beer alternatives.

Conclusion

As we can see from the diversity of these audiences, the craft beer audience is in no way homogenous. The booming craft beer market is attracting consumers from a range of backgrounds, each with their own distinct interests, from sport, to tech, to culture and health. As such, each of these audiences requires its own unique targeting that is directly aligned to their specific passions.

Using the Fifty platform, not only can we pinpoint these audiences, but we can also use these insights to build real-world segments that can then be directly activated across virtually any channel. 

Are you an APAC business looking to better understand, target and reach your ideal audience? Book a demo with our VP of Sales APAC, Andrew Nash.

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