Craft beers gain in popularity
CHICAGO — According to consumer research firm Mintel, more beer drinkers are reaching for domestically made craft beers over imported brews.
While just 13% of beer drinkers said they prefer domestic craft or microbrew beers (compared with 43% for domestic and 22% for imported), 59% said they like to try them and 51% would try more craft or microbrew beers if they knew more about them.
"Craft beers have increased in popularity in the past five years and [have] enjoyed a boost in their consumer base," said Garima Goel Lal, senior analyst at Mintel. "Craft beer is most popular with the 25- [to] 34-year-old crowd, so manufacturers would be wise to target this demographic and educate them more about artisan beers."
However, price is a deterrent for some drinkers when it comes to trying or purchasing craft beers; 41% of drinkers only enjoy craft/microbrew beers as a treat because they are expensive. Meanwhile, 29% reported drinking less craft beer than they did a year ago because of the price. But the market still shows resilience, as 29% of consumers who reported drinking more beer than they did a year ago said they are drinking more craft/microbrew beer as an affordable luxury.
"The recession hit many industries hard, and the beer market was no exception," Lal noted. "The good news is, it appears that the influence of the recession is becoming less pronounced on the beer market in terms of losing volume. The number of beer drinkers who are drinking less beer has decreased since 2009."
Also worth noting in the research:
- 63% of beer drinkers prefer their beer in a bottle;
- 20% prefer to drink their beer from a can;
- 8% prefer draft beer served from a large container (e.g., a growler); and
- Just 2% prefer a keg.
Tops Markets partners with dietary/diabetes educator to debut Savings for Health
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tops Markets, which operates 132 stores in western New York and Pennsylvania, is offering customers a new service to help them make healthier eating choices and develop better habits, according to a report by The Buffalo News.
Offered in partnership with Southtowns, N.Y.-based dietary and diabetes education consultant Propel Health, the program, called “Savings for Health,” offers enrollees access to information on food and menu-planning options based on products that currently are available in local Tops stores. The program costs $19.95 per year to join.
The goal of Savings for Health is to reinforce the message that eating healthy foods doesn’t have to break the bank. "Healthy eating does not have to be more expensive. That’s a misconception," registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and Propel Health owner Jeff Ensminger told The Buffalo News. "[Savings for Health is] geared toward preventing chronic diseases, but treating them as well."
Once enrolled, users access a password-protected website at SavingsForHealth.com to receive weekly updates on available health food items and products, as well as recipes, meal-planning tips, weekly coupons and the weekly healthy shopping list, which also is e-mailed to enrollees. All foods, recipes and meal recommendations on the site meet or exceed American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society and American Dietetic Association dietary guidelines.
According to a Tops Markets spokeswoman, the chain’s Buffalo-area stores will be the first to try out the new program, which is expected to be rolled out to the retailer’s stores in other markets, the newspaper noted.
Frito-Lay goes ‘au naturale’
PLANO, Texas — Frito-Lay has vowed to reformulate the ingredient mix of about half of its snack products to be completely natural — including three of its biggest brands: Lay’s, Tostitos and Sunchips — by the end of 2011, the company announced Tuesday. Once reformulated, the products will contain only all-natural ingredients, and will include no artificial or synthetic ingredients, no artificial flavors and no preservatives, including MSG. The company maintained that the changes will not impact the products’ flavor.
Other items among the more than six dozen products the company plans to reformulate include Frito-Lay’s Baked snacks and Rold Gold pretzel varieties.
"We have insights that show consumers are seeking a wider range of products made with all-natural ingredients. We want to provide our customers with a broad portfolio of snack options that taste great and are made with real food ingredients," said Ann Mukherjee, SVP and chief marketing officer at Frito-Lay. "Many of the unflavored snacks in our portfolio are already made with all-natural ingredients, and we’ve focused on expanding our portfolio of products with all-natural ingredients to include more of consumers’ favorite flavored products."
Frito-Lay will roll out the newly reformulated products throughout the course of the year. The new all-natural items will be easily identifiable with a stamp on the package.
To support the initiative, Frito-Lay is undertaking its largest integrated marketing campaign in its history, the company noted. The campaign launches Jan. 1 during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and will include a significant focus on digital and social media to connect with consumers, the company noted.
Frito-Lay plans to take advantage of the rollout and marketing to drive more consumers to Facebook — most ads in the new campaign and product packaging will list the brands’ Facebook pages. "[We are] highlighting our ‘seed to shelf’ story, which shows the care and pride that goes into every step to make our products, from the real ingredients that we use to the real culinary arts and quality employee experts," Mukherjee said. "We are pulling back the curtain and inviting consumers to learn how our products are created, from our kitchen into theirs."