Women beer drinkers targeted

02 April, 2010

Molson Coors has vowed to increase the percentage of beer sales attributed to women to 14% by 2012.

The target has been set on the first anniversary of the Bittersweet Partnership – a multi-million pound initiative set up by Coors to get women to revaluate the beer category.

The UK currently attributes just 13% of its beer sales to women, compared to 36% for the Republic of Ireland and 25% for the US. This means there’s a potential market worth £87 million that brewers are failing to tap into, according to Bittersweet’s managing director Kirsty Derry.

In an effort to change women’s buying and drinking habits, Derry said Bittersweet will develop “product innovations to change the taste of beer” and “new and refreshing occasions to enjoy beer”. It also plans to find original ways to drink beer and “myth-busting” marketing campaigns to alter the image of beer.

A study of 30,000 women found that eight out of 10 (79%) said they seldom or never drink beer, nine out of 10 (87%) said taste is the overriding factor influencing drink choice, 34% don’t think beer is a good match with food and 8% are put off by the way beer is served.

Bittersweet will also be working with supermarkets to improve signage in the beer aisle and develop packaging with handles to make it easier for women to pick up multipacks, according to innovation partner Helen Hopkins.

“The beer category has really stood still. Let’s move that forward with new liquids and new packaging. Let’s start creating a new language – wine has developed a language that people understand, why can’t beer? You don’t see browsing behaviour in the beer aisle and part of [changing] that is working with the supermarkets,” she said.

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