Research firm Mintel took a look at the popularity of the specialty brews. Growth was strong from 2007 through 2012 — the height of the recession — so what does the future hold for craft beer?
More growth, apparently.
Sales of craft beers doubled during the time studied and are expected to triple by 2017, the report found. Already increasing consumer demand for craft beer — combined with a younger generation that has been raised on non-mass-market beers — means growth should boom in the future.
One concern, however, is that the number of craft breweries in the market is exploding. Mintel warned that its findings indicated that 1,200 breweries are in the planning stages (the U.S. already has about 2,100), and even established brands could find the market tempted more by new beers than by their already in-place beverages.
Also a challenge, of the prime buying market — those in the millennial and Gen X demos — fewer than 20% thought that craft beers presented a greater value. To cope with that, brewers must do a better job of educating beer drinkers beyond the younger millennial group that is their core market.