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Uncovering patterns of consumers' interest for beer: A case study with craft beers

Donadini, Gianluca, Porretta, Sebastiano
Food research international 2017 v.91 pp. 183-198
aluminum, beers, brewing, case studies, equipment, glass, grains, manufacturing, markets, men, microfiltration, prices, raw materials, stainless steel, women
To uncover patterns of consumer interest in craft beers, the authors explored the quality perception of craft beers in a panel of industrial mass-marketed beer drinkers (n=150) and examined the differences in interest for this beer segment between men and women. The authors adopted a conjoint rating experiment in which the respondents were given forty-nine beer profiles to evaluate and were asked to score the degree of interest in each profile on a 9-point scale. Each profile was described on eight attributes (type of brewery, brewing technology, characterizing raw materials, brewhouse equipment, location of the brewery, type of container, retail price, where to buy) varied at different levels. Results showed that Italian consumers placed greatest importance on type of container (30.49%) and on brewing technology (17.64%). Characterizing raw materials (13.44%) and type of brewery (12.64) rank 3 and 4 and were placed in the same band some way below brewing technology. Retail price (9.87%) and where to buy (8.73%) were of far less importance. The least importance of all was attached to brewhouse equipment (4.44%) and to location of the brewery (2.75%). As far as utility values are concerned, the factor level glass bottle+crown cap and the factor level microfiltration are the utilities that most increased the interest of consumers. They were followed by the factor level local grains, stainless steel keg and monastery. In contrast, the factor level PET Keg, aluminum can and large scale corporate brewery showed the greatest negative impact on interest. Men and women shared similar patterns of interest. However, men placed more importance than women on retail price, location of the brewery and where to buy. Women attached more importance than men on type of container, brewing technology and type of brewer. These findings are relevant to understanding consumers'behavior in the beer market and to translating consumer needs, wants and expectations into manufacturing designed to produce the best possible, cost-competitive, widely accepted product in a relatively short period.