2020 will be another challenging year for craft brewers. In addition to increased competition and changing consumer preferences, breweries will face the added pressure of making their brewing processes and business operations more sustainable. However, challenges also bring opportunities for brewers to capitalise on these trends and prepare for the years ahead.
At Unleashed Software, we’re well-positioned to help identify trends and help brewers benefit from them. As a purchasing, production and sales system, we help brewers collect and aggregate their data, from their manufacturing processes, best-selling product categories, to financial KPIs.
With a decade of experience in the industry, here are three huge trends that we believe will impact the brewing industry in 2020 and beyond.
1. The continued emphasis on sustainable brewing
While many Australasian brewers have been attempting to reduce their carbon footprint for years, the new decade will see more rapid initiatives and advancements in sustainable brewing.
Across the ditch, New Zealand breweries have been committing to sustainability. Christchurch-based brewery The Fermentist have created the nation’s first carbon-neutral pale ale, Kiwi Pale Ale (KPA). General manager, Simon Taylor, said their KPA was the brewery’s best selling beer.
Garage Project, known for their innovative brews, has taken an innovative approach to sustainability too. They partnered with Meridian Energy to create Turbine, a pale ale made from 100% renewable energy.
Even Australasian brewing giant, Lion, has committed to be Australasia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer in 2020.
We believe all breweries would be wise to respond to changing consumer taste and conscious consumerism by taking positive steps towards sustainable brewing and reducing waste.
2. Brewers will become business savvy
One of the greatest challenges for brewers making the move from passion project to profitable is coming to terms with the process and operational efficiencies and unit economics. It’s understandable — brewing is fun, creative and rewarding. Admin can be dry, analytical and draining.
However, it is now more than ever important for brewers to analyse their business performance fastidiously and seek improvements at every stage of the production process. The secret to achieving that lies in having a clear and detailed process map, collecting the right data and choosing the right tools to analyse that data to drive better strategic decisions.
Additionally, it will be important for brewers to surround themselves with the right team. Bring your accountants on the journey early, meet with them regularly and upskill your team endlessly.
3. Diversified product offerings
In 2019, Australian brewers using Unleashed increased their product range by a whopping 36%, indicating there’s still a big thirst for new varieties.
This trend will continue in 2020, as consumers continue to expect low calorie, low alcohol options, and as brewers fight for attention and shelf space. Cannabis-infused drops, glitter-dusted brews and hard seltzers have all emerged in recent times to try and catch the eye of drinkers.
Using accurate production costs and historical sales data to predict new product profitability will be a critical part of the launch process of any new product and ensuring that data is readily available an important first step.
Stay fresh. Start now
The three biggest trends of 2020 all require foresight and planning. We reckon the start of the year is the perfect time to begin. If you need help with taking your brewery operations to the next level, visit unleashedsoftware.com to book a free consultation with a brewing expert.