Beer is BIG in c-store, and the c-store beer shopper has clear trip missions.
A strong category starts with getting the Fundamentals right.
Consumers have an array of choices when they want to order or purchase a drink. From fruit-flavored hard seltzers to rich craft brews to affordable options and more, there’s something for everyone, from light-flavored budget-friendly options to robust, complex, upscale sips. Find out more about the different products available at every price point.
Product placement matters
Anheuser-Busch is here to help. Local representatives are ready to help build custom solutions and design a unique program to help drive sales in the beer category. Reach out today.
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WHY IS BEER IMPORTANT TO THE CATEGORY?
WHO IS PURCHASING BEER?
WHEN ARE SHOPPERS PURCHASING BEER?
Click on each question below to find out more
53% OF CATEGORY GROWTH IN BEER SALES COMES FROM FLAVOR-FORWARD OPTIONS.
6% OF CATEGORY GROWTH IN BEER SALES COMES FROM VALUE LABELS/PRODUCTS.
26% OF CATEGORY GROWTH IN BEER SALES COMES FROM PREMIUM LAGERS AND CRAFT.
Find out more about consumers: what they’re drinking, when they drink it, how they treat themselves, and more. Gain actionable insights on how to attract new drinkers, how to increase consumers’ frequency of drinking occasions and how to encourage trading up to higher-profit, premium beverages.
The convenience channel is diversifying, as shoppers and consumers are looking for more variety as occasions evolve. See below to gain valuable insights and learn more about the convenience shopper, the category fundamentals that are the foundation of a strong category, and the strategy to drive growth.
IRI, L52w w/e 4-26-20
ORGANIZING THE COOLER
WHAT'S TO DRINK
Find out more about the power of appealing, eye-catching displays to help draw shoppers in.
Offering a variety of beverage styles at different price points ensures there’s something for everyone.
The in-store placement of alcohol beverages can make a difference in consumer purchasing choice.
Highlight beverages’ flavor, style, ABV and other attributes to influence purchase decisions.
Click on each segment below to learn more about shelf flow
Hover over styles below for more information
Click on each Fundamental below to find out more
Interesting and unique flavors for discerning palates.
Savory & Complex
Sweet, fruit-forward drinks perfect for new drinkers and consumers who want something fun and fresh.
Crisp & dry bold options for beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike.
Light & refreshing sparkling drinks in an array of fruit flavors.
Crisp & refreshing lagers that are lower in calories and carbs while delivering a full-flavored richness.
Crisp & refreshing lagers.
Full-bodied and smooth lagers with a clean finish.
Bold, unique and elevated.
Beer DOES NOT HAVE ITS FAIR SHARE OF DISPLAYS IN CONVENIENCE STORES
It's not all about conversion, but driving awareness of beer.
Displays help prompt quick purchase behavior.
Displays are noticed more than any other promotional tactic, which is important given shoppers spend on average less than 4 minutes in store.
Displays drive 2.4% higher lift when pricing is communicated.
Displays provide excess inventory to prevent out of stocks.
Out of stocks lead to 22% of lost sales, and displays provide incremental inventory to fill cold space gaps.
Pack out empty cold shelves with inventory from displays, especially with high velocity items.
Displays can hold excess inventory of high velocity items, and be used to pack out empty cold shelves, thus reducing OOS.
Execute both primary and secondary displays.
Capture shoppers' attention with large displays as soon as they walk in the door, and utilize in-aisle displays to drive additional engagement and incremental sales.
1/4 of all shoppers engage with large displays on the floor.
Shopper engagement with in-aisle displays is 5X higher than displays near the cooler, so utilize in-aisle displays to add an additional point of interruption in the store.
Sources: 1. VideoMining Data Study 2017; 2. IRI Data, L52W 6/7/20; 3. Numerator, Year 2019; 4. Behavior Poll, Year 2019
ANHEUSER-BUSCH HAS AN ASSORTMENT STRATEGY THAT IS BALANCED & FLEXIBLE
More is not better.
The best performing convenience stores have the most productive assortment.
but rather having the right assortment.
Assortment strategy requires multiple viewpoints.
Capture trips through singles.
Source: Behavior Poll, 2019
Beer purchases are heavily influenced by Display
Beer Needs Exposure Outside of the Aisle
Do Not Cross Shop
Majority of Shoppers do not shop the Beer Aisle after shopping a display
Displays are important in order to capture potential shoppers
Females Shop Beer Displays More Than Men
Females Shop Beer Displays
In comparison, only 38% of Women shop the Beer Aisle
Beer displays create an opportunity to attract Female shoppers to the category
Beer Is Not Always Top of Mind for Shoppers
Beer is Not the Primary Reason for the Trip
Displays create a point of interruption in the store for shoppers
Displays can help prompt quick purchase behaviors
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GROCERY FEATURES TO DRIVE SHOPPER ENGAGEMENT
Traditional ads are still viewed the most
Beer ads affect purchase
Shoppers still mainly utilize traditional ads
Simple ads have the biggest impact
Shoppers purchase more off an ad with clear pack and price communication vs. more complex ads/line ads
Shoppers choose to view a pack ad over 50% of the time
Feature ad location is important
All segments are important
But Beyond Beer and Super Premium are driving the most future success
Source: IRI Feature Ad Conjoint Research, August 2018
BEER REMAINS AN IMPORTANT CATEGORY IN C-STORE
Source: Total Alcohol Shopper Profile - TUS All Channels Shopper Trends Time, Latest 52 Weeks Ending Feb 23, 2020; Geography: Total US - Food Time: Latest 52 Weeks Ending Feb 23, 2020.
HEAVY C-STORE BEER SHOPPERS DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC TO THE STORE
Source: Numerator Total Store Trips and Spend; FY 2020; All C-Store Shoppers vs Heavy C-Store Beer Shoppers (top20% of trips) https://insights.numerator.com/#/browse/2907104/7417518
PRIMARY TRIP DRIVERS IN C-STORE HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF COLD SINGLES AND SMALL MULTI-PACKS
Source: Behavior Poll, Beer Trips, 12 months ending May 2019; Index to Total Off-Prem
Beer is big business and drives growth
in total store
of total store dollars
'19 vs. '18
Beer is a "Top 10" Growth Driver in Grocery
Beer has high penetration, drives traffic & bigger baskets
Beer drives baskets
Basket without beer
Basket with beer
Beer has 3rd highest household spend at
% total store
Tea & Coffee
of beer shoppers say beer is their only reason for the trip
of beer sales are from repeat households
of beer trips are pre-planned
Crisp, sparkling hard seltzers in an array of fruit flavors.
Flavorful, bold options for beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike.
Perfect for new drinkers and consumers who want something fun and fresh.
Interesting and unique flavors for discerning palates.
Entice new 21+ drinkers with trending, flavor-forward beverages.
Premium and super-premium brands with the right badge value drive trade up.
Consumers are looking for ways to self-express and reward themselves with something special.
Different meals call for different drinks. Promote different styles of beer for every type of occasion.
What's Your Style?
Relaxing at home can be a special occasion, too. The Reflective Reward growth driver is about understanding what consumers are looking for in these moments and making sure they know there is a beer that fits their needs.
Beer can complement social occasions, and this is an opportunity to drive trade up to more premium beverages.
You've Earned It.
Consumers are wanting more low-cal, low-carb, low-sugar and organic options. The Smart Choices growth driver aligns with consumers’ health & wellness needs.
IGNITE is grounded in a deep understanding of shoppers, consumers and occasions. Learn more about why beer is so important to the category, who is purchasing beer and what is driving the purchase.
Volume & Variety.
Where Is It?
Grocery features drive shopper engagement.
Appealing, eye-catching displays help draw shoppers in.
The Power of Displays.
Lead with as they are the largest trip driver in c-store. Singles also grab the attention of impulse buyers, drawing more shoppers to the beer coolers.
Placing Beyond Beer at the end of the aisle also acts as an anchor, attracting new drinkers (primarily LDAs and women) to the beer coolers.
Shoppers see 3 distinct segments that should not be broken up:
1. Beyond Beer
2. Craft beer
3. Light and Classic Lagers
Key insights to consider when building shelf flow:
Segment is the first consideration in a shopper’s decision hierarchy.
Shoppers expect to see each segment grouped together in separate locations in the cooler.
GOLD STANDARD CONVENIENCE SHELF FLOW
Having optimal shelf flow is essential in driving category growth. There are two main objectives:
Attract more shoppers to the beer coolers.
Maximize conversion & drive trade up.
HEAVY C-STORE BEER SHOPPER DEMOGRAPHICS DEMOGRAPHICS
C-STORE SHOPPER METRICS
Heavy C-Store Beer Shopper
Total C-Store Beer Shopper
Beer shoppers are getting older, with boomers up 4.4%
Beer shoppers are becoming more affluent, with high income up 2.4%
Beer shoppers are more diverse, with Hispanics up 0.9%
Beer shoppers continue to be predominantly male, up 5.5%
Gen Z (>1996)
Gen X (1965-1981)
Low income (Under $40K)
Middle Income ($40K-$80K)
High income (Over $80K)
White / Caucasian
Black or African American
Hispanic / Latino
Female adult Only
Male adult only
Male and female adult on trip
Total Store Trips
Total Store Spend per trip
Total Store Spend per trip
Spend per year
Spend per year
Heavy c-store beer shoppers drive 2X amount of traffic and deliver over 85% higher annual spend than total c-store shoppers
% OF TRIPS IN CONVENIENCE
BEER TEMPERATURE PURCHASED
For Me For Now
Maximize $ sales through multipacks.
The best approach for optimization takes into account sales, shopper needs & incrementality.
Singles are the largest trip driver in c-store— optimize assortment to fulfill shopper needs.
Balance assortment within multipacks to ensure the highest SKU productivity.
It's not actually about having more assortment,
66% of trial comes from these two pack sizes.
There are many shopper missions
12oz 6-pk & 25oz singles drive the most trial.
32% of the Craft segment & growing.
Target small SKUs with lower rates of sales first.
Use the shopper lens.
Seasonal is seeing dollar decline
Focus on the sweet segment & make way for new innovation
Singles make up 26% of dollar sales and 63% of unit sales.
Expand light & refreshing
Singles are used as a trial vehicle that drives premiumization.
Win with IPAs.
The purchase decision hierarchy can help understand which products are meeting duplicative shopper needs
Balance assortment across flavor types to optimize productivity and plan for growth.
IPAs account for 45% of Craft beer dollars in c-store (growing at 17% vs. YA) and for 89% of all Craft growth in the last year.
The purchase decision hierarchy can help you understand which products are meeting duplicative shopper needs.
Singles assortment should factor in growth trends, such as Beyond Beer, which should be slightly over-indexed given its trajectory.
ANHEUSER-BUSCH'S CONVENIENCE SPACE STRATEGY MAXIMIZES INVENTORY IN THE LARGEST SEGMENTS WHILE
RE-BALANCING SPACE ABOVE THE CORE TO PLAN FOR GROWTH
Evalute singles separately.
Singles space needs to be evaluated separately from total beer. It is currently
Premium & Value space is
as compared to sales and is slowing.
Re-balance space allocation to growing segments such as Core+ & FMB.
Shoppers only spend
Improve space to sales in Core & Value.
Re-balance above Core.
Shelf flow by segment.
Source: 1. VideoMining Data Study, 2017; 2. IRI Data L52W 6/7/20; 3. Numerator, Year 2019; 4. Behavior Poll, Year 2019
50% of shoppers view in-store & traditional
Pack and price has the highest shopper appeal
Overall, beer has an opportunity to increase feature ads in grocery
This is the highest among ad types
69% of shoppers say beer deals increase the amount of beer they buy
Light and Classic Lagers
Place Beyond Beer at the end of the aisle to attract more shoppers
Place Singles at the end of the aisle to drive impulse purchase
BEER CATEGORY STRATEGY FOR CONVENIENCE
NEXT: WHAT IS IGNITE?
category strategy to
lead future growth in the
IGNITE is grounded in a deep understanding of consumers, shoppers and occasions
drinking behavior studied to build a proprietary demand landscape
The IGNITE strategy is about taking a balanced approach to
with getting the fundamentals
We can accelerate growth by:
Bringing more drinkers
6 growth drivers
to IGNITE transformative
Lead Future Growth,
BACK TO TOP
14% OF CATEGORY GROWTH IN BEER SALES COMES FROM LOW-CALORIE BEER.
Beer is top edible category and a heavy contributor to total store growth
SINGLES ARE KEY TRIP DRIVERS
C-store heavily over-indexes in For Me For Now trips
TIME TO CONSUMPTION
of beer purchases are cold
of beer purchases are consumed within 3 hours
Communicate promotions and featured price points.
Larger primary displays sell more beer.
Front-of-store displays drive awareness and engagement.
53% of all c-store sales occur on weekends. Maintain at least
Maintain 4 days of supply on the shelf.
four days of supply
based on weekend sales.
26% of $ sales and 17% of the space.
decreasing faster than sales.
Maintain space for these segments to avoid OOS.
Craft is currently over-spaced
18 seconds at the shelf,
so ensure proper organization to ease the shopping experience.
We know that price is an important decision factor and drives beer choice for more than half of shoppers. Flow Lager by price while keeping brand families together. These brands continue to have high shopper loyalty and are a key decision factor at the shelf. Keeping brand families together provides the best shopping experience to help people find what they are looking for.
There is a high product affinity between singles and value, which is why we’re flowing Lagers low to high in terms of price, with value Lagers closest to the singles section.
In Craft, style is important, but it's still very confusing to shoppers so it's not the most important attribute. Brand is the most important attribute for Craft, and there are recognizable national, regional and local brands that are a good entry point to the category.
Shoppers have a preference for local options across multiple food & beverage categories, and this holds true within Craft beer as well.
Local, which is defined as being from within the state in which it's purchased, is the fastest-growing Craft sub-segment. Regional, which refers to brands sold within a few states, is also growing. There is a direct correlation between category growth and proximity, so we need to make sure the shelf flow facilitates shoppers finding the national, regional and local Craft brews they want. In convenience, the recommendation is to organize the Craft cooler door by grouping Craft brand families together.
With more than 2,600 total Beyond Beer SKUs in the market, the variety can overwhelm shoppers and make it hard to find something they will enjoy. That's why it's essential we get it right at the shelf.
The shelf should be organized based on how shoppers think about this segment. Our research has found that taste profile is the first, and most important, decision shoppers make.
To help shoppers in convenience, we need to organize the shelf first by taste profile, from least intense to most intense. Start with the light and refreshing products, which are seltzers, hard waters and agua frescas. Then comes crisp & dry ciders. Those will lead into the sweet products—the FMBs. Last are the complex and savory products like cheladas.
LIGHT & REFRESHING
CRISP & DRY
SAVORY & COMPLEX
Attract new drinkers of legal age and non-beer drinkers to the category using flavor-forward beverages.
Increase the number of occasions that consumers drink, whether they’re dining out or just hanging out at home.
Drive trade up by encouraging consumers to purchase more premium options.
Elevate the Experience.
Within one hour
Flow by price which is a top factor when considering a beer purchase for C-store shoppers. Provide the most space for highest velocity segments of core+, core, and value.
IGNITE GROWTH STRATEGY
RECRUIT IN SHOPPERS
VALUE OF VARIETY
INVITE IN SHOPPERS
DRIVE TRADE UP
eCOMMERCE GROWTH DRIVERS
A time-traveling consumer from just a few decades past would scarcely recognize today’s convenience store beer assortment.
A New Strategy for Driving Growth in The Alcohol Beverage Category
Success in the alcohol category in convenience stores doesn’t have to be complicated. Anheuser-Busch’s IGNITE initiative is designed to give convenience retailers shelf and cooler recommendations to lead category growth.
The IGNITE Strategy Has Four Pillars
To IGNITE category growth, convenience retailers can unlock the potential of these four key pillars
fundamentals: A strong category starts with getting the fundamentals right
The first step to category success lies within perfecting the fundamentals of assortment, space and displays. Anheuser-Busch has leveraged cutting edge global insights and ongoing shopper and consumer research to create best-in-class recommendations for impactful execution.
Beer and flavored malt beverages lead sales growth
Beer sales increased about 4.3% year over year in the c-store channel in 2019, reaching nearly $20.1 billion according to IRI research. Growth was led by strong gains in varieties such as flavored malt beverages (up 34.7%), domestic super premium beer (up 12.4%) and no-alcohol beer (up 30.1%). Beer is driving the vast majority of growth in alcohol beverage sales compared with wine and spirits as a whole in the c-store channel.
Having the right product recommendations, at the right price, organized in the cooler in a way that guides shoppers, displayed in the right way, with effective merchandising support.
Where do we start?
A balanced approach means maintaining a healthy core and value lager business, which represent over 50% of the category, AND accelerating high-growth segments.
The demand for options that appeal to consumers with this mindset continues to grow. For beer, that translates to an interest in options that are under 100 calories, no sugar, reduced carbs, organic, and low- or no-alcohol beverages. Delivering on these key attributes for consumers has propelled the low-calorie and organic beer segment to over $1.6 billion in sales and its fourth consecutive year of high growth, accounting for 22% of total beer growth.
4 Unstoppable Trends Reshaping The Beer Category
These insights are at the heart of IGNITE category growth strategy.
Insights fuel IGNITE
Build programs and point of sale materials that activate against the key drinking occasions to increase frequency.
Target adults of legal drinking age who are new to purchasing alcohol with approachable, easy-to-drink, flavor-forward products.
Drive trade up by featuring the right brands and highlighting the right attributes to encourage people to treat themselves or purchase higher-end products for celebratory moments.
Consider taking advantage of the behaviors and exposure that are unique to convenience, and find new ways to increase awareness and help drive basket growth.
To encourage shopper exploration AND aid in efficiency, think differently about shelf flow and merchandising: think about designing your shelf in a way that streamlines shopping and increases conversion.
Consumers are demanding more flavor variety across the entire alcohol segment, including beer, wine and spirits. In beer, we are seeing a surge in the Beyond Beer category, especially driven by seltzers and FMBs. Consumers, and particularly new 21+ drinkers, are increasingly interested in new, flavor-forward drinks. As a result, Beyond Beer accounts for 54% of beer sales growth.
Consumers continue to trade up across all alcohol segments. Trade up in the beer category is driven by consumers’ desire for products with attributes such as high quality ingredients, locally-sourced or purpose-driven brands. As consumers strive to present a favorable image of themselves, as well as drink beers they connect with, sales reflect their choices—Core+, Lagers and Craft beers account for 20% of beer sales growth.
Convenience has always been a major trend in the alcohol category, especially in c-stores. While beer continues to lead the way, canned wine and canned cocktails have opened up new drinking occasions with more practical solutions. Consumers are more on-the-go than ever, and the ability to bring along canned wine or cocktails means it’s easy to take the celebration anywhere. As a result, canned wine accounts for 20% of wine sales growth, and canned cocktails account for 10% of spirits sales growth.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Perfect Your Category Fundamentals
Invite NEW 21+ Drinkers Into the Category
Expand Frequency by Winning With More Styles in More Occasions
Drive Trade Up Within the Category
Modern beer coolers include a wide variety of styles and price points, from value-priced, easy-drinking favorites to premium, complex brews that have stretched the category’s boundaries and expanded the role of beer in countless occasions.
Optimizing the potential of this increasingly diverse product mix requires a new approach to category management—one that not only incorporates the trends that are shaping the category today, but also operates with an informed vision of how alcohol beverage consumption will evolve in the future.
That’s where IGNITE comes in. IGNITE is Anheuser-Busch’s comprehensive approach for driving category growth. Powered by deep insights into consumers, shoppers and occasions, IGNITE provides strategies for unlocking the potential of the total alcohol category in convenience.
Take a balanced approach to assortment to maximize both volume AND variety
Help consumers navigate the aisle by deploying shopper-based design principles
Unlock the potential of in-store marketing and promotional support
Cutting-edge global and local insights around consumers, shoppers and occasions build the foundation of the strategy recommendations: Stabilize core and value lager, grow the variety in product mix to draw in new 21+ consumers, expand consumption into new drinking occasions, and encourage trade up within the category.
While IGNITE provides a solid framework of recommendations to lead growth in the category, Anheuser-Busch knows it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Contact your local Anheuser-Busch Category Management representative today to learn more about IGNITE.
Find out more about driving category shelf growth using the IGNITE strategy.
year over year,
In 2019, off-premise dollar sales of beer were up
Source: IRI TUS Convenience L52 Weeks Ending 8/2/20.
Accelerate Category Growth and Unlock the Value of Variety In Your Portfolio
It can be easy to get lost while looking at the variety of styles available in today’s beer category; but if properly managed, this diverse beverage assortment can provide a road map to success for convenience store operators.
Anheuser-Busch’s IGNITE strategy for driving growth in the beer category has outlined the opportunities for c-store operators to invite new drinkers into the category, expand their consumption into new drinking occasions and encourage them to trade up to more premium varieties. At the heart of this powerful new tool is Anheuser-Busch’s deep understanding about who is drinking, when they are drinking and what drives the choices they make.
There are two broad categories of consumers who are prime candidates for inviting into the beer category: women and those who are 21+ who have not yet joined the category completely.
1. INVITE IN
The Savor The Flavor Growth Driver aims at winning with 21- to 29-year olds and inviting women who are currently rejecting beer. These consumers can be invited into the category with flavor-forward, sessionable, on-trend alcoholic beverages.
The One Key Growth Driver to INVITE In:
Savor The Flavor
Meals are the biggest and fastest-growing occasion, representing 39% of total alcohol and 36% of beer. Furthermore, alcohol consumption in meals as an occasion is growing 22%. Retailers have an opportunity to drive growth in the beer category by encouraging beer varieties that can be enjoyed with meals of varying style and flavor.
Consumers who enjoy a larger repertoire of beer styles they, in turn, consume more beer overall. There is, therefore, a clear opportunity to drive category growth by expanding the number of beer styles and beer occasions consumers consider. To do this, retailers can consider helping shoppers expand their choices and discover styles of beer that will perfectly fit their needs for many unique occasions.
Beer Can Satisfy The Three Most Common Relaxation Goals: Unwind, Reinvigorate & Time For Me
2. EXPAND CONSUMPTION
For a relaxing occasion, consumers want two things from their beer: to refresh and reinvigorate, and to sip and savor. Retailers have an opportunity to unlock growth by winning this occasion in two ways. First, reinforce Lager’s credentials as crisp, cold and refreshing for shoppers looking for refreshment. Second, highlight the darker, more robust styles that inspire savoring for shoppers who want to sip.
As consumers seek products that relate to their health-conscious mindset, they are often attracted to low-carb, low-calorie and low-sugar options, along with beers that offer specific on-trend attributes, such as organic ingredients. This also includes lower-ABV options for those seeking moderation. By creating the right signage to highlight these key attributes you create a simpler shopping experience for those who are seeking these types of beer and want to expand their consumption.
Key Growth Drivers To Expand Consumption:
Consumers are trading up across beer, wine and spirits, making premiumization one of the top drivers of growth for the category. It is important to understand what attributes drive shoppers’ propensity to trade up and activate against them.
3. TRADE UP
Key Growth Drivers to Trade Up
Consumers between the ages of 21 and 39 are most likely to purchase more expensive beer that carries a badge value they feel reflects the image they want to portray.
Another group that has a high propensity for trading up are middle-aged men, who gravitate toward better-quality beverages as a treat during their less frequent social occasions.
While IGNITE provides a solid framework to lead growth in the category, Anheuser-Busch knows it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Contact your local Anheuser-Busch Category Management representative today to learn more about IGNITE.
Find out more about driving category growth using the IGNITE strategy.
Once the fundamentals are mastered, we recommend leveraging the variety of the category to maximize success through 3 KEY OBJECTIVES:
Women purchase beer less frequently than men, but they have a growing affinity for drinks such as fruit-forward Craft beers, hard seltzers and low-ABV kombuchas.
Women consume 40% of all alcohol in the US. They consume 28% of spirits and 67% of wine. But when it comes to beer, they under-index at just 30% of beer consumption.
Today, 69% of 21- to 34-year-olds purchase alcohol at least once per year. 54% purchase beer. That means 15% of 21- to 34-year-olds are participating in the alcohol category, but ignoring beer completely. That’s 9.5 million people. This group of consumers, which we call beer rejectors, represents an important growth opportunity. If we could get just 10% of them to start buying beer, there would be nearly 1 million more beer shoppers each year.
NEXT: INVITE IN
What is my relaxation goal?
What do I need from my beverage to support that goal?
TIME FOR ME
REFRESH & REINVIGORATE
SIP & SAVOR
The strategy begins with a focus on the category fundamentals, including assortment, price and displays that provide the necessary foundation for convenience stores to have a strong alcohol beverage program. Execution of these fundamentals is the first pillar of the IGNITE strategy, and once that foundation is in place, convenience retailers can focus on the other three objectives of IGNITE: inviting new 21+ drinkers, expanding their drinking occasions and encouraging trade up.
For new shoppers of legal drinking age, learning to navigate the beer aisle is like learning a new language—and choosing between styles, flavors and price points can feel like a shot in the dark. Even consumers who have years of experience in shopping the alcohol section may see certain beverage styles as foreign territory. A seasoned wine connoisseur, for example, may be less familiar with beer and may avoid the section altogether simply because they don’t know how to choose the right beverage for their tastes and preferences.
Optimize The Shelf For New Drinkers With Trending Alcohol Beverages
That’s where IGNITE, Anheuser-Busch’s comprehensive strategy for driving category growth across total alcohol, comes in. The first pillar of the IGNITE strategy is getting the fundamentals right. The second pillar, Invite In, aims to help optimize the shelf for new drinkers with strategies backed by Anheuser-Busch’s expansive research into consumer preferences, shopping behaviors and drinking occasions. Two main consumer demographics are the focus: new drinkers of legal drinking age (LDAs) and non-beer drinkers, especially women.
Learn more about Invite In, the first recommendation of Anheuser-Busch’s IGNITE initiative.
Drive growth by INVITING new drinkers into the category
IGNITE helps retailers to understand these prospective customers’ drinking preferences and to use these insights to inform shelf sets and merchandising.
Savor the Flavor
Flavor-forward beverages from the Beyond Beer category, such as seltzers, ciders, RTDs, flavored malt beverages and cheladas, are star players in category shelf expansion for retailers. In fact, IGNITE reports that Beyond Beer beverage sales make up 54% of growth in beer sales.
The first growth driver in the IGNITE strategy provides recommendations on how to attract new drinkers (consumers of legal drinking age, or LDAs, and women) to the category with on-trend, flavor-forward Beyond Beer styles that are especially likely to appeal to new shoppers. These easy-to-drink, lighter, flavor-forward beverages represent a new and incremental growth opportunity for the beer category.
Some consumers have started to view Beyond Beer in the same way that they view canned wine and canned cocktails, so much so that a 4th category is emerging. This 4th category we refer to as Hard Beverages, which is distinct from beer, wine and spirits and is driving total alcohol growth. There is a unique opportunity for the 4th category to occupy its own location in the store, adding incremental space in total alcohol and creating growth that is INCREMENTAL to the beer category.
ATTRACTING WOMEN AND LDAs TO BEER AND BEYOND BEER
LDAs and women show an especially strong potential for growth within the flavor-forward Hard Beverage segment. These demographics are seeking sweeter, easier-to-drink alcohol choices. Household penetration of FMB, cider, and fruit/shandy beers is highest with 21- to 34-year-old households, while the exact opposite is true for lagers. This trend carries into the wine aisle, where the sweeter styles, such as moscato, riesling, and rosé, have the highest HH penetration with 21- to 34-year-olds. Additionally, 52% of women report preferring the taste of wine because of its ‘sweetness and balance.’
Flavor is the clear leader when it comes to choosing a Hard Beverage
As these demographics seek out on-trend flavor, sweetness, and easier-to-drink beverages, they can incorrectly deselect the beer category, assuming a bitter taste that does not match their taste preferences.
By offering familiar flavors as well as newly trending beverages in the beer and Beyond Beer categories, convenience retailers can provide an accessible starting point for new drinkers beginning to branch out. Consumers come for the new experiences and approachable flavors, and they stay for the new favorite beverages they discover. By highlighting convenience, approachability and sessionability, convenience retailers can more easily attract shoppers to Hard Beverages.
Savvy Merchandising Goes a Long Way
It’s not enough for convenience retailers just to stock trending and innovative beverages: Smart merchandising attracts shoppers to the beverages they’ll love. Aisle placement, signage and displays are foundational in creating a shoppable shelf that catches customers’ attention and draws them in.
Organize the shelf by taste profile
Some retailers have started creating a Beyond Beer door by grouping all Beyond Beer products together mixing singles and multipacks into the same space. This is a great option for retailers who want to accelerate this segment and make it a destination for shoppers. In this case the Beyond Beer flow could be singles vs. multipack, flavor segment, and then individual flavors.
As a high impulse segment, . In MULO Beyond Beer has a 47% lift when on display only and 99% lift when on both feature and display.* This is double the effectiveness of any other beer segment.
Displays are especially important in the summer which represents 47% of all Beyond Beer sales.**
The first principle of Beyond Beer displays is location, location, location. Displays should be placed in high-traffic, high-visibility areas. There is also an opportunity to place incremental Beyond Beer displays away from the beer department to capture shoppers who typically avoid the beer aisle.
The second principle of Beyond Beer displays is to merchandise multiple segments at the same time. Displays with two or more segments have twice the lift as displays with only one. Shoppers are looking for variety from this segment, and cross-category displays are a great way to showcase the variety and drive impulse purchases and increase basket size.
With each new trend in alcohol comes a new opportunity to convert a lifelong customer, and with IGNITE, convenience operators can learn which styles and categories appeal to new drinkers and how to maximize the appeal of these products on the shelf. To learn more about IGNITE and to build customized strategies to invite new 21+ drinkers to the category, contact your local Anheuser-Busch Category Management representative. Click below to learn more about the other objectives in the IGNITE strategy: expanding consumption and driving trade up.
Effective merchandising support, combined with selling the right styles, is essential to recruiting and retaining newcomers to the beer and Beyond Beer categories.
*IRI MULO Average SKUs per store, L13w, w/e 11.29.19
The key attribute of Beyond Beer is that it offers shoppers variety, both in taste profile and in flavor. With over 2,600 Beyond Beer SKUs in the market, this variety can overwhelm shoppers and make it hard to find something they will enjoy. That’s why it’s essential we get it right at the shelf.
The Beyond Beer shelf should be organized based on how shoppers think about this segment. Anheuser-Busch research has found that taste profile is the first, and most important, decision shoppers make. Meaning, they start their shopping trip knowing they want something sweet, light and refreshing, or even savory and complex.
In c-stores, the shelf solution is simple: Group all Beyond Beer products together. Most convenience retailers set their flow by singles and multipacks. If this is the case, group Beyond Beer products together—use them to lead the set in each door and flow by price and then segment.
Beyond Beer has strong performance when on display
Beyond Beer the perfect anchor for the end of the aisle.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE
Percent of respondents saying that attribute drives their decision
Comprehensive assortment & flow
Best in class signage
Seasonal displays with a variety of flavor profiles
Source: Mintel RTD Beverage report, Dec 2018
**IRI, L52w, w/e 11.24.19
To help shoppers in small format, we recommend organizing the shelf first by taste profile, from least intense to most intense. Start with the light and refreshing products, which are Seltzers, hard waters, Agua Frescas and hard kombuchas. Then comes crisp & dry ciders. Those will lead into the sweet products—the FMBs. Last are the complex and savory products like Cheladas.
**IRI TUS Convenience L52 Weeks Ending 8/2/20
ORGANIZING THE SHELF BY TASTE PROFILE
Consumers know that certain events call for celebrating with a drink in hand—from summer cookouts to watching a football game to kicking back on a Friday evening after work. But what if there were more reasons for consumers to stop by the convenience store and pick up their favorite alcoholic beverage—or branch out and try a new brew—beyond the traditional events they know and love?
Highlight New Responsible Drinking Occasions to Boost Alcoholic Beverage Success
Anheuser-Busch’s IGNITE strategy recognizes four pillars of category growth:
For convenience store retailers, success in alcohol can be achieved by highlighting additional purchases for more responsible drinking occasions.
The third pillar of category growth under Anheuser-Busch’s IGNITE initiative, EXPAND CONSUMPTION, gives retailers recommendations on what products and shopper strategies they can implement to open new drinking occasions. Within this pillar are three ways to translate increased awareness into success: Evolve Meals, Reflective Reward and Smart Choices.
Foodservice has become one of the most rapidly growing categories in the c-store, with fresh ingredients, higher-quality options and made-to-order menu items becoming increasingly common offerings. As more and more consumers look to the c-store for lunch, dinner and snacks—some even ordering c-store meals for delivery—the alcoholic beverage section can be a key part of this growing market.
According to data from Kantar, 51% of beer is consumed during meals—and that number is continuing to grow. Meal-centric cross-category displays give shoppers a quick and easy way to find a beverage that pairs perfectly with their entree.
Signage, displays and digital advertising can be the game changers here; clear, eye-catching images not only educate consumers on recommended pairings, but can also add to the appeal. Whether shoppers came to purchase groceries and stayed for the beer—or vice versa—the perfect pairing can effortlessly increase basket rings.
With highlighting new drinking occasions comes the opportunity to leverage new beverage offerings to suit each and every circumstance, including winning in the occasion of relaxing, which is 26% of all consumption. Educating consumers on how to best enjoy their beverage with tailored recommendations for glassware and serving temperature helps elevate a relaxing experience at home.
Whether it’s enjoyed at a social occasion or a more relaxing moment, shoppers respond to the drink that best suits their desires at the moment. Consumers looking to relax and refresh will likely enjoy something on the crisp, sessionable side of the spectrum such as a lager or wheat-based brew. These, as well as IPAs and pale ales suit the shopper looking to unwind. For the perfect “me time” indulgence, retailers can offer a stout, porter or cask beer for leisurely sipping.
By stocking a beverage for any and every occasion—and marketing to consumers relaxing and refreshing in a variety of ways—retailers can make their alcoholic beverage section a go-to source for the right beverage at the right time, providing a true treat for shoppers without the guesswork.
Whether consumers are looking for products that are meaningful to their healthy mindset or are simply seeking something fresh and new, the Smart Choices category has a lot to offer. According to Mintel’s Oct. 2019 Beer report for the U.S., 41% of all adults, including 51% of millennials, say health-related perceptions drive their choice in beer.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
*IRI MULO Average SKUs per store, L13w, w/e 11.29.19 **IRI, L52w, w/e 11.24.19
There are a variety of ways convenience retailers can provide products that appeal to the mindset of their shoppers—whether it’s by providing more of the appealing attributes health-conscious consumers look for in an alcoholic beverage (i.e. certified organic or locally made) or less of the aspects they may be looking to moderate or reduce (i.e. calories, carbs, high ABV).
The Smart Choices growth driver boosts the frequency of beer purchases by effectively marketing the attributes that appeal to a shopper's mindset: Highlighting Smart Choices in-store can involve anything from eye-catching signage, cross-category displays and shelves shared with the store’s health and wellness section as well as clear display iconography on displays that shows a product is, for example, gluten-free or low-sugar at a glance.
Expanding the frequency of responsible alcoholic beverage purchases is a key step of the IGNITE initiative and involves practical opportunities for retailers across markets. Retailers looking for tailored insights into how to expand frequency at their own stores can contact their local Anheuser-Busch category management representative to learn more.
inform buying and merchandising.
with products suited for drinking age adults who are new to purchasing alcohol.
by encouraging more drinking occasions and increasing overall sales by raising awareness and educating shoppers.
with a “treat yourself” mentality that encourages consumers to purchase more premium options.
Inviting New 21+ Drinkers
Expanding Frequency of Responsible Purchases
Driving Trade Up
of beer is consumed during meals—and that number is continuing to grow, according to data from Kantar.
NEXT: TRADE UP
Pairing the perfect alcoholic beverage with a meal isn’t limited to the restaurant wine list. Convenience retailers can make this move seamlessly: While customers are shopping for their meal, they can be informed and educated about a corresponding beverage at the same time. Retailers can provide suggestions for pairings in a variety of ways.
Across consumer-packaged goods, upgrading to premium products is the largest growth driver for sales. And across markets, certain attributes drive premiumization: High-quality, convenient, unique, indulgent and purpose-driven products see the greatest success in convincing consumers to trade up to a premium product. The same principles apply to consumers shopping the alcoholic beverage section at the convenience store.
Increase Basket Size by Encouraging Premium Beverage Sales
Boost alcohol success by encouraging consumers to pick up higher-end, indulgent, premium beer options.
Key demographics drive growth
Finding opportunities to expand the prestige segment begins with identifying what drives a shopper’s decision to trade up and activating with the right products and messages to meet their needs. According to Anheuser-Busch research, adults 21- to 39-years old and men 40 to 65 are especially lucrative demographics on which retailers can focus growth via trade up.
UNDERSTANDING THE SHOPPER
In a nutshell, the key to activating trade up among younger LDA adults is focusing on image. They tend to select a beer that helps them to express themselves. If they trade up, they’re likely looking for a way to reward themselves or looking for a small luxury to enjoy as a treat. For this group, providing a beer with a high badge value that justifies a higher price is essential. For convenience retailers, highlighting limited edition, purpose-driven or uniquely special products can help convince these shoppers to splurge.
Occasional Splurgers tend to reserve their premium alcoholic beverage purchases for special occasions; therefore, focus on “capturing the celebration” by honing in on holiday marketing that encourages premiumization and cross-category displays with products for sharing and gifting at celebrations.
While a smaller demographic, the Always Fancy consumers drive 70% of growth in premium beverage sales; for these shoppers, premium beverages are a routine purchase rather than a special-occasion splurge. Elevating the shopping experience can encourage trade up among these consumers. The IGNITE strategy suggests using shopper messaging to help consumers differentiate between different beverage styles, while also providing education and recommendations to address the top barrier to trade up—lacking knowledge on how to best enjoy a premium drink.
Install a rotating occasions-based anchor that encourages shoppers to trade up for special events.
By understanding the factors that convince shoppers to reach for the premium alcoholic beverage option on the shelf, c-stores can better meet consumer demand. For tailored insights and recommendations to encourage trade up in their own stores, retailers can contact their local Anheuser-Busch category management representative.
with products suited for drinking age adults who are new to purchasing alcohol.
by encouraging more drinking occasions and increasing overall sales by raising awareness and educating shoppers.
with a “treat yourself” mentality that encourages consumers to purchase more premium options.
The final pillar, TRADE UP, recognizes the potential to drive purchases of more premium brews and employs strategies for marketing and buying that encourage shoppers to upgrade—increasing basket averages overall. Two growth drivers are foundational to this pillar: Trading up 21– to 39-year-olds seeking products with the right badge value, and encouraging 40+ males to treat themselves with products that tout high quality ingredients and heritage.
For men aged 40-65, premium beer is best marketed as a social treat. A beer that acts as a sign of success, provides a special treat and serves as something to share with others and connect over is likely a beer these men see as worth trading up for. Promoting a premium beer as a sophisticated beer worth sharing is key. C-store retailers who leverage social occasions as an impetus to trade up can see significant growth in this consumer demographic.
Growth Drivers for Trade Up:
Insights into different consumers’ shopping habits are also essential to informing what products a convenience store sells and how they market them. Anheuser-Busch research finds that shoppers tend to fall into one of two categories: the Occasional Splurgers (about 76% of the population) and the Always Fancy (who make up the remaining 24%).
Create a sampling bar to circumvent shoppers’ hesitancy to purchase a beverage they haven’t tried before and don’t know if they like.
Use displays to help consumers differentiate between different beverage styles. Endcaps can feature monthly recommendations to encourage shoppers to try something new.
Provide education and recommendations to address the top barrier to trade up—lacking knowledge on how to best enjoy a premium drink—with information on what glassware and serving temperature best suits each beverage.
The IGNITE strategy suggests four ways to do so:
Fully customizable PowerBI
reporting suite designed to streamline data cleaning & processing.
An intuitive, collaborative tool designed for use on desktop and mobile, BrewBox360 allows access planograms, notes, data and more in one easy-to-use place—perfect for project management, scheduling and planning at a moment’s notice.
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An intelligent space planning add-on, exclusive to Anheuser-Busch, that automates the most repetitive aspects of the planogram development process for increased accuracy, higher quality and more meaningful insights.
Introducing a fully customizable PowerBI reporting suite. Revolutionize shelf strategy to optimize category sales with a cutting-edge visualization platform. This mobile-ready system allows for focused, up-to-date insights anywhere, anytime.
Reporting done your way
No cookie-cutter solutions here. Configured to each one of your accounts, the system shifts to your language and your needs. Hands-off updating guarantees access to the information you need at the touch of a button. Drill into category performance and get the beer trends you need to make savvy decisions in a snap.
Focused data creates relevant insights
Streamlined data gives you in-depth reporting of beer trends at a glance. Get dollar trends by price tiers and timeframe and break down total beer performance by style. Compare performance across multiple timeframes and account dimensions, all on one page.
Management made proactive
Track the performance of shelf recommendations in depth. Intuitive graphics map out shelf performance.
The industry moves quickly.
Your reporting suite should, too.
Introducing a space management resource that moves with you. Designed for use on both desktop and mobile, users can access planograms and collaborate with teammates easily, thanks to a site that’s as intuitive as it is sophisticated. Constructing a shoppable format has never been more efficient.
SHELF MANAGEMENT HAS A NEW LOOK
No need to call another meeting with your team or your account. Share ideas with your team anywhere, anytime with seamless integration of mobile and website services. Leave comments on planograms, make announcements and create surveys to streamline the collaborative process.
Build it together
“BrewBox360 eliminated the need for a big round table meeting. Save time and money, and reduce the hassle in implementing a planogram.”
Project management? Check. Account scheduling? Got it. Oversee your account's reset process in real time via one mobile-friendly site. View planograms, review notes, upload data and access files securely. Take your workspace anywhere.
The plan is in your hands
Get a bird’s-eye view at a glance with up-to-date account dashboards, project standings and assignment trackers. Find the information you need to organize schedules and provide feedback to keep your accounts' resets running like a well-oiled machine.
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Quickly connect with suppliers, wholesalers and retailers to keep your reset moving
Leave notes for easy collaboration
Find nearby stores at the touch of a button – no need to leave the site
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View planograms and comments side-by-side
Introducing an intelligent add-on to the Blue Yonder Space Planning Plus application. Exclusively at Anheuser-Busch, Shelf IQ automates the most repetitive aspects of the planogram development process for more accurate, higher quality planograms. This allows our expert team to deliver high quality, consistently built planograms that are specific to your guidelines.
Utilizing hundreds of configurable actions within Shelf IQ, we organize, standardize, and automate merchandising playlists specific to your business for more accurate planograms.
WE INCREASE PLANOGRAM ACCURACY
A powerful validation engine can quickly identify and highlight issues and evaluate changes across hundreds of planograms on the fly, using cusomtizable rules unique to your reset.
OUR PLANOGRAMS ARE HIGH QUALITY
DRIVING PRODUCTIVITY AND INSIGHTS
Shelf IQ allows us to intelligently and responsibly perform merchandising actions in mass, allowing our teams to invest in providing stronger insights. When combined with our expertise, we are enabled by Shelf IQ to better target the unique preferences of your business through interactive tools to present data clearly and assist in decision making.
WHAT IS IGNITE
WHAT IS IGNITE?
IGNITE Growth Driver:
Meals are a huge part of people’s lives. With meals, naturally come drinks….so every meal is an opportunity for the beverage category!
Different types of meals call for different beverage choices. Today, alcohol is consumed in just 5% of all meals. And yet, meals is still the largest, and most important occasion for the beer category. If we can increase alcohol showing up in 5% of meals to just 6%, it would be $2.8B in incremental sales across total alcohol, and $1.2B for beer. To encourage more people to broaden their drink choices at mealtime, we need to understand that there are various types of meals, ranging from everyday meals to social or celebratory meals.
In c-store, there is one primary meal occasions that shoppers are buying for: The Everyday Meal. When we talk about everyday meals, we are referring to your standard, weeknight meal, at which you are either alone or with your immediate family.
This need has fueled growth in convenient, quick meals and the desire to stay close to home. With busy schedules, parents eat 156 meals a year standing up and are always looking for more convenient options. 1/3 of shoppers visit c-stores to grab something to eat because they’re hungry, often looking for something to eat now and something to take home for later.
The highest selling prepared foods are pizza and sandwiches, which are also the items that are most often paired with beer.
With any meal, people want a drink that is refreshing and compliments the food. However, a unique need for these weeknight meals, is that people want something that won’t affect them the next day when they get up and go to work. Beer, especially balanced choices lagers and light lagers, deliver exactly what people are looking for in these moments: Sessionable, goes with any food, and low ABV.
So what is it that people are looking for in a beverage for their everyday meal?
In order to unlock growth meals, we need to find ways to encourage c-store food buyers to also purchase beer on the same trip. Educating the consumer on food and beer pairings with in-store signage is a great place to start. Displaying beer near the prepared food is another way to drive purchase and increase basket ring. Almost all c-store food buyers are beer drinkers, so there’s a huge opportunity to capture growth by connecting the two together.
Keys to Unlocking Growth
Highest Selling Prepared Foods
Anheuser-Busch knows it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Contact your local Anheuser-Busch Category Management representative today to learn more about igniting category growth through the Evolve Meals growth driver.
of everyday meals happen in the home.
Cooking at home can often be seen as a chore, and cooking every single day can become tedious, especially as the average American can only make 5 meals without a recipe. Today’s consumer feels they do not have enough time to learn how to cook something new. At the end of a long day, what these families really want, is a quick, convenient, easy meal solution that will make their family happy.
People prefer to cook their everyday meals at home
This is exactly why beer makes up more than half of what people are drinking in this everyday meal occasion. Spirits also plays an important role in the everyday meal, often as a mixed drink like a vodka soda, or a small pour of a favorite spirit.
The closing rate for hungry c-store shoppers is high. One third of people who go into the store hungry end up purchasing prepared food almost 90% of the time. So, we know if they’re looking for food, they’re almost always going to buy something. However, even though a majority of these shoppers are beer drinkers, they’re not buying beer, because only 1.8% of those trips include beer.
1 Kantar Demand Landscape, 2020
4 Numerator Basket Affinity (Prepared Food basket within Gas & Convenience Deli &) - latest 52 weeks ending 3/14/2021
5 Numerator Basket Affinity (Beer within Gas & Convenience Deli & Prepared Food basket) - latest 52 weeks ending 3/14/2021
Activate cross-merchandising programs with these high affinity items to increase basket size.
of eCommerce in the total alcohol category
Whether in-store or online, a strong category starts with getting the Fundamentals right
Online shoppers are highly valuable
COVID-19 accelerated the need for eCommerce
The eCommerce landscape is evolving
Click on each trend below to learn more
Rapid growth of the eCommerce channel means new shoppers and new opportunities to grow the beer category online.
The eCommerce landscape is becoming increasingly important across channels.
See below to gain valuable insights and learn more about the online shopper, the eCommerce category fundamentals, and how to activate the IGNITE Growth Drivers to drive alcohol category growth online.
The Category Fundamentals are the first pillar of the IGNITE strategy. Once you have perfected your Category Fundamentals, you can move on to the three key objectives of IGNITE:
Having best-in-class imagery and content improves the online shopping experience
Ensure the right search strategy to drive conversion
Having the right taxonomy and navigation can drive purchases
IMAGERY & CONTENT
TAXONOMY & NAVIGATION
Composite imagery is the foundation of eCommerce content
Composite imagery drives purchase
Composite images show two or more versions of the product which allows a shopper to see primary and secondary pack.
There is a + 18% increase in dollar sales YoY for products that include composite imagery.
Improve shopper experience with hero & carousel images
The hero is the first image a shopper sees on product page.
A carousel allows shoppers to click through more images, exploring the product.
Carousel images should highlight key attributes, tell the brand story, showcase seasonal occasions, and provide food pairings.
Strong search algorithms are key
Product descriptions must include all key words otherwise shoppers won’t find the products they are searching for.
Product pages need robust descriptions which include key search terms shoppers use, such as:
Source: Cross Category, Kwikee 2020
The key rules to improve Search
Map the right products to the right key word
Bad search results erode credibility and make for a poor online shopping experience.
• Top search terms are not mapped to top SKUs
• Misspellings are not accounted for in search results
• Category terms are not leveraged
• Algorithms return results based only on product titles
Include good wording in the search algorithm
Accurately map key attributes to products
Source: Shopper Experience Survey COVID Wave 2 July 2020 | HubSpot Research 2019 | BCG Small Format eCommpass Study Dec. 2019
Online beer shoppers are highly valuable
Source: Numerator Custom Beer Category Ecommerce Incrementality Analysis | Last 52 weeks from April 2020. Source: Symphony Retail Beer Category eCommerce Incrementality Study | Last 52 weeks from April 2020
Health & safety concerns during COVID accelerated need for eCommerce
Source: Insights Team, COVID Share Out, Wave 14 July 2020. Mintel Reports, Impact of COVID-19 on Food and Drink Retailing-US-June 2020. Nielsen CGA On-Premise Impact Report Issue 9 Part 1. Drizly Consumer Survey Report June 2020. | Numerator Data Explorer August 2020
What is the US eCommerce landscape all about?
MORE growth YOY
3.5x higher growth
1.7 x higher buy rate
20% bigger baskets
(+14% vs. 4% growth in-store YOY)
($488 vs. $282 in-store)
(driven by more & bigger packs)
of shoppers concerned about health and safety
CLICK & COLLECT
Enhance the shopping experience with cross-category search
Even when shoppers spell words incorrectly, the product they are looking for should still appear.
Shopper searches for “light beer.”
Drive bigger baskets by displaying top selling items.
Causes of inaccurate search results:
Banner ads should click through to a full page of featured products.
When a shopper searches for category, display banner ads for best selling items in the category.
Use shopper insights to map SKUs to keywords based on how shoppers group them together.
It is essential to get taxonomy & navigation right
Browsing is a key moment to influence a purchase and win a shopper!
40% of shoppers find what they’re looking for by browsing
Also include separate pages for Hard Beverages and Health & Wellness
Have separate pages for beer, wine and spirits
NEXT: eCOMMERCE GROWTH DRIVERS
Order on retailer website and pickup
Includes in-store and curbside pickup
However, unlike shelf flow in-store, eCommerce allows us to have more than one set of criteria for site pages.
Like shelf flow, site pages should reflect the decision hierarchy
Elevating Hard Beverages will improve shopper navigation. It’s also likely to increase traffic and sales in this rapidly growing segment.
Anheuser-Busch’s eCommerce recommendations are grounded in a deep understanding of consumers, online shoppers and occasions
10,000+ eCommerce shoppers studied
COVID shopper pulse studies to understand changing eCommerce landscape
Quantitative, qualitative, eye tracking, and digital shop-along studies
Online alcohol sales are on the rise
MORE spend per trip
shoppers are limiting time in store
making less trips to the store
increase total HH penetration for online beer
Order on retailer website for at home delivery
Includes in-house and 3rd party fulfillment
Order on app or website for fast home delivery from physical “partner store”
Order on pure-play app or website
Order fulfilled by e-Commerce player with no B&M presence
Online alcohol sales grew rapidly in 2020, and are expected to remain high in 2021 and beyond
Source: Deutsche Bank, “Food Fight Round2: Convenience & Digital Gaining Ground”, Nov 2019, Consumer Survey Fabric 2019
Source: COVID 19 Consumer Spend Impact, BCG April 2020 | Source: IWSR, Dec 2020
COVID-19 Forecasted Effect on
Forecast: US Total Alcohol Online ($B)
Post COVID Base Case
2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total Alcohol (Low Case)
Estimated +300% growth YOY
2019 2020 2021 2022
Total Alcohol (High Case)
Accelerated Penetration as a result of COVID-19
Create a best-in-class experience with enhanced below the fold content
Above the fold refers to space and content on the upper half of a webpage that is visible WITHOUT scrolling.
Below the fold refers to space and content on the bottom half of a webpage that is only visible AFTER scrolling.
25% of shoppers look below the fold but most retailers don’t use the space strategically.
Enhance content by including integrated videos, interactive experiences, influencer content or social media.
DID YOU KNOW?
Nearly 60% of shoppers say they’re searching for a specific product when they’re shopping for beer online
75% of shoppers never get past the 1st page of results
Shoppers rely on 1st page search results to find new products to try
The full assortment for the light beer segment should appear, not just SKUs with “light beer” in the product title.
Shopper finds desired product and adds to cart.
1/3 of shoppers are undecided before they start browsing
Give shoppers multiple ways to navigate the category.
Hard Beverages = Seltzers, Ciders, FMB, Chelada
Retailers should create a dedicated page, as secondary placement, for products with the attributes tied to Health & Wellness needs to align with the #1 trend in total food and beverage.
View a live example of the perfect online navigation.
Target adults of legal drinking age who are new to purchasing alcohol with approachable, easy-to-drink, flavor-forward products.
Anheuser-Busch IGNITE Growth Driver Assessment
There are 3 pillars of activating Savor The Flavor
Below you can find out more about how to activate the IGNITE Growth Drivers to capitalize on these three key objectives in the eCommerce channel.
What’s the goal of this campaign from a category lens?
SAVOR THE FLAVOR
NEXT: EVOLVE MEALS
Build programs that activate against the key drinking occasions to increase frequency.
Drive trade up by featuring the right brands and highlighting the right attributes to encourage people to treat themselves or purchase higher end products for celebratory moments.
Invite NEW 21+ Drinkers into the Category
Expand Frequency By Winning With More Styles In More Occasions
Drive Trade Up Within the Category
Use this framework to understand which IGNITE growth driver best fits to support your eCommerce priorities
To INVITE New Drinkers
To EXPAND Frequency
To accelerate TRADE UP
Who is your target audience?
What does your campaign focus on?
Who is your target audience?
LDA-29 year olds
A healthy, balanced lifestyle
21-39 year olds
40-65 year olds
Savor the Flavor
Click on each IGNITE driver above or scroll down to learn more
Engage shoppers on flavor discovery
Win key moments
Taste profile and flavor are the top drivers of shopper choice in the Beyond Beer segment. So, help guide shoppers by incorporating taste descriptions and add flavor filters to ease navigation.
21-29 year old consume 1/3 of all beer in social drinking occasions. So, provide social imagery in the product carousels to activate against a relevant moment for this key demographic.
40% of Beyond Beer shoppers decide their purchase while shopping. You can increase conversion by facilitating exploration across the segment, helping shoppers discover new flavors.
Use pre- and post-shop engagement for customer acquisition and to drive conversion during the key selling seasons for Beyond Beer:
33% of Beyond Beer sales occur during the Summer. Use e-blasts and targeted promotions to win shoppers during this peak season.
16% of Beyond Beer sales occur during the Holidays. Attract new shoppers during this season with Holiday-themed promotions.
BACK TO CHART
There are 3 pillars of activating Smart Choices
Highlight Health & Wellness product attributes
Showcase nutrition stats with iconography on product pages.
Add filters or dedicated pages so that shoppers can easily navigate the category and find the right products with the right attributes that fit their health & wellness goals.
Engage these shoppers by using imagery and content that resonates with their lifestyle.
Use pre- and post-shop engagement for customer acquisition and to drive conversion.
Engagement tactics should use targeted communication and cross-category offers to attract shoppers and build baskets.
Leverage lifestyle imagery on product pages
Use targeted offers
There are 2 pillars of activating Evolve Meals
Create premium beer and meal pairings
76% of consumers enjoy talking about new or interesting foods, and 31% choose their beverage based on what would pair well with their food1, however they don’t understand how to pair food and beer.
Create pairing recommendations for shoppers in media, and add food and beer pairing imagery to the product pages.
Shoppable recipes show quick and easy meal ideas that include beer pairings.
Build shoppable recipes that include beer
There are 3 pillars of activating Reflective Rewards
Include relax imagery & messaging on product pages
21% of all alcohol and beer is consumed in relax occasions.
Trigger purchases by including relax-themed imagery and content on product pages.
Banner ads can also be used to share exclusive offers.
Create a destination for relax through a dedicated page, which can be used to build baskets with relax-themed cross merchandising.
Digital shelves, bundles and offers can be used to curate products for relax occasions to help drive purchase.
Deploy pre- and post-shop offers and notifications
Build relax-themed carousels, offers and bundles
There are 3 pillars of activating Trade Up
Image Matters & Social Treat
Activate the Holidays to make the occasion feel special
Celebration is the #1 reason shoppers decide to trade up.
Bring Holiday messaging into digital content, utilizing push notifications & digital outreach to engage shoppers during this key selling season.
49% of 21-29 year olds try to make regular days feel special, and 75% of shoppers are willing to pay more for higher quality products including those with organic & all-natural ingredients or upgraded packaging.
82% of Millennials place a high importance on ethical and socially-responsible brands & products.
Drive trade up with 21-39 year olds by including brand-specific social responsibility programs on product pages.
Elevate everyday celebrations
Activate purpose-driven platforms
57% of balanced choices beer buyers consider themselves either active or very active.
1. Numerator, Balanced choices beer buyers, Total US, L52 w w/e 9-24-2020.
These shoppable recipes allow shoppers to add all products to their cart with just one click.
Use digital media to target relax occasions to drive new customer acquisition and loyal customer repurchases with geo-targeted push notifications and offers.
Core+, Premium and Super Premium priced beers experience 2x growth during the Holiday season.
Activate messaging for the everyday occasion, highlighting messages of quality, ingredients and heritage.
NEXT: SMART CHOICES
NEXT: REFLECTIVE REWARDS
NEXT: IMAGE MATTERS & SOCIAL TREAT
1. Shopper Purchase Decision Hierarchy, Custom AB research updated June 2020. 2. Total Alcohol Demand Landscape, Kantar, November 2019. 3: Numerator, Total US, Beyond Beer Shopper, “How far in advance did you make your purchase decision?”, L52w w/e 9-26-2020. 4. IRI, MULC, 2019, Summer = June + July + August, Holidays = November + December. Using prior year data so as not to skew the results with summer COVID data and last year’s holiday data.
1. Kantar Demand Landscape, November 2019
1. IRI Premium Shopper Deep Dive July 2019
2: What If?! + Kantar + AB Consumer Insights sprints, 2018. IRI Premium Shopper Deep Dive July 2019
3: IRI Premium Shopper Deep Dive July 2019
While IGNITE provides a solid framework of recommendations to lead growth in the category, Anheuser-Busch knows it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Contact your local Anheuser-Busch Category Management representative today to learn more about IGNITE, and to build a tailored eCommerce programs that fits your strategy.
GROWTH DRIVER ASSESSMENT
First, analyze which IGNITE driver fits with your eRetail priority...
In c-store, there is one primary meal occasion that shoppers are buying for: The Everyday Meal. When we talk about everyday meals, we are referring to your standard, weeknight meal, at which you are either alone or with your immediate family.
This is exactly why beer makes up more than half of what people are drinking in this everyday meal occasion. Spirits also play an important role in the everyday meal, often as a mixed drink like a vodka soda, or a small pour of a favorite spirit.
drinking behavior studied to build a PROPRIETARY Demand Landscape
We can accelerate growth by