Case Study

Optimizing a Major Brewery’s Seasonal Beer Portfolio Strategy


When seasonal markets affect your company, you need to be able to predict upcoming trends. But designing an effective forward-thinking seasonal strategy isn’t always easy. Strategies consumers respond to one year can fail the next. Current events, popular tastes, technological advances, and cultural trends all impact consumers’ needs and desires and make predictions incredibly difficult.

However, market research that blends consumer behavior history and predictive analytics can help companies ensure that major changes to a seasonal portfolio strategy are profitable and timely.

When a leading alcoholic beverage company needed consumer research to inform their seasonal beer portfolio, they called C+R for help. Using a Mixed Methods approach, our analysts gathered powerful insights that have helped the company excite their audience and stand out in the marketplace, season after season.


The Challenges of Designing a Forward-Thinking Seasonal Strategy

A leading alcoholic beverage and brewing company needed to ascertain whether their seasonal beer portfolio strategy was aligned with the market’s needs and desires. Were they offering seasonal products that excited their audience and stood out in the marketplace?

Before the beverage company could implement a go-forward seasonal strategy, they needed to understand how beer consumers are introduced to new seasonal beers, what motivates consumer trial, and what prompts a purchase. The brewery also wanted a comparison study between two different beers with a thorough analysis regarding the perception of the products as well as the impact of product overlap between types of beer and seasonal options.


Understanding Seasonal Beer Cravings

C+R Research’s solution was two-fold. First, we conducted a quantitative online survey. Next, qualitative focus groups.

The quantitative survey was used to gather reliable data from a large group of consumers. Our advanced analytics team helped bring insights from the data using penalty-reward analysis, perceptual maps, derived importance, and drivers analysis.

After the survey, C+R utilized qualitative focus groups to confirm or alter consumer behavior and perception of specific beer flavors. The focus groups were essential in identifying potential product flavors, along with product naming, packaging, and marketing strategies.

The result

Consumers Want Old Favorites and Novel New Choices

Our research revealed that seasonal choices are driven more by taste than any other factor. Additionally, consumers desire new flavors and old favorites when adopting seasonal beers. Consumers like novelty in their  beers , especially for seasonal occasions like social gatherings. Seasonal beers often serve a specific purpose or need in consumers’ lives.

By revealing consumers’ nuanced flavor preferences in each season, as well as their desire for new flavors and old favorites, C+R’s findings guided product development. Our research also informed marketing priorities by highlighting key functional and emotional drivers to leverage in messaging, and distinct seasonal opportunities to win share from the leading competitor.

Equipped with these insights, and more, our client created a forward-thinking seasonal strategy aimed at winning considerable market share from its leading competitor.

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