Beer and similar brewed drinks are very popular. You can’t imagine an urban party without these drinks. Usually they are brewed in large factories, outside the cities and then transported to the point of consumption. This is the traditional model for most industrial manufactured goods. Cars, furniture, clothes, electronics, even food and beverages.
But these days we see a trend towards decentralization. No, no, we don’t mean blockchain. We mean that the number of facilities where beer is brewed is rapidly increasing. There are two main categories of these facilities. One is very interesting, which is home-brewing. DIY culture has reached the smart beer consumer, who is not satisfied with of-the-shelf ready-made beer. Now she or he can configure their own flavor, try new recipes and brew fresh beer for own consumption or for house parties.
The second category of decentralized or distributed brewing are micro-breweries. These can be off-shoots of big breweries or large size pubs / restaurants or a new kind of startup breed, who create their own brand and genuine recipes, hoping to find consumers.
This trend of decentralization is fueled by generation Y and generation Z people. These people live in urban environments. They value local and organic over global and processed food. They prefer to shop in local street markets rather to go to supermarkets. They prefer vegetables and fruits from the local farmers rather than packaged, processed or even frozen food.
What does this mean for large brands / producers?
First, be aware of this trend. Follow the consumer behavior, try to understand their preferences and motivation, and try to empathize with their needs.
Second, you might benefit from this trend. Now you could focus on small segments, behave much more local, generate personalized experiences, flavors, products, offerings, and even grow your customer base and revenues. This requires honesty and patience.
Third, beer brewing and drinking goes beyond regular producing, bottling, putting it in the shelf and leaving the rest to the pub or the consumer. If you can be trusted in the perception of the consumer, you can build communities, host workshops, run tasting events, and establish a brand loyalty beyond just consuming.
You are not a brewery? This trends will affect you as well…
Therefore we compiled this brief post. Decentralization, DIY and similar trends are seen in other spaces like agriculture, automotive, construction, and similar. Companies in these industries should be aware of what’s happening, how it happens, how it might impact their business, processes and consumers and take position accordingly.
Technologies as open source software and hardware, additive manufacturing (e.g. 3d printers) and online tutorials (written or video format) support individuals and communities, who want to become more independent, self-determined and also more creative.
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