Craft beer drinkers may take their imbibing more seriously than their macro-brew loving counterparts, but, when they do drink, they drink less and boast healthier lifestyle habits.
According to a recent study conducted by the Harris Poll, people who drink craft brews drink less than the average American, pay more attention to what they eat and exercise more regularly than those who prefer cheaper beer and liquor brands.
Harris Poll surveyed 1,978 adults over 21 in May and found that 73 percent of craft beer fans view drinking alcohol as an indulgence reserved for special occasions, compared to a slightly lower 67 percent for non-craft beer drinkers. This difference was more noticeable among younger drinkers—80 percent of 21 to 34 year old craft beer drinkers said they consider drinking alcohol to be a treat.
Danelle Kosmal, Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice, said the survey presents some “interesting challenges” to brewers and retailers as they consider how to market to a younger audience.
“First, it’s important for brewers to prioritize weekends for their biggest events in-store or at the brew pub and tasting rooms. This is when craft drinkers are thinking most about beer-drinking occasions,” Kosmal said in a press release.
Craft beer drinkers aren’t just drinking less, but the poll also found they engage in healthier lifestyle activities.
More than half of craft beer drinking respondents (57 percent) say they exercise several times a week versus 52 percent of average drinkers. But 40 percent of craft drinkers said they prefer group exercise versus working out solo.
Kosmal notes this finding presents a unique opportunity to engage craft beer aficionados on the weekdays by promoting fitness-centric social plans.
“Many brewers are already doing this through events like brewery-sponsored yoga or weekly group runs,” Kosmal said. “It is a great way for craft drinkers to stick with their fitness plans, while still engaging in a fun, social activity, and then enjoying a beer with friends who share similar fitness goals and interests.”
And when it comes to food, craft drinkers are more likely than their big beer brand loving counters parts to read nutrition labels (78 percent versus 73 percent) and they were more knowledgeable about how many calories their alcoholic beverages really contain.
But craft beer lovers love their brews so much that they’re willing to sacrifice calories in other areas of their diet to keep imbibing that extra hoppy IPA.
Nearly 40 percent of craft beer drinkers said they drink lower calorie non-alcoholic beverages in order to indulge in their favorite brews—versus just 25 percent of all drinkers.
Though craft beer lovers tend to have more money and higher levels of education than those who prefer a top five brand (which also corresponds with healthier lifestyle habits), Harris Poll said its survey demographics were weighted by age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income to reflect actual U.S. population demographics.