Credits: DAVE THOMAS/QMI AGENCY
Beer consumption per capita in Canada has flattened, Bank of Montreal economist Alex Koustas said.
"Now it's kind of getting to the point where the major players, major breweries kind of find new markets and new products to try and grow these revenues," he said.
The report focused on tapping into the female market, which has great revenue potential, by introducing new flavours. Men account for 80% of beer sales, while women chug the other 20%.
While women's consumption of alcohol has increased, it is more focused on wine. With reduced profits due to rising input costs, catering to women is the next step.
"We've seen traditionally some brands that have been geared towards males now kind of have these new kind of flavours and varieties tacked on them, so you'll have Brand X lime, or Brand X iced tea," Koustas said.
Darker and more flavourful beers are also generating more revenue in colder months, a time when traditional lager sales go down.
"When it comes to Canada, anything that can sell better in the winter is a bonus," Koustas said.
Surprisingly, craft breweries are thriving as consumers choose specialty products.
"The smaller breweries have been doing much better ... where the larger breweries are seeing much more slower growth," Koustas said. "That has a lot again to do with consumer tastes and choices."
Consequently, large breweries are now buying smaller breweries to offer a variety of traditional and specialty flavours.
"The bigger the company, the more they can do to kind of bargain for lower prices on barley and other inputs into the beer," he said.