Symrise study reveals US millennials see positive authenticity in craft beverages

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08 Nov 2017 --- Symrise Flavors’ Marketing and Consumer Insights group recently conducted a study addressing what is driving the growing acceptance of craft products among US millennials, with a focus on craft beverages. 

Building and expanding on previous studies that support the millennial influence on new product concepts, Symrise worked with 40 millennial consumers in New York, Chicago, San Diego and Austin to determine what is driving the demographics’ concept of craft products in general and craft beverages specifically. The study revealed multiple opportunities in craft beverage product development when healthful ingredients, interesting and bold flavors, unique combinations of flavors, and captivating packaging come together for a strong connection to the brand. 

When millennials were asked about soda products, they reported that they see craft soda as a healthier option when compared to its mainstream counterparts – decidedly, a healthier alternative to alcohol. When these subjects were asked to identify the key soda product differentiators, they cited ingredients and flavors as having the greatest relevance. The group sees soda as providing a joyful, exciting and social experience. Moreover, they conclude that to qualify as a bonafide craft beverage product, it should have a “hand-made” image.

General agreement was noted in the ways millennials define craft products, seeing them as communicating an honest message and displaying distinctive personality. Millennial consumers also tend to see craft products as edgy, capable of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary by adding a twist to traditional recipes and methods. They believe that craft beverages should be disassociated from beverages that are perceived as sugary and loaded with preservatives.

When millennials described the meaning of “craft,” they used adjectives that convey human characteristics – words such as honest, original, passionate and creative. They also associated the craft process with human-like descriptors, using terms that included man-made, authentic, high end and real, noting artistic, honest, exclusive, bold and better-for-you attributes. 

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