Georgina Wild of HIM gives some insight into how to increase beer sales

Did you know that more than one in five beer shoppers have failed to purchase ale or lager on a visit to their local c-store in the past month?

This is just one of the key findings from a study recently conducted by HIM research & consulting on behalf of Carlsberg UK. HIM conducted 400 face-to-face shopper conversations with convenience shoppers regarding their lager/ale purchase habits specifically from convenience stores.

In our study we discovered that beer shoppers engage with the lager/ale fixtures about six times a month at either the grocery multiples or c-stores.

The biggest barrier to purchase is price, or the perception of price. Tied in with this is the perception that there are not enough promotions, but this does not mean that shoppers always seek out the lowest possible price, because we know they are prepared to pay a price premium at their convenience store compared with a supermarket purchase.

Not all pre-conceived barriers to purchase apply once shoppers get to the store, either. Promotions, price, availability and brands are the key influences to purchase in c-stores, but it is in fact poor availability rather than the price itself that is the biggest reason behind the one-in-five shoppers failing to buy lager/ale each month, rather than value/price expectations.

The study looked at a variety of key areas including preferred brands, pack types and pack sizes, as well as pack sizes that shoppers would like to see sold in their local convenience stores.

This, in particular, highlighted some specific opportunities for introducing convenience-focused pack sizes, giving shoppers an option to buy a solution to their specific budgetary and mission needs and providing a point of difference to the grocery multiples.

The importance of promotions, shoppers' preferred promotional mechanics and where in-store shoppers pick up their promoted lager/ale purchases were also covered in the shopper conversations. However, with so much focus on special offers, retailers need to be aware that visibility is just as effective as operating promotions for generating those impulse lager/ale purchases.