Drinkers Want Brews Directly, But 75% of States Prohibit DtC Beer

Second annual report reveals majority of regular craft beer drinkers interested in DtC beer would be willing to spend $50 or more a month

(BOSTON) March 09, 2022 – The interest and enthusiasm for direct-to-consumer (DtC) beer shipping has not waned in 2022, even as the past year has brought some relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. Conducted in partnership with the Brewers Association, the second annual Sovos ShipCompliant Beer DtC Shipping Report revealed that many craft beer drinkers do not differentiate between beer and other household goods in terms of what they’d like to have conveniently shipped to their homes.

As part of the Sovos ShipCompliant Direct-to-Consumer Beer Shipping Report, The Harris Poll conducted an online consumer survey on behalf of Sovos ShipCompliant among over 500 regular craft beer drinkers, defined as those who drink craft beer at least once per month. The ShipCompliant/Harris Poll consumer survey found that among the products regular craft beer drinkers would like to be able to purchase and have shipped DtC, beer (54%) is just as popular as wine (49%) and several everyday use items such as clothing (58%), self-care products (57%), paper products (56%), cleaning products (56%), and food (53%). This stands in stark contrast to the fact that interstate direct-to-consumer beer shipping is only legal in 11 states and Washington, D.C., while wine can be shipped DtC to 47 states and D.C. Additionally, the survey found that more than nine in ten regular craft beer drinkers who would like to purchase beer via DtC shipping (92%) say if they could do so, they would make those beer purchases once a month or more often.

“In 2021, we discovered that the desire for DtC beer shipping skyrocketed due to the limitations on people accessing their favorite beverages in person,” said Larry Cormier, vice president and general manager, Sovos ShipCompliant. “In 2022, we took our research a step further to find out that 68% of regular craft beer drinkers who would like to purchase beer DtC say they would be willing to spend $50 or more a month – highlighting a lost opportunity for the craft brewing industry because the desire for DtC beer can’t be met in the current regulatory landscape.”

Other notable findings in the new report outlined consumer preferences and intent, including:

  • Increased permissions for DtC beer shipping could mean a substantial boost in brewery sales, with three-quarters of regular craft beer drinkers (75%) saying they would purchase more craft beer if they were able to have it shipped directly to their home versus having to go to a retail location to purchase it.
  • Among regular craft beer drinkers who would like to purchase beer DtC, an overwhelming majority (92%) say if they could do so, they would make these purchases once a month or more often, and nearly a third (32%) say they would do so weekly or more often.
  • When asked how much they would be willing to spend on DtC beer purchases each month, roughly two-thirds of regular craft beer drinkers who would like to purchase beer DtC (68%) say they would spend $50 or more, and more than two-in-five (45%) say they would spend $100 or more monthly.
  • College graduates are particularly interested in purchasing beer via DtC. Craft beer drinkers with a college degree or higher are more likely than those with a high school diploma or less to say they would like to be able to purchase beer and have it shipped directly to their homes/someone else’s home via a third-party carrier (58% vs. 43%).
  • Among regular craft beer drinkers, adults ages 21-54 are significantly more likely than those ages 55+ to say they plan to purchase beer via DtC shipping in 2022 (73% vs. 45%) and those with children under 18 living in the household are more likely than those without to say they plan to purchase beer via DtC shipping in 2022 (79% vs. 57%).

Market Potential for Beer Surpasses Current Sales

“Results from this year’s report give us an indication of just how much money is being left on the table for producers and states that forbid DtC beer shipping,” said Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association. “Based on the findings, it’s clear that expanding DtC shipping would meet consumer demand and boost craft brewery sales.”

DtC beer shipping provides a niche to build brands and sell higher value-added products than those they are growing in traditional distribution, making it an increasingly important tool for small and independent craft breweries to use in driving growth. From the perspective of the Brewers Association, the report shows that the DtC market is poised to grow in the coming years, if the regulatory landscape shifts to support that growth. Beer direct-to-consumer interstate shipping is currently only available to 14.8% of the 21+ U.S. population, versus 96.7% of the 21+ population for wine. Simple parity in shipping availability would grow the potential consumer market 6.5 times for beer.

To further understand the regular craft beer drinkers’ desire for DtC beer shipping, as well as to gain insights on potential future behaviors surrounding it, download the full Direct-to-Consumer Beer Shipping Report at dtcbeerreport.com.

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Consumer Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Sovos ShipCompliant in January 2022 among 1,951 adults ages 21+, among whom 562 are regular craft beer drinkers, defined as those who drink craft beer at least once per month. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Sovos ShipCompliant at helloship@sovos.com.

About Sovos ShipCompliant

Sovos ShipCompliant has been the leader in automated alcohol beverage compliance tools for more than 15 years, providing a full suite of cloud-based solutions to wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, distributors and retailers to ensure they meet all federal and state regulations for direct-to-consumer and three-tier distribution. ShipCompliant’s solutions reduce risk, lessen the burden of compliance, accelerate bringing products to market and enable revenue growth. With 60+ partner integrations, Sovos ShipCompliant leads a robust ecosystem of technology partnerships, enabling powerful complementary solutions. For more information, visit https://www.sovos.com/shipcompliant/ and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,600-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. For more information, visit BrewersAssociation.org.

Media Contacts

Amelia Wright, ARPR
On behalf of Sovos ShipCompliant
amelia@arpr.com // 855-300-8209

Source: Drinkers Want Brews Directly, But 75% of States Prohibit DtC Beer

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