Digital and Social Media Marketing Campaign in France
Awareness and enthusiasm for American craft beer is growing steadily in France. In 2020, France saw a 90% increase in U.S. craft beer imports and is now the third-largest European market. To build on this positive momentum, the Brewers Association (BA) Export Development Program (EDP) launched a digital and social media marketing campaign on January 28 this year, which is slated to wrap up in September. A major feature of the marketing campaign is a website dedicated to creatively introducing French consumers to brands and beers available in the market. The website also educates consumers on beer and food pairing options and points them to local French craft beer retailers, thereby generating awareness and sales opportunities for products from EDP member breweries.
In tandem with the website, the campaign includes a social media engagement component via Facebook and Instagram profiles dedicated to promoting American craft beer. One activity involved 350 nano-influencers to produce thousands of user-generated content by tagging, photographing, and sharing comments on EDP member beers. This content was incorporated into the website and shared widely with an online reach of 257,218 views. Another component invites French chefs to curate and present food recipes paired to EDP member beers. For example, the EDP contracted Paris-based chef Cathleen Clarity to produce eight recipes and showcase them in photos and videos over a 12-month period. She also participated in an Instagram live web event with Thomas Chisolm—a French “Top Chef” participant with 31,000 followers—which generated great exposure with more than 2,000 views. Through activities such as these, the EDP anticipates that this campaign will continue generating awareness and enthusiasm for American craft beer in France.
American Craft Beer Marketing to Chinese Trade & Consumers
From May 12-14, the EDP hosted an American craft beer pavilion at the 2021 Craft Beer China Conference & Exhibition (CBCE) in Shanghai, a professional exhibition for the craft beer industry in China and the Asia-Pacific region, co-organized by NürnbergMesse China and BeerLink, an industry publication.
The BA’s pavilion at CBCE featured two serving stations, cold storage, and a meeting area with two backdrop walls dedicated to showcasing brewery logos. Beers from 16 EDP member breweries were poured over the span of three days of the CBCE. Visitors to the booth included Chinese importers, distributors, retailers, brewers, and craft beer consumers.
On May 13, the BA hosted a craft beer tasting event that attracted over 100 attendees. Mark Hanzel, deputy director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Shanghai, delivered the opening remarks. Libin Shen, a national judge from the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), then guided the attendees through a detailed tasting of six select American craft beers. This event was live-streamed and received more than 2,900 unique views. All in all, the BA’s participation at CBCE helped to showcase the diversity, independence, and quality of American craft beer.
The EDP continues to engage the Chinese trade through tasting events, two of which were recently held in Shenyang and Shanghai on July 11 and July 14, respectively. In Shanghai, the EDP invited 30 importers, distributors, and bar owners and introduced them to 10 types of American craft beer. This event was mirrored in Shenyang, which engaged 20 trade participants locally and enhanced their knowledge and awareness of U.S. craft beer products.
A critical component of the EDP’s initiatives in China is its compliance with local laws and formally registering the BA as a Foreign Non-Governmental Organization (FNGO) to conduct business activities in China. The registration was recently completed, which will allow the EDP to resume its robust programming in the market. Separately, the BA successfully filed its trademark registration for the exclusive use of the BA association logo and the Independent Craft Brewer Seal in China. The EDP is available to share resources and relevant contacts for member breweries that are interested in their own trademark applications in China.
EDP Speaking Engagements in Mexico and Europe
The EDP’s Steve Parr participated in the Jornadas Cerveceras 2021, a craft beer conference hosted by Acermex (Mexican Association of Craft Beer Brewers) and held virtually from May 25-27. Steve’s remarks provided an update on the U.S. craft beer industry, the latest trends, as well as the importance of cold storage and proper handling practices for both imported and locally produced craft. Elsewhere, BA President and CEO Bob Pease participated in the 2021 Brewers of Europe Forum, which was held virtually from June 1-4. Bob’s keynote presentation covered American craft beer perseverance and ingenuity during the pandemic, as well as the BA’s priorities and objectives going forward.
American Craft Beer Excels at Australian International Beer Awards
EDP member breweries displayed their talent for producing high-quality and innovative beers at the 2021 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), which took place on May 11-14 in Melbourne. Hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, AIBA is widely recognized as one of the world’s largest beer competitions, and attracts 2,600+ entries from more than 400 breweries across 26 countries. In total, 37 American craft brewers competed and won 112 awards, including 19 gold, 40 silver, 51 bronze medals, and two major trophies. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all the EDP member breweries that represented American craft beer proudly on the global stage.
EDP Takes Part in Korea International Beer Expo
For the third consecutive year, the EDP partnered with the USDA office in Seoul to present American craft brewers and their beers at the Korea International Beer Expo (KIBEX), which took place on May 17-19, 2021. Under the “Great American Craft Beer Showcase” platform, the EDP and ATO Seoul sought to provide American craft beer suppliers with a platform to connect with the Korean beer trade for new business opportunities while promoting the quality, value, and diversity of American craft beer.
In total, 33 EDP members from 13 states were represented at this year’s event, which was visited by 9,638 attendees. Breweries were represented by their Korean import partners throughout the show. Those without representation were represented by staff from ATO Seoul, meeting with potential partners and pouring beers.
Between 2019 and 2020, the volume of U.S. craft beer exports to Korea grew by 14%. As more Korean consumers discover the quality and diversity of U.S. craft beer, sales opportunities for U.S. craft breweries are poised to continue to increase. Please refer to the Korea Beer Market Report 2021 published by ATO Seoul for information about the Korean beer market.
2022 Unified Export Strategy Submission
The BA relies on USDA grant funding to implement the Export Development Program. We are one of about 60 U.S. trade associations, cooperatives, and state/regional trade groups that work with the USDA to share the cost of overseas marketing and promotional activities to help build commercial export markets for U.S. products. Grants like the Market Access Program (MAP) fund much of the EDP’s activities, including consolidated shipments, international competition entry fees, educational materials, presentations to grow awareness among trade and media, trade show/festival presence, and other related activities.
As part of an annual application process, the BA prepared and submitted the 2022 Unified Export Strategy (UES) application to the USDA, requesting a total budget of $1,440,000 in MAP funds. While the final allotment is currently being determined, the EDP anticipates another fruitful year of export development success for EDP member breweries in 2022.
FAS Reports on Craft Beer
The EDP continues to monitor relevant beer market reports published by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The FAS recently released a new craft beer report on Taiwan. The EDP is available as a resource and is committed to your brewery’s export success in this young and vibrant market in the Asia-Pacific region. Please do not hesitate to reach out.
Untappd Badge Is Live: American Craft Beer Around the World
In June, the EDP partnered with Untappd to further encourage global beer drinkers to unlock the unrivaled innovation in quality, flavor, and style diversity offered by American craft beer. International beer drinkers can now earn the “American Craft Beer Around the World” badge by checking in and drinking EDP member beers outside the United States, which in turn encourages sales of American craft beer from EDP member breweries. Furthermore, the app functions as a market research platform for the EDP, as it provides information on venues, demographics, consumer taste preferences, and more. Data tracked by the EDP so far shows that male beer drinkers between ages 30-39 engage most with American craft beer, and the top five countries for check-ins are Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia. The most popular beer styles are IPAs—American, session, imperial, and hazy/juicy (listed in order)—followed by lagers.
Upcoming EDP Activities, August-December 2021
The EDP continues to raise awareness internationally and build export opportunities for American craft brewers. Please refer to the list below of events and marketing activities open for registration, as well as the EDP member resources page:
- International Beer Cup (Japan) – Aug. 18 deadline
- Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival – Aug. 27 deadline
- Brussels Beer Challenge – Sept. 1 deadline
- Planète Bière – Sept. 3 deadline
- European Beer Star – Sept. 17 deadline
- Cerveza Mexico Expo – Sept. 17 deadline