It’s safe to say that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the craft beer industry has been very well documented over the course of the year. With the difficulties of social distancing, bar closures and isolations, it has been a very testing time for businesses all across the nation.
The sheer drop in on premise sales, bar & restaurant closures and reduced income has created an incredibly difficult situation for the brewing industry. The fallout that ensued the initial UK lockdown on 23rd March 2020, forced brewers and pubs to throw away over 70 million pints of beer which were spoilt during the coronavirus closures [inews.co.uk]. Today, this figure is set to rise once again; with some business owners estimating a loss of over £10,000 per week owing to the government’s latest announcements and legislations of the 10pm curfew.
Adapting for Covid-19
The 104 days of uncertainty that ensued the 23rd March certainly disrupted the status quo in the brewing industry. In order to cater for newly embraced consumer purchasing behaviours of ordering online (as opposed to purchasing goods from brick & mortar premises) many businesses had to adapt by adjusting their operations towards direct-to-consumer avenues.
Brewers have quite literally transformed their businesses, by re-designing their websites and overhauling their marketing strategies to facilitate and focus online sales transactions for their beverages. – Providing a much-needed solution for continuing the sales of beer.
The online sales orders have also offered opportunities that lay within beer subscription services, which have helped to ensure repeat purchasing throughout the pandemic. One of the key components that have helped to facilitate this is of course is packaging.
A Surge in Subscription Sign-Ups
During the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘one in 10 Britons had signed up to a subscription service’[Guardian]. It’s no surprise at all, that in the past 7 months, we (Saxon Packaging) have seen a surge in demand for our array of beer packaging solutions, particularly for the aforementioned subscription & eCommerce sectors. This is because brewers are continuing to seek innovative and cost-effective ways to enable customers to continue to receive their hoppy beverages and not to mention to keep up with increased consumer demand.
The old adage still holds true, ‘every dark cloud has a silver lining’. We have witnessed many success stories from brewers who have taken the plunge into the world of eCommerce. One particular client of ours has managed to almost double their subscribers since the beginning of the pandemic.
How to Recreate Their Successes
If you are a brewer and are yet to consider exploring the avenue of direct-to-consumer retailing for your beer products, it may come across as daunting. However, it’s not as difficult as it may first appear to be, in-fact it is quite the contrary! Adapting your existing website (or creating one from scratch) for eCommerce can be quite straightforward!
There are lots of tools & services available online that make the entire process painless. They are generally not that costly and you can be up-and-running, taking payments over the web, in a very short space of time. From there, it will be time for you to communicate your new online services to your loyal customers, and it won’t be long until you’ll be shipping out your new orders taken from the web in eCommerce packaging solutions.
When it comes to packaging for beer products, there are many things to consider. Firstly, you need to identify what types of packaging you need. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Are you selling gifts online, could these be presented in a gift pack solution?
- How are you transporting your products? As this will affect the type of eCommerce packaging solution required.
As well as these questions, it is important that your packaging is reliable, cost effective, aesthetically pleasing and protects your product from damage during transit.
We like to make the entire process as simple as possible for our customers. As an experienced packaging supplier, we know what works (and what doesn’t!). We are able to create standard eCommerce packaging with simple designs such as company logos with easy to open tear strips, through to intricate pieces of artwork with multiple perforations. We also create standout gift packaging solutions, with a range of print finishes and internal fittings that are designed bespoke to fit the product it contains, providing extra protection and less material usage.
As we continue to navigate through these strange and difficult times and heading fast towards Christmas, finding a solution that permits you to continue to deliver beer to your customers in this new age of purchasing behaviour, eCommerce and subscription is something that every brewery should give some sincere thought to. It goes without saying, that after investing a lot of time and effort into producing your product(s), it’s essential to be able to fulfil customer demand, continue to deliver the hoppy bottles of goodness and make it a memorable & enjoyable experience for your customers.