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Roadmap to Better Beverage Sales

Ever been lost in a new city? Plotted out a course for a big road trip? Attempted to find your way out of IKEA? Luckily, modern GPS based navigation is available for most of us right in our smartphones, providing turn-by-turn instructions to help you find your way out of the most challenging of situations. So what if I told you that there’s GPS out there to help you navigate our modern, uber competitive beverage alcohol marketplace? A tool that could give you clues about where your brand has been, how to avoid hazards in the market, and how to take your bev alc brand from Point A to Point B by means of more revenue. This tool has existed for years, but it’s all in how you access and use it that’s revolutionary - it’s DATA.

The evolution of the craft beverage industry over the past decade has thrown multiple challenges into the mix for suppliers trying to grow brand awareness, increase sales, and expand their market share. Back in the early 2000’s, the craft beverage market was fairly simple to navigate. Consumer spending data was not necessarily top of mind for most suppliers. Creating sales plans were fairly simple - use “craft beverage” as your main value proposition to expand your distribution footprint. 

Enter the 2010’s and now things get more complicated. In the craft beer segment alone, the market exploded from about 3,000 craft breweries in 2013 to over 8,300 breweries in 2019 (Brewers Association, 2020). By 2020, there were over 21,000 craft beverage alcohol operators in the US alone (CRS from ACSA, Brewer’s Association, and Wines & Vines, 2021). The alcoholic beverage segment exploded with brand options for retail buyers and consumers alike, AKA more hazards for suppliers to navigate. Bev alc brands had to adapt to strategic sales planning that could help them find a more direct route to additional market share and revenue. Those plans were based on data, either from one of very few large data mining companies that monopolized the information at a high price or from your distribution partner, which meant the data you received was most likely not up to date. Not the most ideal situation for growing brands with limited resources.

Heading into the 2020’s brought even more challenges for suppliers - the arrival of new alternative drink styles like RTD’s (ready to drink beverages), new digital channels for consumer purchase like DTC sales (direct to consumer) and third party alcohol delivery services, and shifting consumer demographics like the rise of Gen Z purchasers and Active Agers. The beverage alcohol industry continues to rapidly change on the daily, so then the big question for suppliers becomes - how can even the smallest of producers navigate this complicated marketplace?

The answer: suppliers need a metaphorical GPS device for sales planning. Does this even exist? Yes, but not in the form of a smartphone app, it comes from easily accessible and customizable data reporting. Consumer purchase data about who’s buying your beverages, when they buy, what they buy, how they buy, in what quantities, and where they are buying are all vital data points to have if you want to gain market share in today’s dynamic bev alc market. Knowing these elements of purchase behavior will guide sales planning so that suppliers can ensure they are offering the right products for the right consumers in the right place and at the right time. Growing brands can chart a course for expansion into new market territories with the power of data to validate their business decisions. Suppliers can innovate product lines to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer tastes and beverage purchase channels. 

Think of consumer spending data like Google Maps for your craft beverage business. Wondering which market segments hold the most potential to increase sales? Dig into distribution data points. Curious which SKUs are performing best in your portfolio? With easily accessible data, you can run intricate SKU analyses to pinpoint what’s working and not working. Not sure how that new product is performing in the elusive On Premise segment? Find your answers within Point of Sale data collected from licensed accounts. Consolidated bev alc sales data puts the map to more revenue right on your laptop and will show you the most efficient path to more market share. 

In addition to routing the most efficient course to more market share, suppliers will also encounter road hazards along their path to more revenue. These hazards come in the form of access, organization, analysis, and cost. Purchase data is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your business toolkit, but even the largest brands in our industry struggle to collect, organize, and interpret consumer sales data. Not to mention that data has been historically unattainable for most growing brands. Hefty price tags and complicated reports have kept data in the hands of large, elite brands. Similar to how most people now use navigation apps instead of clunky, foldable maps to route their way from one point to another, modern data, from companies like InfoSource, is not only highly accessible in an easy to read dashboard for simplified analysis, but also centrally organized, and most importantly, affordable for suppliers. InfoSource does the heavy lifting so that suppliers of every size can gain access to consumer sales data to help you grow your beverage sales. The saying goes that it's not about the destination, but it’s the journey that is important. While this may hold true for your family vacation, it doesn’t apply to the beverage alcohol market. InfoSource realizes that suppliers need to get to their destination quicker, easier, and in an affordable way, so let them take the wheel and show you how easy data collection and analysis can be.