When it comes to beer purchase patterns, one size does not fit all. Convenience store customers may grab a six pack or case to go, but they’re just as likely to reach for a single serving — typically available in 16, 24 or 40 ounces.
In fact, there are many reasons why category managers should stock up on single-serve beers. First and foremost, the alcohol category remains a major profit producer for in-store transactions, and beer and flavored-malt beverages reign as the top two sellers, according to the 2020 State of the Industry report issued by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). But there are even more reasons why customers may prefer the single-serve choice.
Sometimes people just are in the mood for one cold beer right away at the end of the day or for a specific occasion, but not really in need of a multipack. According to Anheuser-Busch research from a few years ago, approximately three-fourths of beer buyers consume the product within an hour of purchasing. Single-serve beer offerings perfectly meet these once-in-a-while occasions.
The explosion of craft breweries all across the country over the past few years has inspired beer drinkers to break from traditional mass-produced brands and experiment with new flavors. NACS reports that 44% of adult beer drinkers pop open craft beers. C-stores even have partnered with local breweries to develop formulas featuring their proprietary brands of coffee, candy and other products. While buyers hold taste expectations of popular brands, new concoctions are unfamiliar. Single servings allow beer aficionados to taste different labels with minimal financial commitment, while c-stores ring up the profits.
Boost Basket Sales
Because most single-serve beer sales are an occasion or impromptu purchase, they present opportunities for c-stores to promote bundle deals. For example, some retailers have offered two- or three-for programs, marketing a discount to entice consumers to pair a single-serve beer with a foodservice item or salty snacks.
Another promotion idea is to discount multiple purchases of single servings. Instead of manufacturers’ prepackaged six packs, people can assemble a personalized multipack of different labels, similar to what grocers offer for wine buying.
Center Aisle Sales
Of course, the cold vault is the obvious location to display single-serve beer inventory, but who says it’s the only place to promote the segment? Center aisle displays also may capture customers’ attention, especially if the cans or bottles are presented on ice so people can still reach for a cold one.