Better beer : an exploratory analysis of craft beer flavor preferences and market segmentation.
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Craft beer has been on a steady incline of growth since the late 1980's (Brewers Association, 2015), this growth has occurred due to American consumers wanting more from their beer (Acitelli, 2013). As the craft beer industry continuously grows, a better understanding of the craft beer consumer is needed. Using a simplistic model of the consumer buying process, this research analyzes four influences: social, marketing, situational and psychological. The research also analyzes the possibility of segmentation of craft beer consumers with market segmentations objective being to analyze markets, find niche opportunities, and capitalize on a superior competitive position (Weinstein, 1994, p.2). This study implements an exploratory research design to examine the demographics and psychographics of craft beer customers, as associated with their flavor preferences. This study also uses descriptive correlational research design to compare demographics and psychographics with flavor preferences. Convenience sampling was used for this research to collect data from craft beer enthusiasts, 21 and over, from the Midwest region of the United States (n=114). A technology induced self-administered and/or researcher assisted questionnaire was used. From the 114 responses were collected, of those 64% (n=73) were male and 36% (n=41) were female, 8.8% (n=10) fall in the Baby Boomer generation, 27.2% (n=31) are of the Generation X generation and 56.1% (n=64) are Millennials. Of the nine flavors used; sweet and fruity were the most commonly liked, acknowledged and their variance could both be attributed to the generation born and the gender of the craft beer consumer. The two most influential purchasing influences were found to be flavor and craft beer style.
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