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Millennials and the European craft beer market: An exploratory study with an emphasis on the role of labels.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]



In Europe, the craft beer industry represents nowadays one of the faster growing segments of the beverage industry (Daneshkhu, 2014). The term “Craft brewing” is used to identify traditional beer production, independent and small sized breweries (not exceeding 6 million barrels of production per year) (Warner & Erie, 2010). The increased number of craft breweries is linked to the new market trend characterized by differentiation of beer flavours. A specific cohort seems to be driving the craft beer popularity: Millennials, also known as generation Y. (The Brewers of Europe, 2013, p.27). Despite this increasing popularity, the research within the field of craft beer from a consumers’ perspective remains limited.




The aim of this research is to gain deeper understanding regarding Millennials’ overall perceptions, attitudes and purchase intent towards craft beers –placing the emphasis on the role that craft beer labels have in this process- and to possibly identify different segments inside Millennials craft beer consumers.




To fulfil the purpose of this thesis both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied. Interviews using the card sorting technique were conducted in order to further understand the different craft beer label conventions present in the market. In addition, an online questionnaire -where participants were exposed to three different craft beer labels- was used to explore Millennials’ perceived importance of craft beer label cues and to assess the effect that different brand name conventions and label designs have on this cohort’ attitudes and purchase intent.


Main Findings


Provocative labels are generally perceived as distinctive and unique and obtained higher attitudinal scores among Millennials. Conversely, traditional label -characterized by familiar and “old style” designs- seemed to evoke less favourable attitudes among this cohort. Further, the finding suggests that consistency between brand name and label design convention does not necessarily lead to more favourable attitudes towards craft beers. Moreover, gender, level of knowledge and consumption frequency has an impact in the importance devoted to specific label cues. Lastly, within our sample, three segments of craft beer consumers within the Millennials’ cohort were detected by applying clustering techniques (“Brand switchers”, “Technical drinkers” and “Information seekers”).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Craft beer Labels, Millennials
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29993ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160237OAI: diva2:939454
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-05-22 Last updated: 2016-06-20Bibliographically approved

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