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It’s likely that one of the things that will be on everyone’s mind at the upcoming 6th annual AMBQ ( Association des Microbrasseries du Québec) congress in Quebec City this coming November 16, 17 and 18 will be how to stay competitive in today’s microbreweries market.

Beer Canada’s annual statistical report 2015 released in June shows that the beer market on the whole has been stagnating, with the total liters sold per year remaining basically unchanged since 2009 (about 22,515 hectolitres annually). Likewise, the per capita consumption in Canada has shrunk slightly by about 1.5% to 63.35 Litres per year over the past 6 years.

That’s not to say that the outlook is bleak for independent brewers. In fact, smaller labels have been getting more and more traction in the overall beer market compared to the big players. According to IBIS world, a U.S. industry market research company, microbreweries market share in the USA over the past 5 years, has increased by 19 percent and appears to be continuing to trend that way. The Canadian market likely has the same tendency.

But the challenge ahead lies with the number of small competitors vying for recognition in the microbreweries segment: according to Beer Canada, there has been an impressive 70% increase in competitors in the past 5 years, bringing the total number of licenced microbreweries to 520 in Canada in 2014.

To face growing competition in a stagnating market requires audacity. And in fact, audacity happens to one of the things the market is looking for. Traditionally, the beer market’s strongest target age group are approximately 19 to 30 year old men. This age group now corresponds to what is called the millennial generation. One of the recognized characteristics of this generational group is, as puts it ‘often in search of something exotic, adventuresome, memorable or new to explore’’. It follows then that independent Beer makers will want to make their product seem ‘exotic’ and ‘unique’ and why not a total beer drinking adventure. But how?

As a Product Identification company, we’ll be at the AMBQ congress with our part of the answer to that question: Shrink Sleeve. We think beer companies need to embrace the potential of shrink Sleeve packaging for their product, because of its immersive nature, its 360 degree form fitting shape, the super high quality of the colour render and more. To quote a 2010 AC Neilsen study on the positive effect of shrink sleeve labelling, ‘’Shrink sleeve labels create stronger consumer emotional connections than traditional labels, acting as a key influencer of product trial and sales’’.

If your company is a craft brewer, and you’ll be at the AMBQ congress in two weeks please come and see us at booth #29 (We’ll be there November 16th and 17th) and we’ll show you what we mean about shrink sleeve.

If you’re not, but are a company that bottles and would like to know more about the power of shrink sleeve, don’t hesitate to contact us!