Last year The Gender Pint Gap, a report into women’s attitudes towards beer via a survey in the UK, exposed some interesting findings in the responses from women to the idea of their drinking beer.
What stood out most from the survey was that female attitudes towards beer have not changed much since 2009.
The report urged the beer industry to take into account its findings in order to help the beer scene grow and develop by appealing to more female consumers.
Published by the women and beer interest group Dea Latis The Gender Pint Gap was funded by a grant from the Brewer’s Research and Education Fund.
The report found that only 17% of women drink beer at least once a week compared to 53% of men, with a similar percentage of women feeling that ‘being judged by others’ was the third-biggest barrier to drinking beer.
Now, funded again by the Brewer’s Research and Education Fund, Dea Latis has published a follow-up study of women and beer.
The Beer Agender takes a more in-depth look at barriers identified as deterring women from drinking beer and asks whether it’s time for brewers and retailers to think again about this sizeable market opportunity lost.
And as for 50% of the consumers on the other side of the counter, is it also time for women to consider ordering a beer in the pub as an informed choice?
Part of the problem revolves around perceptions of what other women think.
The Beer Agender finds that some women characterise anther woman drinking beer as “a woman who doesn’t care too much about what other people think of her and/or a woman who doesn’t care too much about what she thinks of herself”.
The report finds that the barriers to women taking a greater interest in ordering a beer remain substantial.
Beer volume, its packaging, appearance and taste all play a part here with women wanting to move beyond volume and focus instead on attractive glassware and lighter, more golden beers rather than the darker ones.
“Women are more into the aesthetics – we like things like that beer wrapped in nice paper,” commented one of the survey group.
Elegant glassware is definitely a deal-breaker with women, notes the report, with brown and bitter beers having negative connotations.
Women “love how the gin category spans gender, age and social class – it’s all about presentation and image”.
Another participant in the survey pointed out that, “If you’re looking your best, you’ll have a gin and tonic or a martini. Not a pint.”
If they are to drink beer women want beer to be served in sizes less than half-a-pint but with more interest and more flavours.
“Think beer tapas or flights of beer – the chance to try, but not commit to, a whole pint or half pint” suggests the report, adding that, “Matching types of food with beer is an attractive proposition for women but they need to be encouraged to taste and sample and to be inspired and enticed”.
Male-orientated advertising and branding
This aspect of the beer business has been incredibly off-putting for women. The survey found 27% of women stating that a major barrier for them drinking beer is that most beer advertising is perceived to be male-orientated. This figure rose to 48% amongst 18 to 24-year old women.
“Advertising was cited as a key factor when women talked of beer as perhaps not being for them. Advertising was, they felt, dominated by blokes, mainly blokes in bars. Some gave the example of the 2018 World Cup as a time when many women did drink beer but few were shown in advertising campaigns for the mainstream lager brands.“
Women simply don’t want to go to an environment where “pint pots dominate and beer is swilled in large quantities regardless of quality”.
A matter of taste?
Finally, the report points out that if there is a beer out there for everyone and women have started to recognise this, “… why is it that they are still citing ‘taste’ as a reason why they don’t like, or drink beer?”.