Lowering ABV – Optimising brand and taste perceptions

Low ABV Rules

A number of brewers have recently announced that they are lowering the abv of their main brands; the latest being Heineken dropping the abv of Strongbow from 5.3% to 5% and at the same time introducing a Pear Cider variant at 4.8%.

The move towards lowering abv has also now extended into wines and spirits with low abv wines being a growth area of the sector.

A key question for brewers, winemakers and distillers is how far can you reduce the abv of a particular brand before there is a marked fall in consumer perceptions of reduced quality and taste?

At SPA Future Thinking we have developed an online testing programme that evaluates consumer propensity to purchase a brand at different levels of abv in the context of both the on and off trade as we have found this can differ.

From our testing programme we can recommend how low an abv a brand can go without the risk of losing brand and taste perceptions amongst both regular and potential drinkers. It then provides producers with an invaluable guide as to the level of abv to concentrate on when optimising the product itself.

At the next stage, we can then evaluate the product to see how it performs and meets consumer expectations in order to recommend how to optimise the product. We are also able to provide accurate sales forecasting for the new variant using our Apollonius™ volumetric modelling and alcoholic drinks norms database.

For more information and to learn about what other research solutions we offer to the drinks industry please call or email, Andrew Tharme, Managing Director, on +44(0)1865 336 491 or +44(0)7970 962091.