Is it too early to start talking about 2022? Nah…after all, the Halloween decorations are already up.
The year 2020 started out just fine, but soon torpedoed into the abyss of unknown as the pandemic held its grasp on all sectors of our culture for the entire year. We entered this year with hope; that a vaccine would be the magic wand (it wasn’t) and we would be back to “normal” by summer (we weren’t). Now we head towards the end of the year limping towards 2022.
There will be much speculation about what 2022 has in store for the beer business. Certainly, the pandemic has altered our industry in profound ways. Craft Brewing Business takes a stab at looking into the crystal ball with three (pretty “safe”) projections on what to expect in 2022.
The first is “The Year of the Brand Refresh.” Next year will certainly be hyper-competitive in the alcohol beverage world. Things have changed, and its time for craft brewers to make sure their brand graphics and marketing are relevant in today’s new world.
Number two is “contactless technology is here to stay.” No doubt. This is a slam dunk. Every brewery that conducts on-site sales should be looking into and preparing for some level of contactless technology.
Lastly, “direct-to-consumer (DTC) is here, but staying power unclear.” The only thing I would disagree here is; it is here to stay. It will be a gradual process, but over the course of the next 10-15 years, most states will allow DTC both within-state and from out-of-state manufacturers. Temporary allowances during the pandemic to allow for beer DTC in many states produced good results with little to no issues. The dominoes are falling on this one, and although it will take time, it has staying power.
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