Mix-and-match Craft Beer Offers More Variety at a Higher Margin

Jan 30, 2019

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About

LaurelGroceryCompany_Logo

Laurel Grocery Company, Cornell's IGA
Shelby, OH

Wine and Beer Department
Department Size: 8' mix and match craft beer section
Store Specs: 45,000 sq ft


Strategy

"Over the last decade, the consumer relationship to beer has changed. Before, beer drinkers were loyal to one brand. They just swung by the store and grabbed their Coors or Budweiser. But craft beer drinkers are more likely to branch out and try something new. Because of this, selling craft beer is more similar to the wine market than the traditional beer market. To give customers the variety that they are looking for, we rolled out mix-and-match six packs in April of 2018. The beauty of the mix and match is that it allows customers to try six different beers for $10.99. To announce the rollout of this new initiative, we featured mix and match in our weekly ad and in a spot in the local paper. After just 9 weeks, our craft beer sales were up 12.92 percent or $7,869. At the 20 percent state minimum, this represented $1,538 in profit."

12.92%
Increase in Craft Beer Sales

$7,869
Sales in Growth in 9 weeks

100
Varieties of Beer Available

Why it Works

For Our Shoppers

Quality
Customers get to try a wide variety of beers for one low price.

Value
Without mix and match, customers would have to spend about $65 to buy six full 6-packs to try these same beers.

Fun
Customers really enjoy building their 6-packs and often make events of trying all the varieties with their friends at home.

For Our Store

Increased Sales
Providing a unique interactive experience has led to increased sales in our craft beer department.

Differentiates Store
Customers come to our store specifically for the mix-and-match 6-pack and stay to shop in other departments.


Tactics

Research your vendors.
Don't let just one or two vendors send you their entire craft beer offering. All vendors--from the big guys to local players--carry obscure beers that can only be ordered upon request.

Choose a good variety.
The fun of the mix and match 6-packs is that you can try multiple styles of beers. Be sure to carry some of the more approachable varieties, along with a few more unusual options.

If possible, refrigerate all the new beers.
Most customers are planning to take the product home to consume immediately. Warm sections can work, but they are usually not as effective and may take longer to catch on.

Get ready to sell.
Either load the individual bottle bar codes into your system and have the cashiers scan each bottle of the mixed six pack, or get a universal 6-pack carrier with a bar code.

Pricing

We price individual beers at $2 each and our 6-packs at $10.99. Be sure to price your mix and match to cover the most expensive 6-pack offered.

Pro Tips

Avoid 4-pack beers
Beers that come in 4-packs can retail around $11-12 for just four bottles. Including these offerings is a quick way to reduce your profit margins.

Train your employees to watch out for misplaced beers.
If using the 6-pack carrier method, be sure to train cashiers to watch for bottles that don't belong (4-pack bottles or more expensive selections). This can be accomplished with a sticker or a marker on the cap.

Be prepared for the initial investment.
The average craft beer case costs $30-35. We added 100 varieties of beer with an initial investment around $3,500.

Beer

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