Trending Beer Flavors Survey: Oak, Blueberry Cobbler Top List of Potential Flavors

The beer industry, while always popular, is constantly changing. While the major players and brands may constantly put out more of the same, craft beer companies, microbreweries and even some larger brands do release some more interesting varieties and flavor profiles. There are some trendy flavors for 2016 that might appeal to beer drinkers. More specifically, a Nutritional Outlook study finds that some of the most popular flavor trends for food and beverage in 2016 include nostalgic bakery flavors, exotic flavors, green or vegetable based flavors and woody flavors. So which flavors would people most like to see when it comes to beer? And what makes them choose certain flavors over others?

trending beer flavors

Beer Fans

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 37% of respondents said that they have a generally positive opinion of beer. 28% were neutral. And 35% said they don’t like it. Overall, 23% said that they usually drink beer at least once per week. 9% drink it at least once per month. 13% do so a few times per year. 14% rarely drink it. 10% said they have in the past, but don’t anymore. And 36% said they never drink beer.

Of those who drink beer at least one occasion, 60% said that they usually purchase it at grocery stores. 38% order it at bars or restaurants. 35% make their purchases at specialty beer or liquor stores. 16% tend to buy it at special events. And 12% buy it at breweries or microbreweries.

Trending Beer Flavors

There are already plenty of interesting beer flavors out there. And brewers are creating new ones all the time. But how many consumers actually try out those flavors regularly? 6% of beer drinkers said that they like to try out new flavors at least once per week. 12% said they do so at least once per month. 28% like to try out new flavors a few times per year. 10% do about once a year. 33% rarely ever try new beer flavors. And just 9% never do.

So what convinces people to try out new flavors? 59% said that they often try new beer flavors just out of curiosity. 46% do so based on recommendations from friends. 33% said they are likely to try new flavors if they already trust the beer brand. 28% said they are more likely to try a new beer flavor if they tend to like that flavor in other food items. And 15% said they are more likely to try trendy beer flavors. Sam Adams was the most popular beer brand for people who like to try interesting beer flavors. Budweiser, Miller, Heineken, Corona, Blue Moon, Coors and Shock Top were also mentioned.

Flavor Profiles

Of those trending flavors that are expected to be popular in 2016, how many might translate well into beer flavors? 43% said they would be likely to try oak or woody flavors of beer. 41% would like to try a blueberry cobbler flavor. 40% are interested in a salted caramel flavored beer. 37% would try out toasted coconut. 36% are interested in a lemongrass flavored beer. 35% would try a lime sriracha beer. And 25% would try a jalapeno honey flavor.

When it comes to other food items though, people’s flavor preferences tend to differ a bit. 50% like the flavor of blueberry cobbler. 45% like salted caramel. 42% have a positive opinion of toasted coconut. Just 34% said they generally like oak or woody flavors. 28% like the flavor of lemongrass. 26% like lime sriracha. And 20% like jalapeno honey flavor.

Key Takeaways

Marketing a blueberry cobbler flavor as just a tasty new beer variety might not be as effective as playing up the nostalgia factor, since that’s a major part of the reason that flavor is trending in 2016. If you’re looking to sell more beer to irregular beer drinkers, you could probably focus more on sweet flavors. And using a nostalgic angle in your marketing can keep those efforts even more on-trend. On the other hand, if you’re marketing to a more experienced crowd of beer drinkers, you could play up the woody flavors in your beers, since that tended to be more popular among that crowd. Or you could create an adventurous sort of angle around your flavors to appeal to those beer drinkers who simply want to try new flavors out of curiosity.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Beer from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.


Results were collected on May 8 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.