Online Surveys = Ongoing Insights

Drink it Up: What Consumers Want When Buying Beer

Drink it Up: What Consumers Want When Buying Beer

What do people want when buying beer?Although the debate over powdered alcohol’s legality rages on, this month we decided to find out more about beer, which–lucky for many of us–is still legal in the US. During our beer fact-finding mission, we asked whether the size of the brewery or packaging made a difference when buying beer. (It does.) We also dug into when and where people were enjoying their beer and found out how much people really knew about getting an ice-cold beer fast. What we discovered could very well save your next party.

So what exactly are American consumers choosing from their grocery or store shelves when it comes to beer? Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed over 300 people to help Mother Road Mobile Canning, a mobile canning company, find out the answers. (Follow our blog to get updates on our in-depth beer and wine research for Mother Road Mobile Canning along with ideas and tips for how to conduct your own market research.)

Want to do research like this?

SurveyMonkey Audience makes it easy to get market research and concept testing surveys in front of the right people.

Learn More 

Decisions, decisions…how they’re made in the beer aisle

How do you decide on a beer to buy? 57% of people said taste was most important when choosing a beer. (Tweet this.) But when we asked people to tell us everything that’s important when choosing a beer a few other criteria made it into the mix.

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 3.36.04 PM

Turns out, the top four considerations when choosing a beer were:

  1. Taste

  2. Price

  3. Style of beer

  4. Brewery that produces the beer

For the people who chose Other, we mostly heard that small craft brews were best, though one person pointed out they should be “new flavors that aren’t weird.” So true.

Sizing up the importance of breweries and packaging

When it comes to breweries, 63% of people prefer the beers produced by small independent breweries versus large, mainstream ones. (Tweet this.) But not everything small is good when it comes to beer. In fact, 55% of people are choosing six-packs when they do buy beer with 34% buying even larger quantities, such as several six-packs, 24-packs, or more at one time.

So when exactly is beer o’clock?

Beer, unsurprisingly, was a popular summertime beverage with 47% saying they drink more beer in the summer than at any other time of the year. (Tweet this.) A slightly higher 48% said they drink the same amount of beer year-round.


 Sorry, winter, there’s hardly any extra beer for you

“Beer me, preferably at a picnic or BBQ,” says almost everyone

Wondering what’s the perfect spot to enjoy a beer? 95% of people say they bring and enjoy beer at picnics or BBQs. 76% said they bring and drink beer while relaxing at a pool, lake or by the ocean. Also, 9% of people are enjoying a beer outside almost every day (yep, we’re jealous), while 55% only do that once or twice a month.

With so many people outdoor enjoying their beer, we wondered if beer cans might be a better than beer bottles as they are lighter and easier to carry. As it turns out, 77% of people preferred beer in bottles to cans, but 62% said they would buy beer in cans for convenience when outdoors or camping.

Ice-cold info that could save your next party

Although beer bottles were preferred over cans generally, there was one last little piece of business we had. If you’ve ever had a bunch of beer to chill, you might know that beer cans chill fast than bottles. That’s right, beer cans will get colder faster than beer bottles in your fridge or ice bath, but they also heat up faster in your hands. (Blame science for that. See more on thermal conductivity.) We decided to see how many people knew about this potentially critical piece of party-throwing information.

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 3.39.11 PM

Overall, 42% of people thought beer in cans and beer in bottles chilled at the same rate, while 44% thought cans chilled faster–which means we should all consider spending a little more time with both beer and science.

What are you drinking these days? Do you like your beer in cans or in bottles? Crack open a cold one and share your thoughts below.

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Elliott Brown

    So many good beers are starting to end up in cans. I think it’s kind of a on a beer-by-beer basis… but I’m happy to give beer in green bottles a thumbs down!

  • Elliott Brown

    So many good micro brews are starting to pop up in cans now… I’m not surprised to see canning taking off. As long as it’s not in a green bottle, I’m stoked to give it a shot.

  • Debajyoti Ghosh

    which brand of beers mostly people likes?

    • KTsurveymonkey

      That may need to be a question we ask on our next survey, Debajyoti! Maybe we’ll get some good answers here in the comments as well. As for us monkeys– we’re more of the cider type ;)

    • yubraj

      i love calsbeeer ………

  • Sasha Vasileva


  • Dave

    Actually, I make my own – a light ale.

    • KTsurveymonkey

      That’s awesome, Dave! We love that DIY attitude here at the monkey.

  • Kitsepile Kibi Muleya

    yah cans continue to have some reaction with the beer and can cause problems for a weak colony.I prefer it in the green bottle and low sugar

  • KTsurveymonkey

    We love all your comments! Keep ’em coming, and heck- enjoy a brewski while you’re at it ;)

  • RC

    My beer rule: If you bring Pliny the Elder you are a god amongst men and women.

  • Joe Callender

    I kinda had a gut feeling so that’s why I built a beer tasting app that makes considerations 1 and 3 as the focus for consumers. BrewHorn is out for iOS and Android.

  • Joe Callender

    I would love to see you add a question about the importance of ratings / reviews in the purchasing of a beer. That’s a key consideration.

    • KTsurveymonkey

      Good idea, Joe! Next time around we’ll certainly consider that.

  • Glen

    Living north of the border, it would be interesting to conduct a parallel survey of Canadian consumers to see how the responses vary. I’ve got my own predictions, but don’t want to bias any results!

    • KTsurveymonkey

      What a great idea, Glen! If you do a survey, let us know the results. :)

Inspired? Create your own survey.

Make your own survey.

Sign In  

Sign up to get started.

PRO Sign Up   Sign Up FREE  

Get expert survey help

Get expert survey help

Best practices for planning expert surveys

Planning makes writing your survey easy.

Download eGuide

How many responses do you need?

Use our sample size calculator to find out!

Calculate now

Analyze survey data like a pro

Learn to slice and dice data using the Analyze tool.

Download eGuide