Is Cannabis Cannibalizing Craft Beer?
This controversy is getting a lot of attention, particularly in states where legislation to legalize pot is being introduced.
The debate started when financial analysts from Cowen & Company stated “In adult-use cannabis markets, there are clear signs that cannabis is weighing on beer category trends,” and that beer sales in Colorado, Oregon and Washington are underperforming.
The topic, which lends itself to some great leads, was initially reported in Brewbound “Legalized marijuana is harshing the buzz of three longtime craft beer meccas.”
It has since been covered by:
The Denver Post – This bud’s a potential downer for beer.
Money – More people are looking to take a bong hit than sip on a hoppy brew.
MarketWatch – Legal marijuana is affecting the beer industry’s memory.
The Brewers Association dug into the data and disagrees, citing bad analysis of the data. Many have jumped on this side of the story suggesting that instead the downturns are a reflection of a downturn in beer sales overall and maturation of the craft beer market in those 3 craft beer pioneering states.
Regardless of which argument you believe concerning the impact of marijuana, the fact is, the crazy and exciting growth of craft beer is starting to flatten out and the real question is what are you doing to prepare?
In every industry, once the growth boon settles, competition intensifies and inevitably, the weaker fail. Now, while there are still respectable growth rates predicted is the time to really invest in your brand.
Business is fun and friendly when market share is huge and everyone is getting a slice of the pie. However, as Forbes suggests in Three Ways To Dominate Your Market During An Economic Downturn you need to get aggressive now and “invest in marketing and advertising to help acquire your competitors’ market share.”