People willing to pay more for sustainably brewed beer

WASHINGTON: People are willing to spend more on beer brewed using sustainable practices, according to a US study, which found that investing in methods to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases will pay off for breweries.

People willing to pay more for sustainably brewed beer

Photo for representative only.

Washington, October 7

People are willing to spend more on beer brewed using sustainable practices, according to a US study, which found that investing in methods to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases will pay off for breweries.

Researchers from Indiana University in the US found that a majority of beer drinkers would be willing to pay more for beer produced with sustainable practices.

On average, US beer drinkers would pay about USD 1.30 more per six-pack, they said.

“The takeaway for the brewing industry is that it is financially feasible to introduce energy-saving practices into the brewing process," said Sanya Carley, associate professor at Indiana University.

“Even if it ends up adding costs, more than half of all beer consumers are willing to absorb those extra costs," she said.

The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, highlights potential for energy savings and sustainability in an energy-intensive industry that is growing rapidly, especially in the craft-beer segment.

The number of craft breweries grew by over 200 per cent between 2005 and 2015, and their production increased by over 12 per cent each year.

The industry has considerable potential for reducing energy use and mitigating its impact on climate change.

Some breweries have already added solar panels, installed onsite wastewater treatment plants, insulated brewing vessels and recaptured steam from the brewing process.

However, those kinds of measures require upfront investments that are likely to increase prices. To determine whether consumers would be willing to pay more for sustainably brewed beer, the researchers drew on a survey of over 1,000 self-reported beer drinkers, all over age 21. They found that 59 per cent said they would pay more.

Consumers who already pay more for their beer were most likely to be willing to pay a premium for sustainability. Also, those who said they would pay more for sustainable beer were likely to report lifestyle activities associated with the common good.

For example, they spent time in volunteer work or engaged in recycling, composting, and buying locally produced food and products. PTI 

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