Generational Alcohol Consumption: Which is Preferred?

Family toasting at a meal.
Family toasting at a meal.

Within all generational groups, reaching the legal drinking age can be an exciting time. This can especially be said for Generation Z, as they are starting to have a dramatic impact on the alcohol and beverage industries. The alcohol preferences of each generation depend almost entirely upon occasions, motivators, and influences when buying these alcoholic beverages. Wine, beer, and spirits all have a part to play, but each generation usually has a preference when it comes to alcoholic beverages.

Generational Alcohol Preferences

There are five generations that are of legal age to drink in the United States: Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation. Marketers, restaurants, and bars break down average alcohol consumption by these five generations.

Silent Generation

The Silent Generation, born from 1928 – 1945, are now around 77 – 94 years of age. According to a survey conducted in 2019, the Silent Generation strongly favors wine, at 59%. 29% of this generation favors liquor and spirits, and 12% favors beer.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers, born from 1946 – 1964, are now around 58 – 76 years of age. According to the same survey, 42% of Baby Boomers favor wine, like the Silent Generation. However, 39% of this generation favors liquor and spirits, and 20% favors beer.

Generation X

Generation X, born from 1965 – 1980, are now around 42 – 57 years of age. Generation X favors liquor and spirits at 41%. 36% percent of Generation X favors wine, and 23% favors beer.

Millennials

Millennials, born from 1981 – 1995, are now around 27 – 41 years of age. 43% of Millennials tend to favor liquor and spirits. However, 34% percent of Millennials favor wine, and 23% percent favor beer.

Generation Z

Generation Z, more commonly known as Gen Z, were born from 1996 – 2012, and are now 10 – 26 years of age. Of the Gen Zs who are of legal drinking age, 53% favors liquor and spirits. 27% of Gen Z favors wine, and 20% favors beer.

Generational Alcohol Consumption

Why does generational alcohol consumption matter? When you know the demographics of your customers, you can tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to that group’s tastes. Whether it’s by using discounts or eye-catching point-of-purchase displays, targeting your advertising will help increase sales.

At Creative Barrel, we know how to market alcohol. With customizable POP displays made from beautifully crafted barrels, your marketing will make a splash no matter which generation you’re targeting. Learn more on our website, or contact our team for questions.

Tips for Retail Display Merchandizing on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s concept with green beer, pot of gold, and shamrocks.
St. Patrick’s concept with green beer, pot of gold, and shamrocks.

Everyone knows St. Patrick’s Day is the green holiday. However, with the National Retail Federation reporting skyrocketing St. Patrick’s Day spending, it may be becoming the green holiday due to the money it generates, rather than traditional cultural color associations.

Consumers are clearly willing to spend money, especially on alcohol, when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. When setting up marketing displays and merchandizing initiatives, keep these tips in mind to build a successful campaign.

Maintaining Cultural Awareness

Because St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural holiday, care needs to be taken not to misrepresent or demean the Irish culture. Using aspects of Irish culture can be great ways to create a unique customer experience, but it can be a slippery slope between showcasing Irish culture and disrespecting it.

Asking customers to perform an Irish jig, speak in an Irish accent, or recite a limerick to receive a deal or discount might seem to be great ways to incorporate the holiday into your business. However, these challenges also require your staff to know what those things are. If your employees can’t tell the difference between an Irish jig and the Macarena or distinguish an Irish accent from a Jamaican accent, then the incentive doesn’t have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day. It’s just requiring your customers to do something unorthodox with no clear connection to St. Patrick’s Day.

In this scenario, it would make more sense to include something typically associated with St. Patrick’s Day, rather than specific aspects stereotypically associated with the Irish Culture. This could be something like wearing green or presenting a lucky item, such as a four-leaf clover, rabbits foot, or horse shoe.

St. Patrick’s Day Retail Display Ideas

There are many different ways to respectfully incorporate St. Patrick’s Day into your marketing. Window displays are a wonderful way to reach customers and the public alike, especially if your business experiences heavy street traffic. Having a window display allows your business to appear more festive to customers and clients alike, enticing them to step inside and check out the special you’re running.

Don’t leave your festive spirit in the window, however. Make sure to bring the seasonal designs into your store as well. Having St. Patrick’s Day retail displays are a great way to carry the festive spirit into your store, as well as a wonderful way to highlight specific products or brands.

Gift baskets can be a wonderful way to incorporate the holiday into your business, and they can also help you highlight new or unique products. Build St. Patrick’s Day themed gift baskets around a bottle of Irish whiskey or the like, and place them strategically to utilize secondary placement wisely.

A memorable, effective display starts with a solid base, like Creative Barrel’s premium, custom-built barrels. Contact Creative Barrel to begin building your St. Patrick’s Day retail display today!

Tips for Valentine’s Day Retail Display Merchandizing

Lotto ticket with wood barrel 14 number on pink hearts background.
Lotto ticket with wood barrel 14 number on pink hearts background.

February 14th: either it forces us to accept our single lifestyle or allows us to celebrate the companion we’ve found. It’s also one of the top spending holidays in America, and for merchandizers, this means it’s a great time to invest in an eye-catching Valentine’s Day retail display.

Valentine’s Day offers a great opportunity for alcohol merchandizers, especially, as sparkling wine, rosé, and champagne sales experience a significant spike during the holiday. The best part? When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to do a lot with a little. With a few simple tips, you can take your Valentine’s Day display to the next level, helping you capitalize on the spirit of love.

Know Your Market

There are two distinct parties on Valentine’s Day: couples and singles. For most alcohol merchandizers, they’ll be targeting the couples. Knowing the demographics of the people who shop at your store is an easy way to begin tailoring the retail display to that audience.

If your shop caters to a high-end crowd, go with an elegant, sophisticated display. If your patrons are typically younger, the products you feature will likely be different than those targeted toward an older audience. If your customer base is diverse, your advertising should be as well.

Utilize Secondary Placement Wisely

Cross-marketing has been proven time and time again to be a successful marketing strategy, and it’s so, so simple. Holidays, especially Valentine’s Day, are a time for impulse buys. Display a related product near your wine or champagne display to trigger the realization that your consumer needs this secondary product, too. It’s also a good opportunity to partner with a business to bring these secondary products to your store. Easy Valentine’s Day examples: a teddy bear hugging a bottle of wine, boxes of chocolates and chocolate stouts, or champagne and a bouquet of roses.

Use Multiple Unique Displays

Just as it’s easy to do a lot with a little during Valentine’s Day, multiple retail displays can take your sales to the next level. Not only does having more than one display allow you to showcase multiple popular products, but it also allows you to fine-tune your targeting to your different consumer groups.

However you design your marketing plan, having a unique display is essential. It’s no secret Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, so to stand out among to constant assault of advertisements and sales, make sure your display stands above the rest.

At Creative Barrel, we offer custom-built barrels perfect for creating gorgeous point-of—purchase displays. Whether your ideal Valentine’s Day retail display is charming, rustic, or elegant, our barrels provide the perfect place to start.

The Importance of Visual Merchandising in Liquor Stores

A row of display barrels used for liquor store merchandising.
A row of display barrels used for liquor store merchandising.

Drawing a customer’s attention is easier said than done. A challenge arises for product-makers across the country when trying to convert that first customer through visual merchandising. 

But luckily, there is a wide range of tricks you should use to draw potential customers in and convert them. For the companies we partner with, visual merchandising is becoming one of the primary tools for selling products.

Why Visual Merchandising Matters

With the proper alcohol merchandising, you can draw people into beautiful displays and pique their interest in your product. With stunning displays like the custom potions available from Creative Barrel, you can quickly generate more revenue and keep new customers coming back for more.

Drawing the Eye

Customers need a reason to pick up your product and find out more. They can’t know about your product’s rich history, dedication to flavor, or attention to detail without setting their sights on the bottle. You’ll need a visual cue that draws the eye.

Plenty of our partners hedge their bets on beautiful-looking liquor store merchandising. This merchandising attracts customers to approach the display and fall in love with your product. 

Return on Investment

If you own or operate a business (not just in wines or spirits but in any industry) you’ve undoubtedly heard about ‘return on investment’ or ROI. Everyone sees that the supplies you purchase must justify the cost. So, what kind of ROI can you expect on visual merchandising?

Believe it or not, people still prefer to do their shopping in person. The reasons for this no doubt vary from person to person, but the fact remains. That means that alcohol merchandising is still essential. Would you rather have your merchandise occupying the same shelf space as your competitor, or would you instead like to stand out?

Many modern advertising options require a hefty front-end commitment to begin seeing results. Digital advertising, and even traditional media, are often expensive for smaller businesses and can take weeks or even months to see an impact. Visual merchandising can be effective and inexpensive when done correctly.  

Using Visual Displays to Grow Your Business

There’s no one single way to grow your business. The best option to promote growth is to diversify your efforts. Choose many routes to build an audience and attract customers and don’t neglect liquor store merchandising. Visual merchandising is not only effective at gaining a customer’s attention but is also inexpensive enough for everyone to try. 

Want to get started crafting beautiful displays? Creative Barrel has the perfect solutions for you. Contact us to get started on your next round of visual merchandising.

Barrel Fermentation Vs. Barrel Aging: What’s the Difference?

Wood wine barrels stored in a winery on the fermentation process
Wood wine barrels stored in a winery on the fermentation process

You may have heard the terms ‘barrel aging’ used interchangeably with ‘barrel fermentation,’ but it may surprise you to find that they are incredibly different processes. They both involve the same materials and methods, but their impact on wines and spirits can be astronomically different. Like most things involving alcohol, one small change can ripple out, causing a shift in the flavor profile of your brew.

Aging Vs. Fermentation

We’re going to explore the difference today and explain it in a way that enriches your understanding of both processes.

The Magic of Fermentation

In case you’re not a sommelier or whiskey lover, you might want a refresher on the importance that fermentation plays in making alcohol. During fermentation, yeast is added to the wort to begin fermenting. As time goes on, the yeast eats and breaks down the sugar to produce alcohol and CO2.

The only thing you need to know at this point is that you choose where this fermentation process happens. Some distilleries opt to place the liquid in wooden barrels for the sake of fermentation, but some operations decide to proceed with the process by setting the liquid into steel tanks. This slight difference can make a world of difference in the flavor of the final product.

The Benefits of Barrel Fermentation

Now that we’ve established the difference between these two products, we’d like to discuss some of the nuances of barrel fermentation. Placing the liquid into barrels for fermentation can impart much more flavor and complexity than a steel tank. Most notably, barrel fermentation results in a wine or spirit that boasts notes of toasted vanilla, muted fruit flavors, and a creamy round texture.

When to Choose Barrel Aging

The benefits of barrel aging are even more numerous than fermentation. Barrel aging results in a more profound and complex product, with tasting notes of vanilla, tobacco, and even caramel. When a distillery chooses to age in barrels like ours, they produce a softer and richer drink than what they could achieve otherwise.

Barrels That Enrich

To enjoy the best wine and spirits, you must give them the perfect conditions before, during, and after the brewing process. At the Barrel Mill, we’ve dedicated over a century to our understanding of lumber and craftsmanship. That’s why we stand as one of the most respected cooperages in our industry.

If you’re interested in selecting the finest barrels for your brightest product, contact us today to see how we can enrich your product with unmistakable quality.

Unique and Complicated Liquor Laws from Around the Country

A police officer standing at a bar paying his bill with a bar and liquor bottles in the background.
A police officer standing at a bar paying his bill with a bar and liquor bottles in the background.

As a national retailer for premium point-of-purchase displays, Creative Barrel has had the opportunity to create unique solutions for an array of clients. Even with our years of experience, we are continually adapting to new liquor laws and regulations for customers around the country.

Let’s take a look at some unique liquor laws and regulations around the country:

Sunday Liquor Sales

Over the last few years, many states have lessened their restrictions on alcohol sales on Sundays. Many states still do not sell alcohol on Sunday or close earlier than other days of the week–often referred to as “Blue Laws” which are often based on religious reasons.

Alcohol Takeaway for Restaurants

Since the pandemic, many states, counties, and cities have passed new laws based on the home delivery of alcohol. This was set into motion to promote food delivery efforts to support restaurants that could not open their doors to the public. Many of the laws required customers to purchase food along with their alcohol orders, and not all of them stayed in effect once restaurants were allowed to reopen. 

Banning the Sale of Miniature Bottles

Some states have adopted rules to help combat drunk driving as well as prevent littering. Some Massachusetts towns began banning the bottles as far back as 2018, though the law has yet to pass on a state-wide level. Back in June, New Mexico began phasing out the sale of miniature bottles of alcohol. The new law, which took full effect on July 1st, banned the sale of bottles containing less than 3 ounces of alcohol. 

Strange Liquor Laws Around the Country

While many of these liquor laws are easy to define and understand, there are. A few states that still adapt very strange or out of fashion rules around alcohol:

Utah: If you are craving a drink in a restaurant in Utah, you must order food with your beverage. And if you order beer, the alcohol content is likely 3.2% or below.

Indiana: Have you ever been to a Happy Hour in Indiana? If so, it might have been over 30 years ago, as lowering prices for a portion of the day is illegal in the state.

Colorado: While some states require you to purchase food with your rink, Colorado cannot sell food in their liquor stores. 

Maine: Looking to start the St. Paddy’s Day festivities early? You’re in luck in Maine. Even on Sundays, liquor stores open their doors at 6 AM!

Creative Barrel brings a classic approach to wooden barrel point of purchase displays. Whatever the laws in your state or the impression you would like to make on your customers, we can help you accomplish your goals. Visit our website to learn more.

Transitioning Product Displays from Summer to Fall

This time of year brings many transitions. Leaves change colors, tank tops are exchanged for sweaters, and “fun in the sun” turns toward “fun around the fire”. As the season changes, so do the ways that businesses attract customers. Everything from point of purchase displays to the products themselves are switched out to cater to a cooler, cozier, autumn seasonality. 

To best attract customers and freshen up the way products impact your brand, take a few considerations in mind. 

Seasonal Appeal from a Customer Perspective

Different products can sometimes emote different feelings depending on seasonality. For example, seasonal displays in a clothing retail setting might feature fuzzy sweaters and deeper, darker fall shades as opposed to light, bright summer features. For beverage, food, and alcohol displays, promote a warmer, cozier atmosphere.

In a food display, it should feel like anything a customer might purchase will stick to their ribs and fill them up through cool nights. Drinks should feel soothing and comforting rather than brisk and refreshing. The “ice cold” promotions of the summer give way to the ciders, toddies, and hot drinks of fall and winter.

Include Seasonal Holidays

Of course, retail providers understand that consumers purchase more during the holidays than during many other times of the year. While the full holiday season might still be a few months away, Halloween and thanksgiving promote the same fall festive feelings. Craft beers and hard ciders are also big sellers in the fall compared to other times of the year, so promotional displays that feature these products will do well.

Capitalize on The Atmosphere

When it comes to retail, there perhaps is no seasonal change as dramatic as the transition from fall to summer. In terms of advertising and marketing, few people fail to notice the change from bright, summer displays to pumpkin-spiced… everything! More than just #PSL fans can appreciate the change. The season is a chance to refresh: change your activities, change your wardrobe, and even change your food and drink options. As a builder of classic POP displays, Creative Barrel is no stranger to the rustic craze that seems to overtake us every fall. The decision to pair a whiskey or wine barrel with a retail product display is as obvious as going apple picking and saying yes to a hayride this time of year. Contact Creative Barrel to get started.  

The History of Whiskey: Fun Facts About Whiskey Barrels

Whiskey is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. It is made with malt barley, yeast, water, and other grains that are mashed to extract sugars. The resulting liquid is then distilled and aged in oak barrels. Aging alcohol in oak barrels gives beverages distinctive flavors not otherwise achieved in other brewing and distilling measures.

Of course, oak barrels are used for much more than just brewing wine, beer, and spirits. Discover five fun facts about whiskey barrels that you may not know!

The Romans Took the Idea of Barrels from the Celtic Whiskey

Back in the second and third century B.C., the Roman Empire was using ceramic jugs called Jars of amphorae to transport their liquid goods. Though these jars were decorative and traditional, they were also fragile and not well-suited for transportation. The Celts living in areas of Germany, Britain, France, and Spain had advanced wood making and metalwork skills to create wooden barrels for liquid transportation but were unwilling to share the technology until they were eventually conquered by the Romans.

The Angel’s Share is Essential to Good Whiskey

There’s always some amount of alcohol that escapes during the aging process, called “The Angel’s Share.” The loss varies from roughly one percent to as much as eight percent per batch, depending on the number of times a barrel is used. This loss is helpful to the taste of the whiskey. without the Angel’s Share in each batch, the ending whiskey would be too potent and would carry a more unpleasant flavor.

Oak Barrels can be Used Over and Over… and Over…

The same oak whiskey barrel can be used for 100 years or more–if properly taken care of. Some barrels need to be repaired or swelled–a process in which the wood is soaked to help the wood expand, potentially clogging leaks and preparing the barrel for further use. This is especially useful since the perfect wood for an oak barrel is not easy to come by. Some French oak barrels are made from trees that are 100 years old or older. Because the wood must be split, each 100-year-old tree might only produce enough wood to make two barrels!  

The Smaller the Barrel, the Quicker the Aging

Smaller barrels and casks produce whiskey, bourbon, and other spirits at a faster rate. Because the surface area is more concentrated, the liquid absorbs the flavor more quickly. This is why smaller barrels are more popular with at-home brewers and microbreweries–results are given in months instead of years.

The Largest Wine Barrel in the World is Big Enough to Dance On

Called the Heidelberg Tun, the largest wine barrel in the world is roughly 23 feet (7 meters) high and 28 feet (8.5 meters) wide. The barrel was constructed back in over 250 years ago and has a dance floor built on the top. If you’ve ever felt the urge to dance on over 50,000 gallons of wine, you need only climb a short staircase!

Creative Barrel creates beautiful display barrels to catch the eye of your customers. We have a variety of sizing and customization options available on our website. Of course, if you’re looking to break a world record, you might want to contact us directly!

Creating Point of Purchase Displays for Sweets and Treats

Retail owners know that a quality point of purchase display can make a major difference in the sales of a product. An interesting display will grab the attention of your customers and entice them to get a closer look and buy your product.

There are limitless options for product displays, from cut-out cardboard pop-ups to elaborate installations. When it comes to marketing sweet treats and confectionery products, there’s just something about a wooden display that adds a bit of interest. It’s the difference between making a choice out of a storage bin or container or feeling like you’ve won a golden ticket into Willy Wonka’s Factory.   

Let’s take a look at the benefits of using wooden barrels in candy and treat displays.

Added Durability than the Average POP Display

There’s a saying constructing materials that are often used by children: the second most durable items are made with prisons in mind, but the most durable are made for children. Point of purchase displays from Creative Barrels are built to last. They are much more durable than the one-time-use displays seen at many big box stores. Especially for craft and specialty confectioners, a wooden barrel display will last years.

More Creativity and Customization

Wooden barrel displays are beautiful and naturally set themselves apart from the average display. Creative Barrel displays make an instant impact on customers, catching their eye and drawing them in. Our barrels are also customizable, including a range of colors, sizes, and stains, you may choose to add accessories and special features, such as windows, shelves, and nearly anything you can think of.

Promote Feelings of Nostalgia

While the days of the candy store owner might be fading, you can’t help but get a nostalgic feeling from a product display made of wooden barrels or baskets. Our custom displays are made using American-made pine, oak, and aspen wood staves, to our high-quality assembly- just as they have been for decades.

Creative Barrel is not a mass-producer of barrels. Our barrels are locally sourced and made of premium products. Featuring custom designs and eye-catching displays, your product is guaranteed to perform and look its best.

Creative Barrel can make you an amazing product display–no matter what your idea. Choose from a variety of styles using large barrels, small barrels, or even stacked basket displays. Find inspiration in our gallery of wooden barrel displays.

Investing in Your Brand: How to Plan a Basic Marketing Budget

Close up image of a professional woman’s hands working on a graphic tablet and keyboard
Close up image of a professional woman’s hands working on a graphic tablet and keyboard

Marketing plans of the past involved a fair amount of guesswork. Before the days of online analytics and trend tracking, creating a budget and marketing plan for a business was all about trial and error. Some companies would take big leaps and either have them pay off or fall flat on their face.

Investing in a marketing budget is not only a good idea, it’s a necessity for any business these days. It’s hard to know which areas you should invest in, especially with an ever-growing range of marketing and advertising options available. Before you decide on which marketing steps to take, you’ll need to set a budget.

Evaluate Your Business

Before you begin to set a marketing budget, it’s important to understand what stage your business is currently operating in. Your company will rank somewhere on a range of start-up to well-established. If your business is just starting out, or going through a period of growth, you might be better suited to invest in other areas of the business, such as hiring more employees or looking for a larger space.

While longer-running and more established companies often have more money to put toward marketing, they might also want to consider potential updates, such as rebranding efforts or a website update.

Understand Your Sales Funnel

Every customer or client goes through a journey–from the moment they are made aware of a company, to the moment they decide to take the action of purchasing their products or services. This process is called a sales funnel. It takes a potential purchaser (or lead) and turns them into customers by funneling the most qualified prospects.

Make note of the journey that your customers take before making a purchase:

  • How are your customers made aware of your goods and services?
  • What is it that keeps their interest in your company?
  • Is there anything they need to know before they buy?
  • Are there any major factors that contributed to making a final decision?

A sales funnel helps you deliver the right message at the right moment, which is what marketing is all about. The best use of marketing is when the right message gets put in front of the right person at the right time.

Consider Your Operational Costs

Properly calculated operational costs are the sum of a business’s fixed costs plus its variable costs. It will tell you how much your business spends to produce goods and services for your customers, and how much is left over to set other budget items–such as a marketing budget. They are important metrics for any business to understand and evaluate.

Set Goals

Evaluating the success or potential improvements of a marketing plan can only be determined if you first set clear goals. Are you looking to gain revenue or awareness? Is there a set number you’d like to reach to make a revenue goal? If so, how many sales would need to be completed in order to reach that goal? Conduct some research to better understand typical sales conversion rates and how to set a realistic target in your share of the market.

Scope out the Competition

Speaking of your share of the market, understanding your competition is very important to a successful marketing plan. Take a deep look into the key players in your industry. What are they doing in terms of marketing and advertising? Which methods or tools do they utilize? Are there certain areas that you might be able to capitalize on or improve?

Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to set your marketing plan. A good marketing mix will utilize traditional media, POP displays, and digital marketing. Depending on your audience and their purchasing habits, you might choose to focus on one area over another. From there, you can decide how much to spend, the tools you will need, and have a better understanding of how your customers want to be marketed to.

Creative Barrel creates classic approaches to modern point-of-purchase displays. Our eye-catching designs are beautiful and built to last. Learn more about advertising and displaying your products with a unique, customized display.

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