Five Research-Backed Ways That Incredible Craft Beer Labels Boost Sales

If you brew craft beer, you don’t necessarily need us to tell you this, but it bears remembering: your industry, including beer label design, has grown at a meteoric pace. Currently, there are just under 10,000 craft breweries in the United States and Canada alone. Although the overall beer market has slowed somewhat in the last year, craft is still punching above its weight in terms of growth.

In other words: intense competition is the norm for you. And you should especially feel it at the level of distribution, according to chief economist at the Brewers Association, Bart Watson.

In this environment, how do you ensure you have a fighting chance? Well, it goes without saying that your beer has to taste great…but, honestly, it better look just as good. This is why branding should be of top strategic importance, particularly when it comes to labels.


Here are five research-backed ways that incredibly thoughtful, on-brand, and eye-catching labels can give your craft beer a sales edge:

Labels Command Attention

Picture your average liquor store…it’s a visual smorgasbord. And human beings like pretty, shiny things, so yours has to be the prettiest and shiniest. To this end, you can get really strategic and intentional; did you know, for example, that red, yellow, green, and pink are the most attention-getting colours?

Labels Encourage Impulse Buying

Did you know that your label can trigger areas of your customers’ brains responsible for making snap decisions? In fact, research shows that packaging that is perceived as attractive stimulates parts of the brain associated with impulsivity and reward responses. In other words, the right label can make your customer feel instantly good and super-inclined to put your beer in their cart right now.

Labels Increase Perceived Value

This is all about playing the long game. If your label properly represents what’s valuable about your beer—the way it provides enjoyment, intrigue, or surprises—then it becomes part of the bond that forms with your loyal customers. They see your label and it triggers their feelings about the “perceived value” of your product. That value will keep them coming back for more.

Labels Strengthen Brand Trust  

How do you feel when you walk into a store and spot your favourite product? Isn’t there something so soothing about seeing that familiar packaging, and thinking about the pleasure you’re going to get out of what’s inside? There’s a reason why a quickly identifiable brand is so important, and it’s got everything to do with trust. You know the product, you like the product, and you trust that it’s going to deliver on the same great experience you’ve come to associate with it. Think of seeing a label as the equivalent experience of seeing the face of an old friend.

Labels Communicate Essential Information

Labels don’t offer up a whole lot of real estate, so the information you include on them has to be quite strategic. Really, this represents an opportunity to share whatever is going to differentiate your craft beer from the next one. Ingredients, tasting notes, alcohol content…these are the details that matter. But which ones matter the most? Well, in one study of craft beer drinkers, the attributes of taste, fermentation process, and colour were ranked as the most important. So, can your beer label design hint at these attributes?

Craft beer is an almost unbelievably competitive industry, and we know that’s not easy to navigate. However, with a properly attention-getting, on-brand, and attractive label, you’ll be ahead of the game. If you ever have questions about how to optimize your label for higher sales, please reach out! We love sharing our decades of craft beer packaging knowledge with exciting new entrepreneurs.

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