As one of the leading Cask Ale brewers, with a portfolio including market leading Sharps Doom Bar, Molson Coors aimed to provide thought leadership and advice around the category to a target operator to solidify and maintain the strategic partnership between the two companies. Aiming to uncover opportunities for them and provide detailed insight and understanding of the category, including best practice guidelines, the research would form optimal strategy for the Cask Ale category from an operator perspective, building on consumer demand and operational excellence. Further to this, already an exemplary operator when it came to sport in the on trade, a brief was created for Molson Coors with the task of remaining ahead of the competition and providing consumers with great sporting occasions. The main questions posed at the time were; what is sports viewing best practice? How does the operators offer compare to the market? And how can the target operator create a more differentiated viewing experience?
CGA’s approach for both projects was a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to understand best practice cask ale/sport provision in the On Premise- which consisted of four elements;
- Extensive desk research and a review of previous research and literature around topic of cask/sport from both existing CGA research, CGA BrandTrack data and external sources
- Capture of in-the-moment opinions and behaviours through consumer intercepts in venues providing cask/ showing live sport
- In-depth interviews with the operator bar staff,
- External category experts to provide a tailored strategy for how they could best meet the demands of consumers both from a cask ale perspective and a sport perspective.
The output from CGA’s Cask Ale project provided Molson Coors’ target operator with a detailed view of the Cask Ale consumer in the On Premise, including the potential size of prize, the barriers to unlocking this and the demands and needs of Cask drinkers; an understanding of how their current Cask Ale offer compared to the broader market; qualification of best practice within the Cask Ale category, and examples of best practice to elevate their offer in terms of range, training, price and quality. In addition, CGA provided operational and expert perspective on category management and positioning to best unlock opportunities within Cask Ale.
Further to this, insights and conclusions garnered from the Sport project meant that the operator were able to: understand consumer behaviours, preferences and motivations when watching sport in the on trade and how consumers behaved differently depending on where they are and what they are watching, allowing for mechanics to increase footfall and spend at Stonegate venues; qualify the most important aspects of an on trade sporting experience for consumers, so that Stonegate could prioritise marketing and capital spend on what best resonated with consumers; gain understanding of what constituted a great sporting occasion and what this could provide for outlets; and in addition, the research conducted provided Molson Coors with thought leadership to engage and educate licensees and landlords around the benefits of providing a sport-led offer.
The data and insight you provided on Cask Ale and Sport was brilliantly received by our target operator. It has step-changed our relationship with them and they have seen that we are helping them grow their categories and we are growing with them. – Duncan Emerson, Controller – Retail.