Size does matter fellas, in the US beer aisle...

Photo: Don La Vange/Flickr

Taste, price and style are the three most important purchase drivers for American beer consumers, a new survey says, while 63% of respondents prefer beer brewed by small independents.

Web survey company SurveyMonkey surveyed 300+ people on behalf of Mother Road Mobile Canning – a mobile canning company – to ask how purchase decisions are made in the beer aisle.

The chart below shows the factors that drive beer buying in order of importance – upon the basis of what percentage of the sample chose each one – with taste at the top.

“When it comes to breweries, 63% of people prefer the beers produced by small independent breweries versus large mainstream ones,” SurveyMonkey wrote.

“But not everything small is good when it comes to beer. In fact, 55% of people choose six-packs when they do buy beer with 34% buying even larger quantities, such as several six-packs, 24-packs, or more at one time,” it added.

Could we win cheer, for autumnal beer?

47% of respondents said they drank more beer in the summertime than at any other time around the year – perhaps the industry should work more on an autumnal variants with richer, more satisfying flavors – while 48% said they drink the same amount of beer all year round.

95% of SurveyMonkey respondents said they enjoyed beer at picnics or barbecues, 76% by the swimming pool, lake or ocean and – despite the outdoors preference for cans over glass (62%) due to their light weight, 77% said they preferred drinking beer in bottles.

The survey organisers - here's a link to their blog - also suggested that canned beer brands could better exploit the greater thermal conductivity of their package over glass.

42% of people surveyed believed that beer in bottles chills at the same rate as cans, 44% that beer in cans chills faster, and 14% that beer in bottles had the edge.

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