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As we head toward the Fourth of July holiday, it’s worth remembering that freedom is never given it is always won – just like brand loyalty.
Holidays tend to bring out allegiances in people, particularly as it relates to cuisine. When it comes to eating on the Fourth, this year consumers intend to be loyal to hamburgers (78%), hot dogs (61%), sausages (43%), baked beans (45%), potato salad (40%), coleslaw (35%), guacamole and chips (31%), and grilled vegetables (22%).
For desserts, celebrants intend to be faithful to watermelon (50%), apple pie (46%), cupcakes and patriotic pastries (42%) and ice cream (40%). Sixty percent are going to support apple pie à la mode. For beverages the old dependables seem to be iced tea (63%), lemonade (45%), white wine (52%), bloody Marys (40%) and beer (78%).
In fact, while many consumers cite beer as a necessary Fourth of July libation, it’s wine and spirits that have experienced uninterrupted growth over the past few months. Most “legacy beers,” like Budweiser, have been seeing some fall-off, with consumers either trading down to lower-cost beers, or trading up for high-end craft beers. In fact, loyalty rankings of beer look like this:
1. Coors/Sam Adams
2. Sierra Nevada
3. #9 (Magic Hat)
Aside from Sam Adams, a perennial leader in the craft brew category, loyalty beneficiaries are craft beers, like the ones in the second and third spots on the list. These companies are small, independent, and traditional – kind of like the honoree of this coming weekend’s celebrations. In the case of fermented beverages, consumers’ loyalties are demonstrated by a willingness to pay more for such products.
And that’s something any brand would celebrate and would be proud to toast!
Robert Passikoff is founder and president of Brand Keys, a New York-based customer loyalty consulting firm.