Annabel Smith, one of the founding members of Dea Latis, attended the 13th International Beer Strategies Conference in Barcelona on 10th May, to speak on the subject of how beer can appeal to a wider female audience. She was accompanied by Jenny Elliott, a fellow Beer Sommelier, and the Brand and Beer Champion at Molson Coors.
The conference was attended by representatives from the entire spectrum of the brewing industry, and hosted speakers from Asahi Europe, Heineken, Diageo, Carlsberg, Brooklyn Brewery and Bieres de Chimay amongst others.
The conference was held over two days and included a behind the scenes visit to the Estrella Damm brewery.
Annabel said “The conference was really enlightening in terms of learning about future trends, current research and emerging brands in the beer industry. However, our ultimate mission was to communicate how the beer industry could engage a wider female audience by highlighting the challenges women face in choosing a beer as a drink of choice: namely misconceptions about health and calories, presentation and serve, brand positioning, and marketing”.
She added: “One really important message we did want to get across was that women do not want a beer which is designed specifically and solely for the female consumer. These type of beers have been launched before and they have failed. It’s patronising to assume that all women will like a particular flavour, style or colour of beer. What the beer industry needs to do is invest more time and funding in education, awareness and product presentation to engage women with the vast array of fantastic styles and brands which are already available on the market. There is a beer style which suits everyone, regardless of their gender.”
Annabel and Jenny hosted a panel discussion and invited questions from the delegates on how they could overcome some of the challenges the beer industry faced in getting women to choose beer as drink of choice, particularly in the UK where female beer consumption is far lower than the rest of Europe or the US.
The photograph above shows Jenny Elliott and Annabel Smith at the conference