You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Craft beer, wine popularity spark new strategy for retail sales


Craft beer and wine are becoming an increasingly important part of grocery store sales, prompting several competitors in this region to expand their selections and develop new strategies to attract thirsty shoppers.

“Grocery stores are seeing the surge in demand for craft beer — it’s a growing segment,” said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. Ohio now has 93 breweries, up from 58 in 2012, with as many as 30 more in the works, MacDonald said. And nationwide, craft beer sales rose 7.8 percent in volume and 14.3 percent in dollar sales in 2013 over the previous year.

Grocery stores have, indeed, taken notice — and action. Here are a few examples:

• Dorothy Lane Market introduced craft beer on draft to two of its three stores — Springboro and Washington Twp. — allowing customers to order a glass of beer for consumption in the store, or to have a glass container filled with draft beer that can be sealed for customers to take home.

And within the next few months, DLM plans to double the number of taps from four to eight at both stores, and will also add eight craft beer taps as part of an upcoming remodel of its Oakwood store, according to Todd Templin, who oversees the beer and wine departments at all three DLM stores.

• Jungle Jim’s Fairfield store a month ago greatly expanded its craft-beer selection, adding hundreds of new beers and a few thousand feet more shelf space devoted to beer, according to Ed Vinson, beer and wine operations manager for Jungle Jim’s.

The store already had installed 16 craft-beer taps last year, and has its own “growler” (resealable 64-ounce glass containers) refill program. Every Friday, Jungle Jim’s invites a representative from the growing number of southwest Ohio breweries to lead a drop-in informal tasting. Since the expansion a month ago, “We’re up 25 percent in beer sales — and for us, that’s huge,” Vinson said.

• Kroger two months ago expanded the hours of operation from 18 hours a week to 40 at the wine bar at its $15 million, 97,000-square-foot Austin Landing store. Now, glasses of wine, as well as bottled craft beers, are available for shoppers seven days a week. A wine-and-food pairing event scheduled for this Tuesday night sold out more than two weeks in advance.

Company officials are closely watching the surge in interest in the wine bar’s beer tastings and wine-and-food events. “It boils down to what our customers want,” Kroger spokeswoman Rachael Betzler said. The Cincinnati-based grocery chain assembles focus groups prior to opening or remodeling stores, “and we try to accommodate requests,” Betzler said. The chain’s larger stores that have on-site chefs offer the opportunity for wine-and-food pairing events, she said.

The timing is right for existing grocery stores to raise their game. The already-robust grocery-store competition in southern Montgomery County and northern Warren County — which includes multiple Kroger and Meijer stores, the three Dorothy Lane Market stores, Sam’s Club, Earth Fare and Trader Joe’s, among others — will soon include the Dayton area’s first Whole Foods store as well as a proposed Costco store. And all those stores sell, or will sell, beer and wine, as do multiple wine bars and wine-and-beer shops in the region.

State officials have helped lay the groundwork for the increasing interest in locally produced beer and wine by easing restrictions and reducing obstacles for breweries and wineries.

In recent years, the Ohio General Assembly has reduced the application fees for start-up microbreweries and made it easier for Ohio-based breweries, wineries and distilleries to serve samples to visitors and to sell their products from their tasting rooms. And last month, Gov. John Kasich signed into law legislation that makes it easier for grocery stores to host tastings, and for the first time, will allow stores to offer beer and wine samples free to customers under certain circumstances.

At Dorothy Lane Market, which has been hosting drop-in wine tastings since at least the mid-1980s, “Beer and wine have always been a huge part of our business, and that continues to grow,” Templin said.

Templin noted the surge of local breweries and brewpubs — about a dozen have either opened or will soon open just in the last two years — mirrors a national trend. “We see the huge interest in that movement, and we see a similar movement in wines,” he said.

“The Dayton community is always keen on educating itself on food, wine, beer and other beverages,” Templin said. “This is one of the most in-tune towns in the Midwest when it comes to wine-tasting.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Speedway to hire 1,000 workers across 9 states
Speedway to hire 1,000 workers across 9 states

Speedway will hire 1,000 workers in nine Midwest states and will host open interviews at each of its stores in the region later this month. The convenience store chain, with a headquarters in Enon, will host open interviews from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 at every one of its stores in nine states, according to information from the company...
Holiday debt blues? Here’s help getting on track
Holiday debt blues? Here’s help getting on track

John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau. With the holidays behind you, the new year is a great time to get your finances back on track if you’ve slipped a bit. By dedicating yourself to using credit responsibly and sticking to a sensible plan, then you can effectively pay down your debt. According to debt.org, total U.S....
New shopping center proposed at long-vacant Springfield site
New shopping center proposed at long-vacant Springfield site

A new retail development is likely coming to the east side of Springfield at a longtime vacant property, the first major commercial growth there in several years. The Springfield Board of Zoning Appeals approved Wednesday night a variance for the former Roberds site in the 3000 block of East Main Street. City documents filed by developer Springfield...
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports. Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail. Tech Times reported that the scam involves...
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement

A large number of Millennials spent more on coffee in the past year than they invested in their retirement savings, according to a new study. » RELATED: What makes Millennials tick in the workplace? It may surprise you About 41 percent of the Millennials — ages 18 to 35 — admitted to spending more on coffee than they saved for retirement...
More Stories