As graduation season wraps up, we can’t help but reminisce on our college nights spent huddled around the keg at a party. But just like this year’s graduates, kegs are making the jump from frat party staple to more sophisticated possibilities. These days, on-tap beverage dispensing has opened up a promising future for the beverage industry – it’s a trend you won’t want to miss. So, congratulations kegs, and welcome to the adult world!
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT KEGS
According to an analysis by Future Market Insights, the global keg market will experience immense growth in the next 10 years as a solution to many beverage services. The once beer-centric product is now being used to serve everything from wine and mixed drinks to coffee and more. Kegs have begun to generate a lot of buzz both within the industry and among consumers worldwide and the study points to numerous factors influencing the rising demand. Mainly, kegs “are comparatively more economical in the long run” and “widely re-used, if not recycled, which increases their acceptance rate as a packaging solution.” Integrating kegs into your beverage program guarantees widespread cost savings. From waste reduction and eco-friendliness to quality assurance, kegs offer an impressive résumé. Let’s take a deeper look into the advantages:
Economic benefits can be drawn across the board when transitioning from individually-packaged portions – like bottles – to bulk storage options – like kegs. Dan Donahoe, CEO of Free Flow Wines, gives an example: “We’re looking at a savings of about fifty cents a bottle when you go into kegs. This means a bar is saving six dollars a case – those are real savings.”
Using wine as an example, a single keg can hold nearly 27 bottles. For the producer, that means packaging costs are reduced tenfold because there are no bottles or cans, no labels, no corks or caps and no foils to purchase. Those saving trickle down to the distributor, venue, and consumer. Also, packing and transportation require less fragile care and less space with kegs, which aren’t as breakable or as sensitive to light and heat as glass bottles.
Cost is further reduced when you consider the loss prevention offered by kegs. Kegs prevent loss in a number of ways. Eliminating fragile glass bottles eradicates the risk of breakage or spillage. Shelf life is improved exponentially compared to bottles, which oxidize and spoil within two days of opening. In a keg, the beverage does not come in contact with the air, which ensures quality from the first glass to the last, guaranteeing a satisfied customer.
Kegs also decrease theft because they’re too large to steal and cannot be dispensed without the appropriate equipment. Employing a dispensing system that controls the pour, records every drop, and automatically locks during off hours further reduces the possibility of unauthorized pours. Bottles require much more diligent inventory and monitoring practices to make sure they’re not slipping away unaccounted for.
These days, customers expect a lot more from their vendors, including care for the environment. With kegs, no waste is going to the landfill, and spoiled beverages aren’t going down the drain. Many kegs are even reusable or recyclable. In fact, kegs allow your business to cut down on your carbon footprint by up to 96%! Now that’s something you and your customers will love. Promoting the green aspects of kegs is the perfect way to attract eco-conscious customers.
To learn more about the carbon footprints of bottled beer and wine, check out two of our previous blog posts:
When researching wine specifically, we found that most kegs hold over two cases, which saves 36 pounds of waste from the garbage. From production to distribution to consumption, individual bottles are doing great harm to our environment – kegs have the power to change that.
With cheap beer in the rearview mirror, companies are getting creative with what they put into kegs. Kegs provide the opportunity to bring drinks where they couldn’t go before. Venues that can’t accommodate bottles, such as concessions stands or dry bars, can take advantage of on-tap options that don’t require a lot of space, refrigeration, or ice. Plus, while businesses are excited about massive savings, consumers are catching on, too. Bridge Lane Wines just introduced individually sold kegs perfect for backyard parties and Instagram posts. But we’re just beginning to scratch the surface… If Hidden Valley can put ranch in a keg, what other possibilities exist? We invite you to take advantage of the trend and get creative!
Batching cocktails in kegs allows a venue to offer a varied beverage service without stocking a full bar. And, for places that want to provide a craft experience, keeping their best sellers or most versatile mixers in kegs allows bartenders to add a flourish or offer a “punch bowl” option for a unique experience.
By now, we hope you’re convinced. The benefits seem almost too good to be true! Here at Sestra, we are no stranger to the advantages, which is why our system has been using kegs from the start. We have seen glittering success, and we can’t recommend them enough. All of our clients are total converts, too.
Like the way we do things? Get in touch today and we can help you jump on the keg bandwagon before it really takes off!