In an effort to showcase a more diverse array of drinkers featured in stock imagery, Anheuser-Busch recently released hundreds of royalty-free photos that depict women and minorities enjoying beer produced by four of the company’s U.S. craft breweries.
A-B, as part of an “Elevate” initiative aimed at “lifting up the beer category,” partnered with Pexels and Unsplash — websites that offer copyright-free photos – to “capture photos that truly reflect our beer drinking audience,” a spokesperson told Brewbound.
According to the company, which cited internal data, as well as statistics from market research firm Mintel, 39 percent of beer drinkers, identify as “female,” while 32 percent identify as African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or non-white.
But the majority of free stock photos available to journalists, marketers and other creators that seek out beer-related imagery tend to feature a more stereotypical craft beer drinker: a bearded white male in a flannel shirt.
“Diversity and inclusion is really important to us, so you’ll start to see more in that area soon as part of our Elevate program,” Megan Lagesse, the senior director of craft communications at A-B, told Fox News.
Diversity-related searches on the Pexels platform increased 180 percent between 2016 and 2017, the spokesperson added.
In addition to promoting greater diversity in its photo galleries — which prominently feature the company’s 10 Barrel, Four Peaks, Karbach and Veza Sur craft brands — A-B is also making an effort to highlight proper glassware as well as beer and food pairings.
The effort, a spokesperson explained to Brewbound, shows a “realistic view” of craft culture.
“It’s women and people of color, clean surfaces, proper glassware, proper pours and much more,” they wrote.
A-B’s move to promote a more diverse brewing industry through stock photography comes about three months after the Brewers Association (BA), a trade group representing the interests of small and independently owned craft breweries, hired its first diversity ambassador – Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham.
Last year, the BA also established a diversity committee, which, according to its website, is tasked with “identifying issues related to maximizing the diversity and inclusiveness of Brewers Association membership and of the industry as a whole.”