In 2012, Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) unveiled the first domestic craft brew brand catering to individuals with gluten sensitivities: Omission. The beers were subject to stringent regulatory labeling requirements and only had clearance to be marketed as “gluten-free” in Oregon. LANE launched the gluten-free association in Oregon and allowed media coverage, social media and online conversations to spread the word to the rest of the country and drive trial and sales.
LANE’s phased approach introduced the Oregon release regionally, then nationally. Special events, such as a gluten-free, invitation-only dinner for traditional beer media and bloggers and for health and wellness writers and reviewers, bolstered efforts. LANE also joined forces with other gluten-free brewers in the region to demand—and receive—a proclamation of “Gluten-free Beer Day” by the mayor of Portland, Ore. Press releases, media mailers and product samples further reinforced Omission’s messages. Omission quickly became associated with gluten-free beer among regional beer and health bloggers and media, as well as among their national counterparts.
Within months, Omission beers became the top-selling gluten-free beers in Oregon. Plus, Omission beers were featured in more than 80 stories across numerous outlets, from beer outlets like Craft Business Daily to wellness-focused media like Gluten Free living and Celiac.com, and from local broadcasters like KATU-TV to national publications such as the Boston Globe and the Washington Post.
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