National Liquor News April 2021

Page 1


vol. 40 no. 3 - April 2021



Editor’s note

Editor’s note As we head into April, one of the biggest things

RTDs and the Aperitivo occasion. Dan Hughes

I’m feeling right now in the industry is optimism.

looks into both segments and brings all the top

Restrictions continue to ease and vaccinations

information you should know right now. Snooper

begin to roll out, and with that we regain some of

has also investigated the RTD category in stores

the things we’ve missed in the past year.

across the country and answers the question

For example, in late March I attended the Pub

‘When is an RTD not an RTD?’

Leaders Summit, hosted by our sister publication

Elsewhere in this issue we have the results

Australian Hotelier, where I moderated a panel

from our annual Pinot Noir tasting, a reflection

about pub bottle shops. It was an incredible day

on Christmas 2020 by IRI, and all the latest news,

and it made me so excited to see where the off-

insights and analysis from across the industry.

premise industry takes events this year in the new

We also hear from our other regular contributors

normal we find ourselves in. The most exciting

including Retail Drinks Australia, Alcohol Beverages

part is increased sharing of positive ideas and

Australia, BrightSide, DrinkWise, Strikeforce,

insights that comes with summits and conferences.

Shopper Intelligence and Wine Australia.

Things are getting closer to normal for

Have a very happy April!


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consumers as well, and with Mother’s Day just around the corner, they will be looking for the best


ways to spoil Mum (possibly in person again this


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sheds some light on the best gift strategies.

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Top Reads

Southern Comfort Hard Apple and Hard Peach Southern Comfort’s original blend with fruit and spices is like bourbon in a party shirt - peachy, punchy, spicy and smooth. Because we like to keep things easy, we’ve mixed up our bourbon with the best blend of flavours. Ready to sip. Any easier and we’d open them for you. Hard Peach: Peachy, punchy, fresh, Southern. Hard Apple: Big apple taste with classic Southern fun. Distributor: SouthTrade International

“Light spirit based premixes are up 50.1 per cent and are growing at a faster annual rate than dark premixes, which are also up 22.1 per cent, accounting for 37 per cent of the total $452M in incremental dollars added to the category over the past year. “Light spirit based premixes have also gained share for successive years in now accounting for 25.4 per cent of dollar trade (up six percentage points in two years).” RTD popularity in the Australian market has also been matched on a global scale, with the RTD Alcoholic Beverages Market Research Report by Kenneth Research stating the global RTD market is expected to register a single-digit growth rate of three per cent and a value of approximately USD $32 billion by the end of 2024. Vodka and gin-based RTD growth in Australia has seen a large leap in the last 12 months, leading to phenomenal performance of brands such as

There has been a tremendous surge of confidence in the RTD market in the last 12 months, and it only looks to get stronger with emerging trends and post-pandemic consumer habits. Dan Hughes investigates.

8 Bottle or can? Why not both!

42 Retailing Aperitivo

34 Riding the RTD wave

Ampersand Projects.


Ampersand Projects Director Alex Bottomley said: “Over the past three years, we have built a brand that resonates with consumers unlike any other in the RTD

This year is starting with signs of increased

the consumer a chance to still enjoy their

Projected growth backed by results

consumer confidence in the RTD market,

favourite spirit, without the guilt.

According to IRI market research, the RTD

space. Year-on year our sales have tripled. We have a cult-

Advice for retailers

with 19 out of 20 RTD segments reporting

Complementing the growing ‘better for

category recorded annual dollar growth

Here is some of the top advice from suppliers in this story.

positive sales growth in the last 12 months

you’ trend has been the emergence of RTD

of 3.2 per cent in 2019/20 nation-wide.

“This is such an interesting space and one that can blur across several

like following of engaged consumers, who are proud to post their experiences with our brands on social media.” It’s also caused great results at Diageo, where

according to IRI. New brands have emerged,

sub categories seltzer and alcoholic ginger

The emerging popularity of RTDs is best

traditional categories. We find that consumers of Matso’s Hard flavours

Marketing Manager Light Spirits, Maddy Stockwell

while other classics were solidified during

beer, both of which recorded positive sales

illustrated in the last 12 months however,

are generally looking for an RTD alternative, so placing these products

added: “We have experienced growth across the entire

the pandemic, and recent research and

growth and have proven themselves in the

where IRI recorded an astonishing annual

near that category on shelf and in fridge really helps drive sales.”

range of our RTD brands, with a significant portion of

analysis predicts this will only grow in 2021

eye of the mindful consumer.

growth rate of 30.2 per cent.

and beyond.

The pandemic has not only caused

With such a rise in popularity, one trend that has emerged from the chaos of

IRI Insights Director, Daniel Bone said:

- James Purcell, Brand Lead, Matso’s Brewery

this growth attributable to our product innovation in

“Placement in fridge alongside vodka and gin RTD’s. Keep it simple

Smirnoff Seltzers and Gordon’s Flavoured Gin which

consumers to question their consumption

“Annual category volumes were in marginal

as too many products can confuse consumers.”

has resonated well with consumers.”

choices, but also changed the face of the

decline 12 months ago, which contrasts

- Alex Bottomley, Director, Ampersand Projects

enormously with the additional 52.7 million

“For retailers to realise all the incremental growth and value it is

Meanwhile, such success also helped Adelaide Hills Distillery, which successfully launched the

the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than

consumer entirely. The post-pandemic

ever is the ‘better for you’ movement,

consumer needs to be acknowledged. Looking

litre purchases bought via the off-premise

recommended they have all three Gordon’s RTD flavours available. It

78 Degrees Gin & Tonic RTD in can format before

after consumers were confined to their

at new marketing strategies and product

over the latest year. We have now recorded

also looks wonderful on shelf when the range shows up together.”

Christmas 2020. According to its primary national

- Maddy Stockwell, Marketing Manager Light Spirits, Diageo

homes with plenty of time to think about

innovation will be essential for any RTD brand

three successive quarters of category growth

their health. Several products rose to offer

that wishes to continue strong growth figures.

surpassing 25 per cent.

distributor SouthTrade International, it was a move that was well received by consumers. April 2021 | 35

34 | National Liquor News

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4 | National Liquor News

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Contents April 2021

Regulars 10 News: The latest liquor industry news for retailers around Australia 16 Marketplace: Connecting brands with liquor retailers 22 Alcohol Beverages

24 Recruitment: Hiring top talent in 2021 27 Strikeforce: Range apprehension 30 IRI: Unwrapping Christmas 2020 31 Shopper Intelligence: The path to success in 2021

Australia: Vision for the future 25 DrinkWise: Indigenous alcohol education 50 Retailer Profile: Newtown Hotel Super Cellars

Wine 26 Wine Insights: Reinvigorating Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in Australia 28 Wine Australia: Domestic

Retail Focused 14 Mother’s Day: Products for gifting 18 International Women’s Day: Choose to Challenge 17 Brand Talks: The simple way to do cocktails at home 20 Revenue Management: What Mum really wants 23 Retail Drinks Australia: Regional Roadshow heads to Hobart

6 | National Liquor News

off-premise wine market strong 46 Wine Tasting Review: Pinot Noir

Spirits 32 Snooper: When is an RTD not an RTD? 34 RTD: Riding the wave 42 Retailing Aperitivo: Catering to the crowd

Cover Story

Bottle or can? Why not both! Ampersand Projects has revealed its game changing new RTD format – the aluminium bottle. In the space of just a few years, independent Australian producer Ampersand Projects has exploded into the market, tripling sales year on year while building a cult-like following of some of the category’s most engaged consumers. Innovation has led the way for Ampersand Projects since the company’s 2018 launch by three industry mates, Alex Bottomley, Shaun Rankins and Marcus Kellett. The launch came with just a single eye-catching product emblazoned with the iconic ‘&’ symbol the brand is now unmistakably known for. It was the first unflavoured vodka soda RTD on the market that helped consumers replicate a favourite from the bar (vodka soda with fresh lime), or otherwise easily add whatever garnish they please. In 2021, this market-leading innovative strategy and unrivalled speed to market has seen the portfolio grow to nine products and counting, including Pink Gin Soda and the country’s first no-sugar Pink Gin RTD, as well as other products across a range of flavours, spirit combinations and ABV strengths.

“We are taking on the big global companies with a portfolio of local innovative products,” he said. “We have developed a highly engaged and loyal audience of customers across the country. Our customers

And now, that innovation mindset is leading

seek out our products, and when they find them, they

Ampersand Projects into another Australian first, this

stick with them. We rank number two in repeat purchase

time with the debut of a new aluminum bottle format.

in the light RTD category making us a ‘must-stock’ in

“We are delivering a market first with this new

beyond, not only because of the new bottle’s alignment

“We are taking on the big global companies with a portfolio of local innovative products.”

aluminium bottle. The design stays true to our creation

with the increasing demand for sustainable products,

of the best looking brand on the market with our clean

but also because of the liquid inside.

Alex Bottomley

Bottomley said the recyclable and reusable bottles

any RTD fridge.”

retain that same value of letting consumers add whatever

Ampersand Projects and its sleek ‘&’ products already

they like, thanks to the bottle’s wide mouth. They stay

have one of the most engaged followings on the market,

colder for longer and are conveniently resealable, while

being a leader in social media interactions in the liquor

looking extremely unique and attractive on the shelf.

space. This appreciation is set to increase into 2021 and

and minimal look and feel - we have created a brand that people love to engage with,” Bottomley said.

“All of our products are sugar free and low-calorie, known for their simplicity adopting a ‘less is more’

The game-changer new RTD format is available now

approach. This is important as consumers continue

from Ampersand Projects, and Bottomley said the 100

to seek out better for you options and focus on health

per cent Australian owned company with just three

and wellbeing. We encourage consumers to add a

founding staff is expecting big results from the format.

fresh garnish such as a wedge of lime.”

8 | National Liquor News

Co-founder Ampersand Projects





Henry's Legacy Freestone Cove


of the World Whiskies Awards Best Australian Single Malt 2021 General Enquiries Hellyers Road Distillery PO Box 1415, BURNIE TAS 7320 Phone: (03) 6433 0439

News The latest liquor industry

For retailers around the country

Australian wine retailers recognised on global scale Australian retailers were recently recognised by international wine comparison website Wine-Searcher, at its annual global Retailer Awards. In the 2020 results, 111 Australian retailers received gold, silver and bronze medal status. Boutique retailer Wine Experience was the only Queensland store to receive gold medals, winning in both the Australian List and Overall List categories. Independently owned and operated since 2004, the store has become popular with locals due to its unique selection of wines not often available elsewhere. Owner and manager Michael Nolan said: “Here at Wine Experience we

Pure Scot raises money for Great Barrier Reef A fundraising campaign by Australian-

pride ourselves on working hard to ensure our online store matches our in-store experience so it’s very exciting to receive the highest possible award in recognition of our online capabilities. “We really stepped up our online store last year to better cater for the needs of

owned Scotch Whisky brand Pure Scot is

our customers during COVID-19. Our focus has always been on providing the best

off to a flying start, recording more than

selection of wines and great service so this was just as important for our customer’s

$10,000 in donations in its first week.

shopping online too.”

The Pure Scot $100k for 100 Reefs campaign supports the research and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and aims to raise $100,000 for conservation organisation Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and its groundbreaking Great Reef Census project. As part of the campaign, people in QLD, NSW and WA can donate their 10 cent return on any eligible container directly to Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, which Pure Scot

BDR reduces liquor store theft in Pilbara

will match by donating 10 cents from

The most recent positive result coming out of the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) trial

every canned cocktail sold until June.

in WA is a dramatic drop in liquor store shop lifting offences in the East Pilbara. In the

Pure Scot Environmental

latest episode of the LSA WA podcast ‘Packaged’, retailer and Shire of East Pilbara

Ambassador, Dave “Rasta” Rastovich,

councillor Anita Grace spoke about the unintended yet positive impact at her store,

said: “An organisation like Citizens

Cellarbrations in Newman.

of the Great Barrier Reef continues

Over the past 20 years, Grace has experienced a lot of theft at the store,

to lead the way in working to help

sometimes up to $300 on any given day. However, since the BDR trial commenced, she

this unique and irreplaceable

said stealing offences have dropped by at least 90 per cent.

bionetwork survive and thrive; not

“They know their name and photo has to be verified on the scanning machines, so

only by taking an intricate look at

it’s been a strong deterrent for any unruly customer looking to do a ‘quick hit and run’.

the health and state of the Reef but

The most recent shoplifting incident in the store involved the theft of two pre-mix cans

also by providing an access point for

as opposed to several bottles of spirits at a time, so that gives you an indication that

every Australian to participate in a

stealing in the shop isn’t as brazen as what it used to be,” she said.

community-lead effort to better know and protect it.”

LSA WA Chief Executive Peter Peck added: “We have only just begun and to get this type of feedback and results is amazing. I have always said this is going to be a game-changer and it will change our attitude to drinking, for the better.”

10 | National Liquor News


New CEO announced for Proof and Company Proof & Company has ended its 12-month

exhilarating. We have a fantastic brand

search for a new CEO, as Paul Broadbent

portfolio anchored by great partners.

steps into the role from April 1.

When you couple this with talented and

Co-founder Paul Gabie hands CEO responsibilities to Broadbent in the first CEO transition for Proof & Company’s

passionate people across our teams, the future is bright,” said Broadbent. “Taking over from a successful

nine year history. Gabie will remain as

founder is always a significant task and I

Director alongside other Co-founder

want to thank Paul for handing over the

Spencer Forhart.

business in such a strong position.”

Broadbent was previously Proof

There has also been further bolstering

& Company’s General Manager for

to the leadership team at Proof &

Australia and New Zealand and has

Company, including the appointment of

been with the business since 2018,

Damian Kaehler to fill Broadbent’s previous

on an expanded Group CFO role,

joining from 14 years at Bacardi-

role. The move reunites Broadbent and

working closely with Broadbent to lead

Martini Australia.

Kaehler, who previously worked together

the company and taking on broader

from 2009 to 2018. Kaehler makes the

oversight of the group’s financial and

and dynamic drinks company over

move from SouthTrade International where

administrative functions across the

the past three years has been truly

he was Sales Director.

entire region.

“Being part of such a progressive

Meanwhile, Elaine Hardiman takes

Brodie Grundy named Wolf Blass ambassador Wolf Blass has introduced AFL superstar Brodie Grundy as its 2021 AFL campaign ambassador. The Collingwood footballer will play a key role in the upcoming Wolf Blass Chase the Finals promotion, which started last month and finishes on 30 June. “Following a season of fans watching games from afar and players playing with no crowds in the stands, we have a newfound appreciation for the game and the joy it brings to football fans. It’s what brings us together as a nation and we are excited to be able to give fans an opportunity to literally live and breathe the game once again,” said Global Marketing Manager Robert Knott. “Brodie is a great ambassador for our Chase the Finals campaign as he has such a great perspective on not just his professional career and where he’s wanting to take it, but also a focus on chasing personal balance and growth. This is very much aligned with the essence and values of Wolf Blass.”

More newsletter reads Legal action launched over Darwin Dan Murphy’s

Drinkworks expands team with 28 new hires

Second hand brewery a growing success story

The Treasury Wine Estate brand has been a sponsor of the AFL since 2015 and is offering customers the chance to

A sneak peek at Cape Byron Distillery’s whisky

win tickets, flights and accommodation for them and one other to every round of the 2021 AFL Finals Series. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on July 2.

Sign up to our fortnightly Newsletter by going to this URL: subscribe-to-nln

April 2021 | 11


CommBank helps unlock opportunities for businesses. An insights tool from CommBank is helping businesses learn more about their customers to improve overall customer experiences. Graham Greenhalgh’s father was a butcher,

The group serves about 4000 customers

as was his grandfather and great-grandfather.

a week and boasts the biggest walk-in

It stands to reason that Greenhalgh knows a

cool room in Sydney at 1,000sqm which

That figure may have been an anomaly

bit about the meat retail business.

holds in excess of $500,000 worth of meat

created by the pandemic but it’s been an

For more than 30 years, Greenhalgh has

inventory. They are a high-quality, low-

opportunity for the group to focus on

worked in customer-facing businesses, one

cost operator, actively looking to scale and

customer retention.

of which ranked among Australia’s biggest

open more outlets.

wholesale exporters of meat.

within those two weeks they hit 50 percent above that five-year target.

Speaking from the company farm

Being a food retailer, the Australian Meat

nestled on the western slopes of the

But like all good business operators,

Emporium was not subject to lockdown

Kosciusko range where he runs 3000

Greenhalgh knows there’s always more

and the pandemic in fact led to a surge in

cattle on about 8000 acres, Greenhalgh,

to learn.

customers, a lift in profit and an opportunity

whose job title is Managing Director, says

to assess what was and wasn’t working well

his fundamental interest is the consumer

in the business.

– what makes them tick, why do they

About 18 months ago, his family took over the Australian Meat Emporium, just before bushfires and a global pandemic

In the space of two weeks, turnover

sent many Australian businesses into

quadrupled. The group had a five-year

a spin.

strategy to build customer numbers but

12 | National Liquor News

purchase meat, what do they want to buy and what are the emerging trends. He’s always on the lookout for ways to


learn more about customers and says CommBank’s

demographic data and once a month they do a “heat

Daily IQ tool (available with a CommBank Business

map” to learn more about where their customers are

Transaction Account or a CommBank EFTPOS

coming from. That then informs localised advertising

terminal settling into a CommBank settlement

and ensures the advertising budget is being used for

account) gives him the data he needs to deliver better

maximum effect.

value to the consumer and improve their experience.

Greenhalgh says he also used Daily IQ to help with

“We don’t have money to throw away. So to be able

the group’s online strategy. He can better understand

to get those insights for free is of massive value to us,”

the location of sales activity so he can then ensure he

Greenhalgh says.

has adequate delivery systems in place.

The group uses the demographics tool to pull

“It’s a terrific vehicle for us. And the beauty is, it’s

data on age and gender which they can use to target

painless. To be able to get insights that help you deliver

product and improve customer service. The data is

something that doesn’t annoy anybody but makes the

used to inform push advertising to the group’s target

consumer experience better and cheaper, that’s what

demographic. The research is reinforced by talking to

everyone in business is trying to do,” he says.

customers in store about what they like and don’t like. Each week the group runs a report focusing on

“We only pull certain information, but I’m sure it’s got more horsepower than that.”

“To be able to get insights that help you deliver something that doesn’t annoy anybody but makes the consumer experience better and cheaper, that’s what everyone in business is trying to do.” Graham Greenhalgh Managing Director Australian Meat Emporium

Tailored business tips at your fingertips. That’s a business app-vantage. Available with CommBank EFTPOS. Business tips are prepared by CommBank. To find out more about your customer and business performance data and insights, visit Daily IQ has been prepared as a tool for general information purpose only and should not be relied upon as advice. Available to CommBiz and NetBank customers with a CommBank EFTPOS terminal settling into a CommBank settlement account. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945.

PRO17615_CBBUS_Tech Q3_PRESS_HP_135x185_v03ih.indd 1

| 13 April 202116/3/21

5:22 pm

Mother’s Day

Gifts for

Mother’s Day Help your shoppers make the best gifting decisions for mum this year with these new and exciting products.

Nort Refreshing Ale For the Mum that wants a beer without the alcohol, Nort is tipped as a refreshing crafted non-alcoholic beer that tastes just like the full strength version. The Australian owned and brewed

Piccini Venetian Dress Prosecco and Prosecco Rosé Famous Italian wine house Piccini presents their Venetian

beer from Modus Operandi comes in

Dress Prosecco, winner of two gold medals, alongside recently

at 49 calories per serve and is plant

released Prosecco Rosé. The two wines combined make for a great

based, fitting into a range of current

gift this Mother’s Day and are available from Combined Wines.

consumer trends. Co-founder of Modus

The delicately ridged bottle is designed to imitate the

Operandi Brewing, Jaz Wearin, said: “We

swooshing movement a dress would make when a woman turns

were hell bent on bringing out a non-alc

while dancing.

beer that smelt, tasted and gave that

The Prosecco is made exclusively from Glera grapes from

same appetising and refreshing finish

Veneto using the Charmat Method, which uses a slow second

you come to expect from a good quality

fermentation and a prolonged aging period in pressurised

beer…When it comes to flavour, Nort hits

tanks. The end wine hosts a wealth of delicate aromas,

all the flavour profiles and more from what you would

unfolding into white fruit and flowers for an enhanced

expect from a crafted Refreshing Ale.

tasting experience.

“Enjoying a Nort doesn’t necessarily mean no alcohol,

The Prosecco Rosé is a combination of Glera and Pinot Noir

for many of our consumers it means balancing awesome

grapes, also made using the Charmat Method. Grapes are

hazy, hoppy IPAs and then flipping over to a Nort so they

harvested and vinified separately then carefully blended, creating

can drive home, put their kids to bed, get up in the morning

a floral and elegant wine that is complex, fresh and velvety.

for a surf and then hit the day head-on feeling great.”

Matso’s Lower Sugar Ginger Beer Matso’s is best known for its original alcoholic ginger beer, being the biggest independent brand in the space in Australia and growing – IRI data shows growth of 39 per cent. To extend on that even further, Matso’s has released its Lower Sugar Ginger Beer with more than 50 per cent less sugar than the original, but with the same refreshing taste. The new product was developed to cater to a wider range of consumers than ever, including the mindful drinking mums out there. “We will continue to be a leader in products that deliver greater choice and flexibility to consumers, especially within growing sectors of the alcohol market,” said James Purcell, Brand Lead.

14 | National Liquor News

Mother’s Day

Nudo Non Alcoholic Spirit From the Belgium distillery Spirits By Design comes premium non-alcoholic spirit Nudo. Replicating the flavour explosion of gin using all natural ingredients and no alcohol, Nudo was created in response to the growing no-alcohol trend seen around the world. Pasquale Napoletano, Managing Director of Italy in a Glass, the importer and distributor of Nudo, said it’s a great product for new mums and expecting mums as well as designated drivers and those who don’t feel like drinking. He said: “Unlike so many other non-alcoholic spirits on the market, Nudo is designed to be mixed. This means we can cater to any taste; you can mix Nudo however you like and bottles come with mocktail recipe books.”

Babo Prosecco Rosé DOC Babo Wines was developed in 2009 to create contemporary, great value, premium Italian wines designed for the Australian palate and market. And now it presents its new release, the Prosecco Rosé DOC, crafted from 89 per cent Glera and 11 per cent Pinot Nero grapes. Winemaker Justin Bubb said: “We are thrilled to have produced one of the first Prosecco Rosé to be available in Australia, a wine we have long wanted to make. We developed this in a ‘brut’ style to suit Australian palates with lifted fruit aromas and a finish that is not bone dry but is fresh and crisp. We feel this will match perfectly to the hot Australian climate; a great aperitif or side to a picnic or light lunch.”

Deeds hazy beers Deeds Brewing has announced the release of three new season hazystyle beers - there’s new creations, Daydreaming In Autumn, a 5.7 per cent ABV DDH Hazy Pale to complement Autumn social occasions, and the

Four Pillars Spice Trade Gin Australian distillery Four Pillars has announced the release

Keyboard Warrior, a 10 per cent ABV Hazy TIPA dedicated to the keyboard warriors. The new releases come alongside a

of its latest product, Spice Trade Gin. The fourth product

tribute to the brewer’s first ever hazy

of the brand’s Distillers Series, the gin was created in

beer, the Double Juice Train.

collaboration with Indian distillery Stranger & Sons,

Deeds noted: “Juice Train was one

developed with both Australian and Indian botanicals

of the OGs of Aussie hazies, which

during the pandemic through the magic of Zoom.

inspired a lot of the decisions we’ve

“Spice Trade Gin is quite literally a spice bazaar in

made since. It’s the foundation upon

a bottle. It is vibrant, aromatic and, if ‘colourful’ was a

which we’ve built our limited hazy

sense, then it would be that too,” said Four Pillars Distiller

program that we’ve been running for

Cameron Mackenzie.

the past few years.”

April 2021 | 15

Marketplace Connecting brands and retailers De Bortoli releases Petit Moscato De Bortoli has announced the release of Petit Moscato, a new wine which uses Rutherglen region Muscat Rouge à Petits grains, named after its characteristically small berry size. With an artisitic design on the premium pink Moscato bottle, Petit Moscato is designed to be an entertaining wine as restrictions ease and consumers can once again gather with friends. Tasting notes describe Petit Moscato as balancing bright fruit, soft acidity and a spritzy finish, at seven per cent ABV.

Voodoo Ranger enters Australia Cult-classic beer Voodoo Ranger from New Belgium Brewing in the US has now entered

New gin-based hard seltzer launches Australia’s first gin-based hard seltzer brand has now launched out of Sydney’s northern beaches, debuting with a three SKU range. Named Sunny Eddy, the brand uses triple-distilled Australian gin and is sugar free, preservative free, gluten free and comes in at 76 calories per 330ml can. The first three flavours in the new line are Lime & Cucumber, Crisp Pink Apple, and Blood Orange & Grapefruit, all of which are described as lighter alternatives to the gin and tonic. Sunny Eddy Founder Tim Phillips said: “Seltzer is such a refreshing option for our hot summer days by the beach or pool, but honestly I found vodka-based seltzer a little bland. Being a gin fan and knowing how much Australians also love gin, we developed our botanical Aussie gin as a base.”

Australia. The ‘Ranger-style bold and juicy’ IPA was originally designed to attract a new generation of beer drinkers who wanted a fun and refreshing craft beer alternative, and while it began in the US, it is now brewed fresh in Australia. Kyle Bradshaw, New Belgium Brewing’s Director of Brand Marketing said: ”Dearest Australia, you gave us the genius of AC/DC and the golden god that is Chris Hemsworth. Crocodile Dundee [ahem] moved to the USA too! Now America is giving you a star in return, Voodoo Ranger – our most famous craft beer influencer, fashion icon and corpse. He’s a handful of juicy goodness and just the perfect amount of bitter.” Voodoo Ranger IPA comes in at 6.8 per cent ABV, available in 355ml cans.

16 | National Liquor News


Wolf Blass reveals 2021 Luxury Release A recipient of more than 10,000 medals and trophies globally, Wolf Blass is considered one of the world’s most successful and awarded wineries since it was established from a humble tin shed in the Barossa in 1966. Now, it reveals its latest creation, the 2021 Wolf Blass Luxury Release. The collection offers a portfolio of wines that demonstrate the skill, passion, dedication and craftsmanship of the winemakers. Honouring the values of quality, character and consistency first established by its Founder Wolfgang in 1966, Wolf Blass presents the traditional yet contemporary wines that showcase the brand’s hallmarks of power, elegance and approachability. labels: 2018 Platinum Label Shiraz, 2018 Platinum Label

Hellyers Road wins big with Henry’s Legacy

Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 Black Label Cabernet Shiraz,

Tasmanian distillery Hellyers Road has taken out the Best Australian

2019 Grey Label Shiraz, 2019 Grey Label Cabernet

Single Malt in the 2021 World Whisky Awards with its Henry’s Legacy

The Release comprises of six wines under three iconic

Shiraz and 2019 Grey Label Chardonnay. “The release is always exciting for us. We’ve always had a really good, consistent run of vintages, but this year in particular is yet another remarkable selection. For people who are interested in collecting and appreciating wines, they’re spot-on,” said Wolf Blass Chief Winemaker, Chris Hatcher. The 2021 Wolf Blass Luxury Release will be available nationwide from 14 April through Treasury Wine Estates.

Freestone Cove. The whisky is part of a range in honour of explorer and cartographer Henry Hellyer, namesake for the distillery. Both the spirit of Henry’s name and that of Freestone Cove’s rugged sandstone terrain influence the winning whisky, characterised by intriguing layers that are said to be parallel to exploration and thirst for discovery of Hellyer almost 200 years prior. This latest award for Hellyers Road joins a wealth of other accolades over the years. General Manager Andy Bower said that when he started with Hellyers Road earlier this year, he was amazed to see just how awarded the brand was with just prestigious honours. “To win one of these awards is amazing, but to do it over a period of years talks to the consistency and quality in depth of the whisky at various ages,” Bower told National Liquor News. “Quality is never sacrificed for quantity, and if a barrel isn’t to the high standard, then it will have to wait a few more years… When the distiller says its ready you can sell it then!” The World Whisky Award is good motivation for a bright future at Hellyers Road, with a large volume of stock currently maturing and increased production investment. Bower said: “Hellyers Road is the real deal. It has a genuine authenticity and a story to tell, both in terms of how the business was created, and the story behind the brand. It’s a great place to be right now!” April 2021 | 17

International Women’s Day



on International Women’s Day In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8 and its theme of #ChooseToChallenge, National Liquor News spoke to several inspiring women about their experiences and observations in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, and also heard their advice and messages to their fellow female industry colleagues. Here are some their key messages: • “ Trust your own ability and back yourself. Use your voice and don’t accept inequality. As soon as you do accept it, you normalise it. Don’t feel you need to make a choice between a career and being a mother. The industry is evolving and there are roles that will be right for you.” – Monique Strand, Retailer, Dan Murphy’s Campbelltown. • “Just be yourself, authenticity is so powerful.” – Sharni Wise, Retail Operations Manager, Vantage Group. • “You can do anything! Go with your gut, listen to other people, get advice – find someone you admire for a mentor.” – Caz Bailey, Founder, Woodend Wine Shop.

little louder than normal so people can hear you. Don’t be afraid to make yourself heard.” – Freya Hohnen, Winemaker, Once & Well. • “Find the community that believes in you, close to home and around the world. Dive in believing that you can do it (because

• “We need to be conscious of the way we talk to ourselves, there’s

you can!), and go back to check in with that community of

all these little things that we do subconsciously and don’t realise

supporters regularly. They will help you maintain forward

– the negative talk, we’ve got to stop doing that.” – Kathleen

momentum in the tough times.” – Kari Allen, Co-founder,

Davies, Founder, Nip of Courage.

The Sparkke Change Beverage Company.

• “Take pride in any path you decide to pursue, whether you are

• “Find mentors, hire people that have different skill sets to

blazing a new trail or following the footsteps of women that have

you and remember its okay to say ‘I will come back to you on

inspired you. The liquor industry is wonderfully diverse and

that.’ As the old adage goes, knowledge is power.”– Jaz Wearin,

there’s still a way to go. Join in and always choose to challenge the status quo when it doesn’t feel right.” – Danielle Allen, Cofounder, Two Birds Brewing.

Co-founder, Modus Operandi Brewing. • “Challenge yourself - know your worth and let your voice be heard. Challenge those around you - We know we still

• “There is so much power in staying true to who you are and

have a long way to go in terms of gender equality and it’s

how you want to show up in the world or the industry you are

not just women’s responsibility, it’s everyone’s responsibility.”

a part of. There is no mould, rulebook or way women must be

– Alli Macdonald, Lead Brewer, Malt Shovel Brewery.

in the industry. Diversity is where beauty lies, where ideas can

• “I find the best way to overcome challenges is to have clear goals

be born and change will come from everyone collectively being

and continue to focus on what you can deliver and what is in

more aware, sticking to their truth and providing space to listen

your control. For me, the biggest lesson for 2020 was that we

to another point of view.” – Emma Evans, CEO, CAPI.

cannot control everything!” – Anjanette Murfet, Chief People

• “Follow your heart – sometimes you might need to speak a

and Communications Officer, Accolade Wines.

Read more about this story online via The Shout

18 | National Liquor News

Brand Talks

The simple way to do cocktails at home Master of Mixes is helping retailers capitalise on the huge opportunity behind the home cocktail trend with easy, quality and affordable pre-made solutions. Over the past year, one of the notable impacts

just like this, which not only let retailers

“With Master of Mixes, the retailer

of lockdowns and restrictions has been the

capitalise with existing consumers of the

can cater to the full cocktail experience

increasing number of consumers looking

home cocktail trend, but also bring new

in-store, without having to stock multiple

to bring premium cocktail experiences into

consumers into the movement.

products, helping to reduce any wastage in

their own homes.

“Whilst some have taken to making

their stores. The customer meanwhile can

In a consumer research study carried

cocktails at home, for many, the idea might

see great value in their drinks choices and

out by Humaniti in 2021, 45 per cent of

seem quite daunting. Master of Mixes solves

is much more likely to return and pick up

respondents said they make cocktails at

that problem, delivering a consistent flavour

another bottle in their next visit.”

home, with 26 per cent of them making

each time, whilst allowing the customer

After acquiring a taste for quality

cocktails two to three times per month.

to mix up the spirit/mixer ratio to their

cocktails at home last year, consumers

The study also found that 54 per cent of

taste preference,” said Jack O’Neill, Brand

continue to drive the home cocktail into

respondents said they have made more

Manager at SouthTrade International, the

2021. Such interest in the movement means

cocktails at home over the past six months,

distributor of Master of Mixes.

good things for retailers, as shoppers are

a significant rise in the number of cocktail savvy shoppers out there.

The wide range from Master of Mixes

more likely to be adventurous in their

enables easy mixing of a number of the

purchases, upping basket size when they’re

The Humaniti study also uncovers

world’s most popular cocktails. In three

inspired to try new cocktails and trading up

another key opportunity surrounding this

simple steps, consumers can create the

spirit choices when the rest of the cocktail

trend – pre-made cocktail solutions. The

perfect cocktail every time with barely any

is so easy and affordable.

study found that 64 per cent of people

effort – just add ice, spirit and mixer.

With up to 10 cocktails in every bottle

who don’t make cocktails at home say it

“Cocktails often call for a variety of

and a range that includes the ever-popular

is too complicated, while 58 per cent of

ingredients, which means multiple store

Margarita, Piña Colada, Mojito, Daiquiri,

respondents would be more likely to try

visits, or retailers having to carry perishable

Espresso Martini and much more, Master

cocktails at home when made aware of pre-

goods. For the consumer, this often involves

of Mixes is a convenient solution for the

made solutions.

a very high basket spend for items that will

home cocktail connoisseur, and is available

remain largely untouched for the next 12

from SouthTrade International.

Master of Mixes is a leading provider of high quality pre-made cocktail solutions

months,” O’Neill said.

April 2021 | 19


Premiumisation: making mums feel special

Upsell is the name of the game to maximise revenue around the Mother’s Day occasion, writes Simon Elsby, APAC Sales Director, Exceedra. Mother’s Day. In years gone by, an obvious

for Father’s Day, or what most adults typically prefer

opportunity for sparkling wines and liqueurs. But

as birthday or Christmas presents. That is, something

what’s changed in the past few years? What do mums

that demonstrates the gift giver knows their personal

want now, and what does this mean for revenue

taste and has spent time and effort thinking about and

realisation opportunities?

sourcing a gift that is unique. A McCrindle study of most and least desired

Opportunities beyond gifting

Mother’s Day gifts in Australia indicated that of nine

Mother’s Day in Australia typically revolves around

types of gifts, the most desired was a pampering

gifting and a meal, usually lunch – whether at mum’s

style gift such as a massage, nail treatment or beauty

home, a family member’s home, or in a restaurant.

product. Gifts based around consumption, such as

Each of these represent slightly different occasions that can be marketed to for Mother’s Day; the ‘consume now with lunch’ occasion at home; the BYO occasion at a restaurant, and the gifting occasion.

chocolate and wine, were the least desired type of gift in the nine categories. By contrast, when the same study asked what was the most likely category of gift to be purchased for

The entertaining at home occasion, even with

Mother’s Day by a gift giver, products for consumption

continuing subdued guest numbers due to COVID,

were fourth. Thus whilst liquor is a popular choice for

represents an opportunity to offer cross-category

Mother’s Day gift buyers, it risks being seen by mum

‘party packs’ for hosts consisting of premium

as a ‘fallback’ or ‘lazy’ gift rather than the main gift.

sparkling and still wine, craft beer and spirits,

So aside from buying the mum in question

liqueurs and aperitifs such as gin, Aperol, Campari

something the gift giver knows she likes and drinks,

and vermouth. Packs can be offered across a variety

how can a shopper make a liquor gift more unique

of price points, depending on the degree to which a

or special?

host shopper desires to ‘smarten up’ their Mother’s Day lunch and ‘spoil mum’.

At the very least, they should be thinking about premiumisation and localisation for wines, such as an

The BYO occasion is an opportunity to increase

upgrade to a Tasmanian sparkling or French champagne.

AWOP by bundling ‘one for me and one for Mum’

Typically the path of least resistance has been

such as a still wine for ‘me’ and a sparkling for mum.

to swaddle the product, usually wine or liqueur, in special packaging or a wooden box, and possibly

What mums really want

throw in a couple of branded glasses. Craft Cartel

What mums want isn’t that different to what dads want

for instance at time of writing is offering a number

20 | National Liquor News

“Mother’s Day doesn’t just have to be flowers, chocolates and a ‘cheap bottle of something’.” Simon Elsby APAC Sales Director Exceedra


of wine discovery trio packs that come in a wooden

pandemic has seen drink-at-home cocktails expand,

box, priced between $89 and $159 delivered.

and has given a massive boost to prebottled cocktails from cocktail bars such as Melbourne’s Black Pearl,

Experience gifts

Brisbane’s Death & Taxes, and Perth’s Foxtrot Unicorn.

Relating the gift to an experience provides more

Cocktails using locally manufactured spirits, tapping

options. In the McCrindle study, experiential gifts

into the trend to drink and support local since last

were the fourth most desired but only the sixth most

year’s bushfires and the pandemic, also represent a

given. There is a natural affiliation of wine with

premiumisation opportunity. Craft Cartel for instance

cheese for discovery experiences that provide mums

offers an Australian gin tasting set featuring 12 gins from

with the opportunity to share with their girlfriends.

various Australian states retailing for $159 including

Experiences e-commerce company Red Balloon

delivery. And for the mum who doesn’t drink, the rise

seizes this opportunity by offering at-home wine and

of ‘nolo’ spirits including by Australian locals such as

cheese tastings, while Dan Murphy’s offers white wine

Lyres and Brunswick Aces, enables replication of classic

‘discoveries’ and a range of hampers featuring French

cocktails so mum can still enjoy the cocktail occasion.

Champagne and still wines along with packaged ‘gourmet nibbles’ and nuts.

So Mother’s Day doesn’t just have to be flowers, chocolates and a ‘cheap bottle of something’. It

And then there’s the rise of cocktails at home, which

represents a number of ways in which average weight

represent an opportunity for mum to spoil herself

of purchase can be increased and basket spend

(and possibly said girlfriends mentioned above). The

increased via premiumisation and upsell.

References • Australian-Mums-Speak-Guidance-in-Mothers-Day-Gifts.pdf ( • April 2021 | 21

Alcohol Beverages Australia

Vision for the future; where we can be in 2030 The Vision 2030 policy document outlines how the industry can unleash its full potential, writes Andrew Wilsmore, CEO, Alcohol Beverages Australia. Alcohol Beverages Australia has championed

alcohol-specific taxes, licensing requirements or even

Vision 2030 – a policy document for, and on behalf

packaging rules which differ across states.

of, all those who make up the entirety of the alcohol beverages industry.

Let’s create a taxation system that’s internationally competitive, and adopt best-practice models in Liquor

Vision 2030 comes from the work of Deloitte

Act Reviews that take into account the changing

Access Economics, which identified where our

nature of the industry and consumption. One simple

industry stands right now and the value it brings to

fix in this regard is a national Responsible Service

Australia, and mapped how and where we can grow

of Alcohol certification to replace the current eight

to maximise the contribution to the economy, culture

jurisdictions and ease staff mobility across borders

and international profile.

while also simplifying national trade show processes.

The data tells us the full value chain of the

When international travel returns, Australia will

alcohol industry is delivering an annual $52bn

be ready to reaffirm its value as a tourist destination,

direct contribution to the Australian economy, and

with quality hospitality venues, retail outlets and cellar

generating 485,000 jobs. We are a business that

doors as core attractions. We’re aiming to boost tourist

yearly generates $3.6bn in exports and helps support

spending by 25 per cent and collaboration with tourism

a tourism industry with spending on food and drinks

bodies is key to that result. But for communities to

exceeding $29bn, while paying $9.3bn each year in

benefit, Government funded tourism campaigns need

excise, WET and GST.

to highlight hospitality and alcohol beverage offerings.

Unleashing the future potential of this is the goal

Technology and innovation will lead the way in our

of Vision 2030, starting with industry job creation

industry over the next decade, as we continue to adapt

and career opportunities. We will call on Government

to meet changing consumer and business needs. We’ve

to support regional employment initiatives, further

also set an ambitious goal to be the first alcohol industry

simplify workplace labour laws, and reduce the

in the world to map the value chain with blockchain

burden of taxes (alcohol, payroll, and company) that

technology, a critical solution to ensure genuine

are a brake on genuine investment.

product provenance from production to purchase.

The industry sees enormous export potential

Weaving through Vision 2030 is the essential

for Australian alcohol beverages. Notwithstanding

commitment to protecting and improving our

current China trade headwinds, we can see a

environment, through things like improvements in

$5bn uplift, helped by product innovation across

food waste, a smaller carbon footprint, sustainable

all categories and our premium quality spirits

packaging and recycling processes.

capturing world attention just as our wines did all those years ago.

There has been an enormous amount of work to reach this point in Vision 2030, yet the job has only just

But for this to work, the burden of regulation

started. I’m proud we have this far-reaching blueprint

on small and medium industry enterprises needs

as our future positive vision; our call now is for our

to be reduced. Producers face compliance costs not

fantastic industry to embrace the recommendations

borne by other Australian industries, whether it is

and lead the way.

22 | National Liquor News

“Unleashing the future potential of this is the goal of Vision 2030, starting with industry job creation and career opportunities.” Andrew Wilsmore CEO Alcohol Beverages Australia

Retail Drinks Australia

A commitment to Tasmanian retailers

Last month’s trip to Tasmania is part of Retail Drinks’ commitment to its members and the broader industry in all states, writes Michael Waters, CEO of Retail Drinks Australia.

Michael Waters CEO Retail Drinks Australia

Last month, the Retail Drinks team travelled to Hobart to meet with key members of the Tasmanian Government to discuss a range of policy issues affecting the state’s liquor retail industry. Retail Drinks has only recently resumed interstate travel given the previous logistical challenges with border restrictions. As part of this visit, Retail Drinks’ Member Services team conducted a Regional Roadshow, visiting around 80 liquor stores right across the state to personally advise store owners and staff on current issues and opportunities affecting the retail liquor industry, and provide an update on new and existing services and benefits. The trip coincided with one of the first parliamentary sitting weeks of the year, which saw Retail Drinks meet with several Ministers in the Tasmanian Government to discuss policy issues affecting liquor retailers across the state. This included meeting with the Minister for Police, the Honourable Mark Shelton MP and Minister for Finance, the Honourable Michael Ferguson MP, who is also the relevant Minister with carriage of liquor issues. Retail Drinks was pleased

Above: Retail Drinks Membership Services Manager, John Tsapicounis showing Perry from Steve’s Liquor Warehouse Lindisfarne the updated Industry Responsibility posters.

to bring local issues affecting Tasmanian liquor retailers to the

Below L-R: Michael Waters and James Coward, Retail Drinks Director Policy & Communications, and The Hon Michael Ferguson, Minister for Finance.

attention of these Ministers, including a recent spate of store breakins and customer aggression directed toward staff members. In addition to these Ministerial meetings, Retail Drinks also met with the Assistant Director of the Liquor and Gaming Branch in the Tasmanian Treasury, as well as other key departmental representatives to provide an update on the Retail Drinks Online Alcohol Sale and Delivery Code of Conduct. This included recent changes made to the Code concerning online alcohol transactions conducted through third-party marketplaces, and followed Retail Drinks’ initial presentation of the Code to Australian liquor regulators as part of the 2019 Australasian Liquor Licensing Authorities Forum (ALLAF) conference held in Hobart. Retail Drinks’ latest trip to Tasmania is all a part of our commitment to our growing membership and the broader industry to ensure that liquor retail in all Australian states and territories is strongly represented with governments and to enhance the freedom to retail responsibly.

April 2021 | 23


Attracting top talent in 2021 With active applicants down from this time last year, it’s more important than ever to fine tune your recruiting processes, writes Sue Lauritz and Amber King, Directors at BrightSide. What has surprised us the most this year is the

and security than ever before. Companies that have

challenge to attract great candidates. The market

maintained trust with staff throughout the pandemic

is more buoyant and there are new jobs, but active

will be better positioned to competitively attract top

applicants are well down on last year. Why?

talent as the market picks up. The interview process

When talking with candidates, there is a general

is a two way process – the smartest candidates are

reluctance to move from existing roles into the

doing their own research in order to interview their

‘unknown.’ It’s harder to tap into the passive candidate

employers too.


market as people elect for the security of what they know,

Underpinning all of the above is of course, culture.

particularly if they are with a business that they believe

Candidates consistently tell us that culture is what

has provided good support and leadership during Covid.

matters to them most. We encourage employers to

Our experience has shown that employers need to

talk about their culture early in the interview process

consider a couple of key areas:

Amber King BrightSide

and Sue Lauritz Director BrightSide

and to tell ‘their story.’

• Flexibility: The way we work will never be the

You can demonstrate your culture by connecting

same again and flexibility is now a given, not a benefit,

your values to candidates’ experiences through your

even as we regain normality. It can also be in other

online presence and HR processes. Create job ads that

forms such as staggered working hours to cover things

engage candidates – don’t just provide a list of key

such as school drop offs and pick ups.

responsibilities and qualifications. Sell the role, your

About BrightSide

• Clear job brief and transparency: It’s important

company and your culture to keep applicants engaged,

for employers to be upfront with candidates about

and make sure external recruitment partners know as

Executive search

challenges the business has faced. The more trust

much about this as possible, so they can help attract


candidates in the passive market have in a business

the right people too.

and interview process, the more likely they are to leave a role they’re not actively looking to move from.

agency BrightSide

Many of our clients have made the assumption that

specialises in

with more available candidates, filling roles will be

recruitment for the

• Workplace stability and opportunity: Candidates

easier, but this hasn’t been the case. We’re being asked

FMCG, beverages,

are wary of joining new companies without longevity

more than ever to take over recruitment processes

or track record, so businesses should highlight a clear

and have also experienced a sharp decline in online

future vision and pathway, as well as potential growth,

applications from the pandemic heights of 2020.

training and development opportunities in support of long term career progress.

It’s the forward-thinking businesses that will come out in front in the fight for top quality talent.

• Employer value propositions: Management

Be proactive and get ahead of the curve when it comes

styles have shifted in the past year to prioritise empathy

to recruitment and you will have the pick of a larger

and compassion, with more emphasis on health, safety

talent pool with less competition!

24 | National Liquor News

food service and hospitality industries. Find out more and get in contact at: http://www. brightside. careers/


Delivering Indigenous alcohol education An important focus for DrinkWise is to produce and support Indigenous alcohol education across Australia, including in remote settings, writes Simon Strahan, CEO of DrinkWise. Indigenous alcohol education is an important focus for DrinkWise. Through the provision of educational resources and financial and in-kind support, DrinkWise partners with Indigenous providers to deliver important health messages about alcohol. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) Indigenous Health and Wellbeing report (2020) states that Indigenous Australians experience a burden of disease that is 2.3 times the rate of nonIndigenous Australians, with those living in remote regions experiencing a substantially higher burden of chronic disease. Menzies Research Institute estimates that 80 per cent of the health gap is due to lack of access to good education and support, with key risk factors

Wanta tackles the significant gap in education outcomes

of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs also contributing.

between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students by

Recognising this, DrinkWise has produced a series

working with upper primary and secondary students.

of short educational videos, featuring well-known

Goals of the program include increasing school

Indigenous Australians. In addition to the DrinkWise-

attendance, improving educational and health outcomes

produced, government-funded video resources featuring

and transitioning youth to vocational opportunities.

Deborah Mailman and Aaron Pedersen, DrinkWise has

Wanta integrates DrinkWise videos into their

filmed AFL and AFLW stars Shaun Burgoyne, Tim Kelly,

alcohol education sessions and the Remote Cinema

Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Aliesha Newman and

initiative (pictured) which travels to communities

Michael O’Loughlin delivering alcohol-related health

across the Northern Territory.

messages. The use of recognisable role models has been

DrinkWise is also a proud supporter of Jam Pakt, a

very well-received in school and community education

weekly Indigenous music and health promotion radio

settings and in medical practices.

program broadcast across 271 community radio networks.

The videos aim to educate and facilitate discussions

Jam Pakt produces themed episodes around key health

about a broad range of topics including: managing

issues, such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

peer pressure; the developing teenage brain; delaying

and mental health, featuring interviews with many well-

alcohol consumption (until at least 18 years of age);

known and inspirational Indigenous people.

positive role modelling; strength of culture; and the

DrinkWise will continue to work with Indigenous

importance of avoiding alcohol when pregnant.

education providers to integrate these resources and

Consultation with Indigenous community service and

encourages anyone who is working with organisations

health media providers has informed the content of

who may benefit from the use of these videos (free-

the DrinkWise Indigenous education assets.

of-charge) to contact us at

DrinkWise also supports the Wanta Aboriginal Corporation to deliver alcohol education sessions in a range of remote settings across the Northern Territory.

“Consultation with Indigenous community service and health media providers has informed the content of the DrinkWise Indigenous education assets.” Simon Strahan CEO DrinkWise

Resource: Indigenous Health and Wellbeing report 2020 April 2021 | 25

Wine Insights

The path to reinvigorating Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in Australia Educating the consumer about what Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc can offer is key to them trading up, writes Natalie Grace, Founder of Perfectly Rieslingable. It’s no secret that New Zealand’s success on the world

goal is to position Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as

wine stage owes a lot to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

the wine at the centre of every social occasion, and

Propelling the country front and centre with its high

the ideal partner for the modern Australian plate and

quality reputation and distinctive taste, Sauvignon

palate, how will New Zealand brands seek to change

Blanc is still by far the most widely planted variety,

the narrative in their Australian market activities?

accounts for 88 per cent of the country’s exports and

Like many of the great wine regions of the world, the

here in Australia, it is the most consumed white wine.

initiative illustrates that the answer lies in provenance.

While data from the national body New Zealand

Forty-five per cent of all Australian wine drinkers say

Winegrowers doesn’t appear to indicate this success

region of origin is a key consideration in a purchasing

slowing down, in recent times questions have been

decision, however some, particularly younger consumers,

raised on the longevity of the ascent. Research

aren’t aware that Marlborough is in New Zealand and

A significant

by the New Zealand government’s international

have no association with the region.

investment by

Natalie Grace Founder Perfectly Rieslingable

Made with Care

business development agency New Zealand Trade

Educating audiences on Marlborough as a unique,

and Enterprise (NZTE) found that Marlborough

dynamic place like nowhere else in the world is central to

global Made with

Sauvignon Blanc’s brand equity is being undermined

success. First to see the sun and poised between alps and

Care campaign

by deep discounting and overfamiliar consumers,

ocean, the Marlborough region encompasses the perfect

– designed to

leading to a decline in overall value.

environment for Sauvignon Blanc grapes to flourish.

grow awareness,

Twelve per cent of Australian wine drinkers say

Linking the wine to the region and communicating

preference and

they are feeling bored or uninspired with Marlborough

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s distinctive taste and

demand for New

Sauvignon Blanc and 10 per cent claim that they are

crisp, refreshing style as worthy of seeking out and

Zealand food

drinking less Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc than a year

paying more for will help move consumers beyond

and beverage

ago. At the same time, competition in the wine market

simply price-based decision making.

the trade is the

products. Having

is growing with the likes of rosé, Prosecco, Pinot Gris

This is just one tactic intended to move the dial.

launched in

and Pinot Grigio having made a lot more noise together

Combine this with education on the varied styles

Australia in

with continually changing consumer demand. It is a

of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the low alcohol,

March 2021, the

perfect storm which has led to the development of an

organic, vegan options within the category and

campaign tells

initiative by NZTE that seeks to re-educate and reignite

complementary food pairings, as well as a concerted

deeper food

Australia’s passion for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

effort to work with retailers to provide an informative

and wine stories

Armed with the research, where to from here for

and inspiring store experience, and shoppers will be

at scale by

the hero of the New Zealand wine industry? If the

encouraged to trade up their wine choices.

Resources: • Made with Care campaign: • Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc project: 26 | National Liquor News

partnering with digital platforms and trusted media.


Range apprehension One of the most difficult questions in the fast moving market of today is how to make informed ranging decisions, writes Stephen Wilson, Category and Insights Manager at Strikeforce.

Have you seen many trend predictions lately? Trade

Apply1ing a similar question set across categories and

media, social media or wherever you consume news and

brands is exhausting but needs due consideration.

current affairs is peppered with opinion and prediction

There is a fine line between satisfying your customer

about ‘what the next big thing’ will be. The following list

base with their favourite beverages and riding the

of trends is not exhaustive but easily springs to mind:

wave of innovation driving growth.

• No or low alcohol preference as part of a holistic approach to personal health and wellbeing. • Drinkers supporting local craft beer, wine, spirits and cider brands. • The flight back to safe and trusted brands during uncertain times. • The resurgence of classic brands. • New and emerging flavours. • Cross category innovation. • The rise of hard seltzer. The sheer speed and frequency of change experienced in 2020 has continued into this year making it even more difficult to provide a range that meets your customer base’s current needs, let alone plan to incorporate

So how do we make informed ranging decisions?

“There is a fine line between satisfying your customer base with their favourite beverages and riding the wave of innovation driving growth.”

There is a mountain of information available from

Stephen Wilson

is hot and what is not. They are immersed in market

Category and Insights Manager Strikeforce

multiple sources to help. Let start with your most valuable asset – your customer. This source of instant feedback and opinion is as organic as it gets. A simple poll of regulars is a fair indicator of how your range will evolve, using questions like; what do you think about this? Would you buy it if I stocked it? Would you replace the brand you buy today, or would you buy this as well? Your suppliers have extensive knowledge about what and shopper data, and heavily invest in development of new products based on global and local trends.

prevailing and emerging trends to optimise your range.

Trade media is loaded with fact-based opinion

Hard seltzer is a great example of the quandary

from industry leaders, suppliers and retailers sharing

facing retailers, raising questions like: • Will you range hard seltzer and why? • Which brands will you range and why? • Where will they be positioned in the cool room or fridge?

their knowledge and experience. Following social media influencers will often give a pointer towards future demand. Market research organisations often collaborate with trade media or release their own reports on the

• What flavours will drinkers gravitate towards?

state of the industry. These reports often contain vital

• Does your shopper base align with the target market

information like category share of total alcohol sales,

for hard seltzer? • How much space will you allocate? • What categories and brands will you cull to make space?

fastest growing brands and sales forecasts. Combining some or all of these readily available resources will help determine the shape and size of your range to continue to drive growth and profits.

April 2021 | 27

Wine Australia

Domestic off-premise wine market strong

There was strong growth in 2020 for the domestic off-premise wine market after the on-premise was impacted by the pandemic, writes Peter Bailey, Manager Market Insights at Wine Australia.

Peter Bailey Manager Market Insights Wine Australia

With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in disruptions to the on-premise sector, and a decrease in consumption per capita overall, the value of offpremise wine sales actually increased by 13 per cent in 2020, after growing by two per cent in 2019, according to IRI Worldwide. The rate of growth in Australian wine sales in the domestic off-premise market was slightly lower at 10 per cent. There was growth across all major categories. Still wine sales grew by 10 per cent, sparkling wine by 20 per

Within the sparkling wine category, growth in

cent and fortified wines by 17 per cent. Still wine remains

sparkling white sales (up four per cent) was outpaced

the biggest category with a 77 per cent value share ahead

by Champagne (up 46 per cent).

of sparkling at 20 per cent and fortified at three per cent.

By price segment, the growth was much stronger

Within the still wine category, bottle sales increased

at the higher end compared to the lower end. This

by 11 per cent and cask wine sales by four per cent.

highlights that consumers are willing to spend more

Bottle sales dominate the still wine category with a 91

money on quality bottles of wine. There may be an

per cent value share with cask wine holding a nine per

element of people treating themselves to premium

cent share. Off a very tiny base, sales of still wine in

wine as they have been unable to spend money on

cans has quadrupled.

things like travelling or going out to restaurants.

By variety, Sauvignon Blanc is just holding out

The growth in value of off-premise wine sales in

against Shiraz as the biggest seller by value. However,

2020 comes as Wine Intelligence reports, in the latest

the rate of growth in Shiraz sales (13 per cent) was

Australian Wine Landscapes report (October 2020)

more than double that for Sauvignon Blanc (six per

,that Australia’s wine drinking population is shrinking.

cent). The other varieties in the top five also recorded

In 2015, there were 11.2 million regular wine drinkers

double-digit growth. Chardonnay sales grew by 10 per

(consuming wine at least once per month) in Australia

cent, Cabernet Sauvignon by 14 per cent, and Pinot

and this fell to 9.2 million in 2020. This has also led to per

Noir by 31 per cent. Other segments to record strong

capita wine consumption in Australia falling from 26.1

growth included rosé (up 28 per cent), Prosecco (up 24

litres in 2015 to 24.1 litres in 2019, according to IWSR.

per cent), Pinot Grigio (up 20 per cent), Tempranillo

While Australian consumers are drinking less,

(up 55 per cent), Grenache blends (up 19 per cent)

Wine Intelligence also shows that consumers are

and Grenache (up 83 per cent).

spending more per bottle of wine in the off-premise.

28 | National Liquor News

Average spend per occasion in the off-premise (Source: Wine Intelligence)


Unwrapping Christmas

The results are in for Christmas 2020 - IRI has analysed the performance of categories and trends for the festive period. By Jenny Tran, Consultant at IRI.

2020 was an outlier year. With lockdowns, border

Hard seltzer, a new and much hyped segment, made

closures and social restrictions, Australians were

its mark this Christmas bringing in a considerable

hindered in their ability to socialise whilst forced to

$11m over the Christmas period.

stay at home. But Christmas was a different story, with Australians gifted easing social restrictions to enjoy

Sparkling Christmas for wine

this holiday season with our loved ones.

Wine did not record the stellar performance sprits did

IRI off-premise sales data shows Christmas was

during Christmas. Despite a dollar growth of 8.4 per

enjoyed with a drink in hand. Christmas trading was

cent, wine’s volume growth has remained relatively

underpinned by a surge in consumer confidence in late

flat at 0.2 per cent. Irrespective of the category

2020 and early 2021. While the Christmas period did

performance, wine remains a key pillar of Christmas

not experience the same levels of growth as seen during

trading, accounting for nearly a quarter of dollar sales.

the peak stockpiling buying periods, retail liquor sales

Champagne and Prosecco underpinned robust

recorded healthy gains, with 2020’s festive trading more

sparkling wine trading by being the top volume growth

than doubling 2019’s growth of five per cent, recording an

varietals. Champagne (+32 per cent) remains the

uplift beyond 11 per cent (four wks to 27/12/20 vs. YA).

number one varietal in both dollar sales and growth. Meanwhile, rosé wine continues its impressive growth

Rising spirits

momentum with dollar growth nearing 20 per cent.

“A sense of normalcy has been restored as growth trends in Christmas 2019 again led the way in Christmas 2020.” Jenny Tran Consultant IRI

Glass spirits surpassed wine in dollar sales accumulated during the key festive selling period. In

More craft and contemporary, less cider

fact, glass spirits leads the growth for liquor with a

Like wine, beer volume growth remained flat at 0.9 per

phenomenal dollar growth of 20 per cent.

cent despite a moderate dollar growth of 3.5 per cent for

Gin and vodka once again continued the growth

Christmas. Much like in 2019, craft and contemporary

momentum just as we observed in 2019. Scotch also

recorded strong growth in value and volume over the

contributed significant growth this Christmas, despite

Christmas period, however, this was not enough to offset

being in decline the previous Christmas, thanks to the

the decline driven by premium and classic beer.

continued resurgence of Johnnie Walker.

Cider also continued its decline like last year, despite experiencing growth during panic buying

RTD growth driven by the old and the new

periods of 2020.

RTD was the fastest growing segment in liquor in 2020 with 25.9 per cent dollar growth. Vodka and

Final thoughts

bourbon led the movement driven by established

The pandemic did not slow down the festivities of

brands such as Cruiser, Jack Daniels and Wild Turkey.

Christmas, as liquor trends saw Australians treating

Cruiser is the standout across the calendar year and

themselves after enduring a tough year. A sense of

has now firmly taken over from Canadian Club as the

normalcy has been restored as growth trends in

category’s leading growth contributor.

Christmas 2019 again led the way in Christmas 2020.

30 | National Liquor News

Reference: IRI MarketEdge, Australia Liquor Unweighted, 4 weeks to 27/12/20 (Christmas 2020) v 4 weeks to 29/12/19 (Christmas 2019)

Shopper Intelligence

Shoppers point out the path to success in 2021

There are three things that you should know about shopper behaviour when it comes to cycling 2020 growth, writes David Shukri, Senior Insight Director at Shopper Intelligence. One thing many in business fear is complacency. Assuming you’ve got it all worked out one day, only for someone else to pop up and start eating your lunch the next! Given the sales we saw in off-premise liquor last year, businesses could have been forgiven for thinking everything was sown up.

liquor shoppers were making their category decisions

The numbers sure aren’t bad, but Coles and Woolworths

in-store. Now, shoppers have confirmed this behaviour

both reported a little less momentum at the end of 2020.

has continued. There’s less planning taking place and

So, if we are moving towards ‘normal,’ where will you

the role of in-store information is growing. Wine and

find that edge you need to keep the graphs pointing up?

spirits lead the way, while shoppers in NSW are the

What’s your plan to stay ahead of your competitors in 2021?

most likely to have adopted this shopping style.

Shopper Intelligence has finished its annual survey of

At the same time, among planned shoppers the

more than 23,000 liquor shoppers. Here are three things

likelihood of buying liquor to fulfill someone else’s

they told us that you need to know.

request has also increased. If you’re putting more focus on product information

Keep going on health

at shelf, this looks like a sound strategy. For a category

The big topic of 2020 was of course health and wellbeing.

like ‘new world’ RTDs (which includes seltzer), it’s going

Grocery shoppers reported that healthy choices became

to be imperative this year. This category ranks second

more important to them last year and now liquor shoppers

for information in-store being the purchase trigger.

say the same. Of the sixteen measures we track, it’s still near the bottom of the pile overall, but the year-on-year

Social matters

increase in this measure is significant.

In case you hadn’t spotted it, people are moving online

Associated measures like innovation (appealing new

- spending more time and money in the online space.

ideas) and responsibility (offering options to help with

Liquor shoppers also say what they see online

responsible drinking) also increased last year.

David Shukri Senior Insights Director Shopper Intelligence

is having more influence over what they buy. In

The good news is that shoppers also believe the industry

particular, social media is having more of an impact

is doing a better job on health than it was a year ago. Where

than in 2020. Shoppers are more likely to call it out

last year they reported satisfaction with health had gone

as having had an impact and say it encouraged them

backwards, it’s now the most improved area of delivery.

to buy more of what they planned. Before you say

There are indications that this will be an enduring

it’s down to the youngsters, the biggest shifts here

theme and that efforts to move the dial have worked. The

actually came from 35–54 year-olds. Who says you

key now will be to pinpoint specific shopper groups and

can teach an old dog new tricks?

hone in on their needs through the rest of 2021.

“There’s less planning taking place and the role of in-store information is growing.”

Keep the engagement through digital channels high. Link those activities up all the way through to

Help me decide in-store

shelf and remember to target shoppers at different

In October last year our post-COVID research found more

life stages.

April 2021 | 31


When is an RTD not an RTD?

When it’s a seltzer, spritzer, canned cocktail, hard iced tea… The definition of RTD and premix is expanding and along with it, category growth and fridge shelf space, writes Laurie Wespes, CEO of Snooper. In last month’s issue of National Liquor News, we

adjacencies, with seltzers potentially even over faced

wrote about the continued growth of hard seltzer and

in some stores. This is sometimes at the expense of

the maturation of that category from an executional

other categories such as cider. Additionally, seltzers


are gaining share of off-location display slots.

But hard seltzer is just one part of the RTD story. Here we’re going to look at a number of subcategories

‘Hard’ refreshment alternatives

that now fall under the broader RTD umbrella, such

RTDs increasingly include a number of entrants from

as hard lemonade, hard kombucha, hard iced tea,

the hard kombucha, hard lemonade, and hard iced

spritzers, and packaged cocktails.

tea categories, with hard kombucha sales increasing 2000+ per cent year on year in the USA, hard iced

Hard seltzer

tea growing nearly 500 per cent and hard lemonade

Hard seltzer has come quite a way in six months. Mid-

seeing growth of more than 400 per cent.

last year they were lacking a category ‘home’ in store,

The growing desire for better-for-you products

split across locations in both the fridge and floor. Fast

has resulted in the demand for health-related

forward six months and not only have the number

attributes such as probiotics and natural ingredients.

of seltzer brands and thus facings proliferated, there

Accordingly, we are seeing the introduction of an

is also more consistency in category blocking and

increasing number of new ‘hard’ refreshment brands,

32 | National Liquor News

“The proliferation of types of drinks in cans means that the definition of the category needs to be expanded along with its space in fridge.” Laurie Wespes CEO Snooper


ranging from Byron Kombucha Brewing Company’s

in each state are now offering pre-bottled (or pre-

national distribution in BWS and Dan Murphy’s of

canned) cocktails to consumers direct. So RTDs are

two products (the Dirty Bucha gin and vodka, and

now expanding to include cocktails at home.

the Sneaky Bucha kombucha and beer combination), to Matso’s Hard Lemonade, Brookvale Union’s Hard

What about ‘traditional’ RTDs?

Iced Tea and Spruce Hard Cold Brew Coffee.

Beyond new flavours, UDL and Vodka Cruiser have been experimenting with variety packs of different


flavours to allow shoppers a mix.

There have been a number of recent new product launches in the spritz space, with the base liquors

And then there’s canned wine

including wine, aperitifs and spirits. For example,

According to IRI figures, canned wine is worth more

Aperol Spritz has launched in an RTD pack and

than $8.5million in Australia and has been recording

gained shelf space just in time for summer, while

30 per cent year on year growth. Ben Culligan of

Vodka Cruiser’s Grapefruit and Berry Spritz SKUs

Treasury Wine Estates attributes this to millennials,

are being ranged within the Vodka Cruiser block.

as: “canned wine is introducing wine to younger adult

Other players in the category include the Australian

shoppers, 22 per cent of whom are new to the wine

upstart Big Shot with flavours including berry lime,

category”, and who may not be looking for an entire

margarita lime, and fruit passion. Wine spritzers such

bottle for their consumption occasion. Wine in a can

as Brown Brothers’ Prosecco and Moscato four-pack

talks to a variety of occasions in which wine may not

spritzers have also been spied by our Snooper shoppers

previously have been seen.

in the RTD fridge and there might be a question on

Until recently, RTD was taken to mean a spirit

the best location for wine-based spritzers in store (in

with a traditional mixer or flavour in a can or bottle.

the RTD fridge or next to other chilled wine cans).

However the proliferation of types of drinks in cans means that the definition of the category needs to be

Premix cocktail RTDs The pandemic has seen the rise of the cocktail-at-

expanded along with its space in fridge.

home occasion, whether enjoyed individually or with others. Research by Bacardi indicates that close to 30 per cent of consumers claim they plan to purchase RTD cocktails or canned spirit and mixers, with portability and convenience cited as key reasons for stocking up on a pre-made drink. Consumers are enjoying purchasing cocktail kits for simple cocktails such as Negronis, Margaritas, and Espresso Martinis; and Aperol, Campari, Pimms and Malibu-based drinks they can make for themselves and for selected groups of friends at home, and this is being noticed in both in-store purchases and home delivered orders. Aside from well-known distributors such as Vok Beverages offering pre-made cocktails, since the pandemic a number of well-known cocktail bars

UDL Variety pack, Hard Iced Tea and Aperol Spritz (Cellarbrations Brightwater Hotel, November 2020 vs. March 2021

References: • • • • April 2021 | 33


Riding the


e v a w There has been a tremendous surge of confidence in the RTD market in the last 12 months, and it only looks to get stronger with emerging trends and post-pandemic consumer habits. Dan Hughes investigates.

This year is starting with signs of increased

the consumer a chance to still enjoy their

Projected growth backed by results

consumer confidence in the RTD market,

favourite spirit, without the guilt.

According to IRI market research, the RTD

with 19 out of 20 RTD segments reporting

Complementing the growing ‘better for

category recorded annual dollar growth

positive sales growth in the last 12 months

you’ trend has been the emergence of RTD

of 3.2 per cent in 2019/20 nation-wide.

according to IRI. New brands have emerged,

sub categories seltzer and alcoholic ginger

The emerging popularity of RTDs is best

while other classics were solidified during

beer, both of which recorded positive sales

illustrated in the last 12 months however,

the pandemic, and recent research and

growth and have proven themselves in the

where IRI recorded an astonishing annual

analysis predicts this will only grow in 2021

eye of the mindful consumer.

growth rate of 30.2 per cent.

and beyond.

The pandemic has not only caused

IRI Insights Director, Daniel Bone said:

With such a rise in popularity, one

consumers to question their consumption

“Annual category volumes were in marginal

trend that has emerged from the chaos of

choices, but also changed the face of the

decline 12 months ago, which contrasts

the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than

consumer entirely. The post-pandemic

enormously with the additional 52.7 million

ever is the ‘better for you’ movement,

consumer needs to be acknowledged. Looking

litre purchases bought via the off-premise

after consumers were confined to their

at new marketing strategies and product

over the latest year. We have now recorded

homes with plenty of time to think about

innovation will be essential for any RTD brand

three successive quarters of category growth

their health. Several products rose to offer

that wishes to continue strong growth figures.

surpassing 25 per cent.

34 | National Liquor News


Southern Comfort Hard Apple and Hard Peach Southern Comfort’s original blend with fruit and spices is like bourbon in a party shirt - peachy, punchy, spicy and smooth. Because we like to keep things easy, we’ve mixed up our bourbon with the best blend of flavours. Ready to sip. Any easier and we’d open them for you. Hard Peach: Peachy, punchy, fresh, Southern. Hard Apple: Big apple taste with classic Southern fun. Distributor: SouthTrade International

“Light spirit based premixes are up 50.1 per cent and are growing at a faster annual rate than dark premixes, which are also up 22.1 per cent, accounting for 37 per cent of the total $452M in incremental dollars added to the category over the past year. “Light spirit based premixes have also gained share for successive years in now accounting for 25.4 per cent of dollar trade (up six percentage points in two years).” RTD popularity in the Australian market has also been matched on a global scale, with the RTD Alcoholic Beverages Market Research Report by Kenneth Research stating the global RTD market is expected to register a single-digit growth rate of three per cent and a value of approximately USD $32 billion by the end of 2024. Vodka and gin-based RTD growth in Australia has seen a large leap in the last 12 months, leading to phenomenal performance of brands such as Ampersand Projects. Ampersand Projects Director Alex Bottomley said: “Over the past three years, we have built a brand that resonates with consumers unlike any other in the RTD

Advice for retailers

space. Year-on year our sales have tripled. We have a cult-

Here is some of the top advice from suppliers in this story.

post their experiences with our brands on social media.”

“This is such an interesting space and one that can blur across several

like following of engaged consumers, who are proud to It’s also caused great results at Diageo, where

traditional categories. We find that consumers of Matso’s Hard flavours

Marketing Manager Light Spirits, Maddy Stockwell

are generally looking for an RTD alternative, so placing these products

added: “We have experienced growth across the entire

near that category on shelf and in fridge really helps drive sales.”

range of our RTD brands, with a significant portion of

- James Purcell, Brand Lead, Matso’s Brewery

this growth attributable to our product innovation in

“Placement in fridge alongside vodka and gin RTD’s. Keep it simple

Smirnoff Seltzers and Gordon’s Flavoured Gin which

as too many products can confuse consumers.”

has resonated well with consumers.”

- Alex Bottomley, Director, Ampersand Projects “For retailers to realise all the incremental growth and value it is

Meanwhile, such success also helped Adelaide Hills Distillery, which successfully launched the

recommended they have all three Gordon’s RTD flavours available. It

78 Degrees Gin & Tonic RTD in can format before

also looks wonderful on shelf when the range shows up together.”

Christmas 2020. According to its primary national

- Maddy Stockwell, Marketing Manager Light Spirits, Diageo

distributor SouthTrade International, it was a move that was well received by consumers. April 2021 | 35


impressive results as more and more consumers discover this segment.” Competing with the rise in gin and vodka sales has been Matso’s game changing alcoholic ginger beer. According to Brand Lead James Purcell, it’s becoming one of the fastest growing categories in Australian craft beer, posting 44 per cent growth in the last year.

The mindful consumer Data collated by Kenneth Research noted that as the market gains acceptance for RTDs, the consumer base includes a growing number of more health conscious consumers. This is becoming a catalyst for additional market growth and presents a unique

White Claw Black Cherry

opportunity for RTDs in Australia. LMG noted this health trend over the last

White Claw is bringing

few years, saying it has been feeding the


growing consumer demand for beverages for a

a wave

balanced lifestyle.

of new flavour this April. White Claw Black Cherry: the most requested

Hayman said: “RTDs with low and zero sugar, SouthTrade Senior Brand Manager Emma

light RTDs – particularly in vodka and gin, and

Fogarty said: “We are seeing a general trend in

seltzer align with this trend and have given shoppers

spirits toward supporting local Australian brands.

a reason to rediscover and re-engage with RTDs,

Older, discerning drinkers are increasingly open

while simultaneously attracting new buyers across

to appreciating their Australian crafted products

different demographics and life stages.”

in a convenient format. [78 degrees Gin & Tonic

Ampersand Projects aims to appeal to these

by local

is] available in Sunset (Pink) and Classic, and at

consumers, releasing sugar-free and low-calorie


five per cent ABV, these 250ml cans are a great

options to compete with the ever-increasing range

since launch,

example of the craft Australian products available

of ‘better for you’ beverages.

touches down on Aussie

in the market.”


shores on April 28. An intriguing flavour for Australian palates, White Claw is calling on Aussies to grab a taste and take their side on America’s number one White Claw

“All of our products are sugar free and low

The growth of RTDs with the Australian

calorie, known for their simplicity adopting a ‘less

consumer has highly benefited the off-premise

is more’ approach. This is important as consumers

retail space. According to Liquor Marketing

continue to seek out better for you options and

Group (LMG) data, RTDs were up 36.5 per cent

focus on health and wellbeing,” Bottomley said.

in 2020, with vodka, bourbon, and seltzer all key segment drivers.

Garnering a lot of attention in the retail space and with the Australian consumer has been the

“While RTDs have witnessed an extraordinary

explosive US seltzer brand, White Claw. Anubha

resurgence across the industry over the past year,

Sahasrabuddhe, Consumer and Brand Director

LMG’s dollar sales growth for the category has

at Lion, the Australian distributor of White Claw,

been consistently higher than the total market

said the brand is for consumers who are seeking

and all about the OG

average,” said Scot Hayman, LMG National

‘better for you’ alternatives that fit with their active,

flavours (Mango, Lime and

Merchandise Manager Beer, Spirits and RTDs.

social, outdoor lifestyles, without compromising

flavour. Will you join Team Black Cherry, the lovers of this new flavour? Or are you Team OG,


“All RTD segments have recorded significant

on taste or style.

White Claw Black Cherry:

growth the in the last 12 months and quarter, with

Meanwhile, Matso’s ginger beer has released low

here for a limited time only.

the strongest growth drivers being Vodka (73.0

sugar options to further boost itself in a tightly

Distributor: Lion

per cent MAT), Bourbon (28.8 per cent MAT)

competitive RTD category by aligning with the

and newcomer, Seltzer, who continues to post

mindful drinking trend.

36 | National Liquor News


Take it easy. Drink Responsibly.


Matso’s Lower Sugar Ginger Beer Much loved for its extraordinary flavour, Matso’s Ginger Beer now welcomes a new member to the family - one for those moments when you’re searching for a lower sugar alternative. The new Matso’s Lower Sugar Ginger Beer offers that extraordinary Matso’s taste, but incredibly with more than 50 per cent less sugar than leading alcoholic ginger beers, as well no artificial preservatives or sweeteners while being vegan friendly and low gluten.

“Our recently launched Matso’s Lower Sugar Ginger Beer is finding

expect that share to double in the 12 months ahead.

fans in the RTD space. Inspired by our

“Like all categories in retail liquor

original, our low-sugar option delivers

we expect sales growth to tumble in

that trademark Matso’s Ginger Beer

H2 as out of home drinking occasions

flavour but with more than 50 per cent

feel safer and become ultimately more

less sugar,” Purcell said.

desirable. We expect seltzers to propel

“We know more and more

the trend towards mix flavour cases,

Australians are concerned around

which in turn will further propel the

loved ginger beer for those moments when you

the amount of added sugar in their

disproportionately high dollar growth

want a lower sugar alternative,” said Purcell.

packaged food and drink, but they

we have seen in berry flavoured SKUs.”

Matso’s mission is to help people escape

“At Matso’s, we believe you can have it all. That’s why we created a version of our much-

don’t want to compromise on flavour.

The seltzer segment is also a highly

the ordinary through our range of innovative,

Matso’s Lower Sugar Ginger Beer also

competitive one, with brands fighting

refreshing, and tropical inspired drinks - and

contains no preservatives or sweeteners

for recognition and share. Diageo

our newest release will do just that.

and is vegan friendly.”

notes that according to recent IRI

Distributor: Good Drinks

data, Smirnoff Seltzer currently holds

Seltzer: a growing sub category Hard seltzer is here and it is thriving,

Stockwell said: “Smirnoff Seltzer

growing to become one of the most

provides a great alternative for those

popular sub-categories in the RTD

looking for a lighter option to wine

market. And according to Bone,

or beer. With no sugar and only 70

seltzer appears to be fulfilling some

calories or less per serve, it’s easy to

of the considerable hype that has

see why the crisp flavours of Smirnoff

surrounded the segment’s spreading

Seltzer have become a summer staple.

distribution and product proliferation

Responding to the demand, we’re very

in the second half of 2020/21.

excited to be launching another new

He explained: “Seltzers’ sales

38 | National Liquor News

the highest market share at 29 per cent.

flavour soon.”

impression amounts to around six

Another big competitor is White

per cent share of category growth

Claw, recording one in five seltzer sales

over the last 12 months. We would

coming from its range, according to IRI


data. Sahasrabuddhe said White Claw’s number one status in the US is translating well in the Australia market. “Since our launch in October 2020, White Claw has seen unprecedented demand, surpassing all business expectations in line with the exploding category. The Australian seltzer market is still very much in its infancy, so we will continue to see this new and exciting category grow over the coming months. New flavours will broaden occasions and bring in new drinkers, and White Claw has a cult flavour up its sleeve,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

Post-pandemic behaviour Since March 23, 2020, when Australia was sent into lockdown for the first time, the consumer market started to shift to where it is now, with premiumisation, ‘better for you’ products and a longing for taste driving the post-pandemic RTD drinker. Offering a unique taste to compete in the RTD space is of the utmost importance. Proximo’s Kraken Black Spiced Rum looks to tick all boxes for a dark spirit in the RTD category as its premix aims to offer a premium experience at home for consumers. A Proximo spokesperson explained: “The key trends of health, refreshment and premiumisation continued throughout the pandemic yet consumers consumption habits changed as they actively sought out more premium and convenient products to enjoy in the home environment. “The total premix category is in growth, driven by convenience and refreshment. A good premixed offering gives consumers an accessible entry point into the world of spirits and gives brands more opportunities for trial by extending occasionality into the at-home occasion. “The Kraken Black Spiced Rum has such a strong cult following due to its distinct packaging, bold and unconventional personality and incredible liquid. We saw an opportunity to fulfil the demand for a premium and convenient format in the dark spirit category.” Appealing to the post-pandemic consumer’s lust for flavour has been Southern Comfort’s recently released Hard Peach and Hard Apple RTDs. “RTD as a category has been traditionally dominated by dark spirits and cola, with innovation in this space being quite narrow. [However,] thanks to a changing consumer environment, RTD is attracting new drinkers who are looking for flavour and fun propositions. As such, we’ve seen flavoured RTDs in double digit growth over the past 12 months and continuing to be the segment with the most momentum post COVID-19,” Fogarty said. “Southern Comfort is unique, tasty and truly original, like bourbon in a party shirt. Our flavour profile is made for mixing and lets us stretch into fun and innovative flavour territories. We have recently launched Southern Comfort Hard Peach and Southern April 2021 | 39


LMG’s best-selling RTDs:

Comfort Hard Apple propositions which appeal to the

in the day people are looking for lighter and refreshing

flavour trends. We see this range as driving category

tasting drinks that suit the day time but lively mood

growth - bringing new drinkers into RTD from

of the moment.”

tolerators of beer looking for a tasty alternative.”

Bottomley said the market will see a consolidation

Stockwell believes the post-COVID drinking occasion

in the RTD category after a multitude of new products

has shifted more into consumer homes, with RTDs

entered the space in the summer of 2020-21, leaving

offering a unique opportunity of presenting premade

consumers confused and overwhelmed.

V odka Cruiser

J ack Daniels

J im Beam

B undaberg

“As we emerged from the pandemic last year,

compromise on their liquid and use quality spirits –

W ild Turkey

we saw a significant increase in consumers looking

vodka and gin – in their drinks will succeed. Brands

for options outside the traditional beer and wine

that are willing to invest in innovation in line with

categories, as well as consumers entering the RTD

consumer trends and deliver products that enhance

category for the first time,” she said.

the consumers experience will continue to experience

cocktails to be enjoyed at events hosted in the home.

“They wanted an easy way to recreate the cocktail

40 | National Liquor News

“The more established brands that don’t

growth,” he said.

experience at home. Drinking occasions shifted into

According to leading brands and research, further

the home because of the COVID-19 pandemic and

growth is highly anticipated with a competitive RTD

home became the hub for casual and lively social

market only growing in popularity with consumers.

occasions to have fun and connect with friends.

Those who look at the new market with fresh eyes

“Premix plays a strong role in these occasions given

and offer something original, tasty and conscious

its convenient format, ease of sharing with others and

of consumer desires will see the biggest results in

flavour variety. As these moments have shifted earlier



COMING SOON 28.04.2021 9 5 C A LO R I E S | G LU T E N F RE E | 4 . 5 % A LCO H O L

Retailing Aperitivo

Catering for the crowd

Choice in the aperitif category is growing – Dan Hughes investigates product trends and finds out the key levers to pull to make the most of the category.

drinks, and the food takes a second seat. Food pairing can be as simple as a bowl of chips, nuts or some olives or as extensive as a full charcuterie board. The important thing to note is that you still need to have room for that delicious meal so less is often more for this occasion,” explained Marketing Director, Paolo Marinoni. “The drinks paired at this time are also important. Whilst classic Italian wine is a popular choice, the real Aperitivo hosts

With the cooler months and variable

restrictions continuing to ease, it is now

serve drinks which have a ‘bitter’ flavour

conditions upon us, so too is the chance to

even more crucial to understand what

note as bitter flavours open up your appetite

heighten your customers’ at home events.

local and international options within this

for dinner. This is because bitters affect

An aperitif can do just that and is slowly

category can offer to your shoppers.

the central nervous system, which signals

garnering more traction in Australia as a product to enjoy all year round.

the gut to release digestive hormones that

Spritz up events

stimulate appetite.”

Aperitif beverages are traditionally of low

According to Campari, the Aperitivo occasion

Consumer interest in the Aperitivo

alcohol percentage and are generally served

has become an especially nice tradition in

movement during the pandemic has

before a meal to stimulate the appetite. In

winter when nights get darker, earlier.

generated a buzz in the numbers, with

recent years, this has become a staple for

“Unlike dinner which centres around

retailers reporting an increase in sales

home events, and with home gathering

the meal, Aperitivo centres around the

of aperitif products throughout the last

42 | National Liquor News

Retailing Aperitivo

Quality pairings matter Andrew Harris, Brown

“Unlike dinner which centres around the meal, Aperitivo centres around the drinks, and the food takes a second seat.” Paolo Marinoni

Brothers Wine Ambassador

Marketing Director, Campari Australia.

said: “Using quality Prosecco is paramount in making top quality Aperitivos. The natural acidity and intensity of flavour allows for a wider selection of spirits and fruits to be used in mixing, while maintaining the base

year. This will continue to increase if

Education key to growth

positioned correctly during online and

Danilo Migliorini, Spirits Platform

in-store experiences.

Brand Ambassador Tia Maria and

“Retailers that are driving this

Disaronno, said education with retailers

category are including ‘how to menus’

about aperitif serving suggestions will

at point of purchase to educate

play an important role in the growth of

shoppers on how to make these famous

Australian Aperitivo events.

flavour to balance the drink.

drinks like the Aperol Spritz, along

“One idea is for retailers to provide

“The acidity from cool

with content on their websites with

booklets with simple cocktail and snack

climate Prosecco makes you

video on cocktail recipes. This content

recipes and suggestions that home

salivate and want for food,

especially drives purchase when the

consumers may enjoy an Aperitivo at

which is why it’s perfect for

product choices are on the page ready

their own houses, like if they were in a

an Aperitivo. Acidity and

for shoppers to add straight into your

bar,” Migliorini said.

flavour is at its height in

basket,” Marinoni explained.

Prosecco when the grapes are grown in the King Valley region of north east Victoria, which is why we have long been champions of the variety in the region that is our home.”

“Here in Australia, the pandemic

“Along with sampling in store so that

has been compressed, people more

shoppers get to taste these delicious

than ever are keen to go out, even for

new drinks, when the sampling

a simple Aperitivo, to be socialising

agencies pair aperitifs with chips or

amongst their community once again.

olives, it creates an intuitive connection

For those wishing to entertain at home

to food pairing in a shoppers mind.”

we identify the perfect and refreshing

April 2021 | 43

Retailing Aperitivo

Many of these elements can also play a role digitally, with video content and animations being great ways to bring education to life and inspire consumers. “New expressions like our Brown Brothers Prosecco Premium Brut and NV cans, our refreshingly light lower alcohol product and the continued growth and development of Prosecco Rosé allow us to satisfy more consumers than ever. Undoubtedly aperitifs have played a role in the success of the category, with spritz drinks Mr West in Melbourne

“In store, the role of the sales person is really important, being able to convey features and benefits, but also to build shopper confidence.” John Biggar Senior Brand Manager Brown Brothers

drink for an Aperitivo; Disaronno Fizz,

Retailers see room for growth

made with Disaronno, lemon juice and

Retailers have been put in the driver’s

soda water and recommend serving it with

seat for the growth of aperitif products

cheese platters and cured meats boards.”

in Australia. Many are seeing growth not only in the popularity of these products

Pair it with Prosecco

amongst consumers, but also in the

Prosecco is one of the key ingredients to

number of options available on the market.

many Aperitivo moments, often added to

For example, Melbourne-based

bitter liqueurs to create a well-rounded and

independent retailer Mr West stocks

popular aperitif beverage. However, Brown

between 15 and 20 Aperitivo style products

Brothers Senior Brand Manager John

regularly. A welcome challenge for the Mr

Biggar argues that not just any Prosecco

West team is finding the balance between

heightens consumer experiences.

the classic aperitif staples and the growing

He said to truly enjoy a spritz, quality

44 | National Liquor News

seeing a significant uptake in Prosecco.”

amount of smaller local products.

Prosecco is needed. And to accomplish

“We’re seeing an increase in Australian

this, again, the retailer is an essential part

made aperitif products which makes a

of the learning curve for consumers. With

lot of sense to us. Aperitivo is renowned

off-premise stores playing a principle role

for harnessing beautiful bitter and dry

in the purchase of Prosecco for home

flavours which are abundant in our native

consumption, retailers can take advantage of

landscape,” said Josh Hodges, Mr West

different physical and digital environments

Director and Spirits Buyer.

to help educate the consumer on using the

“We’re absolutely loving working with

sparkling wine for the Aperitivo occasion.

locals such as Pennyweight Amontillado

Biggar said: “In store, the role of the

from Beechworth in our cocktails and

sales person is really important, being

the Autonomy ‘Davo Plum’ Aperitivo

able to convey features and benefits,

in spritzes.

but also to build shopper confidence,

“For us it’s about finding a balance

so training is critical. POS material, the

between the classics and the new world.

silent salesperson, also plays a key role.

There are certainly some staples that

“Things like usage guides, in-store

are quintessential but it’s important to

execution including shelf layout, product

embrace the old and the new as well as

information and visual merchandising are

finding a balance of aperitif style beverages

important to drive consumer knowledge.

from different corners of the globe.”




Wine Tasting Review

The Pinot Noir Tasting

The National Liquor News tasting panel sipped and swirled their way through a diverse range of Pinot Noirs this month. Here are their highest scoring wines across three price brackets.

Panels Picks

The Panel ➤

M ichael Mcintosh, Fine Wine Brand Ambassador, Accolade Wines E d Peake, Key Account Manager, Treasury Wine Estates N igel Burton, CEO, Burton Premium Wines E mmanuel Conde, Brand Ambassador, Cerbaco J oe Turnaturi, Sommelier and Wine Educator, Sydney Wine Academy J ack Glover, Marketing Director, Accolade Wines

Special thanks

National Liquor News would like to thank Sydney Wine Academy students for their help carrying out the tasting. This month’s tasting was assisted by Alec Wagstaff and Jerry Meade.

The System 95-100 Classic: an exceptional wine 90-94 Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character 85-89 Very good: a wine with impressive qualities

46 | National Liquor News

Dalrymple Single

Te Kairanga

Jacob’s Creek

Site Swansea

Pinot Noir

Reserve Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Region: Martinborough NZ

Region: Adelaide Hills

Region: Tasmania

VIN: 2019 LUC: $24.73

VIN: 2019 LUC: $12.56

VIN: 2016 LUC: $42.06

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Déjà Vu Wine Co.

Pernod Ricard

“Very pretty wine, delightful enticing berry aromas lead to a rich and moorish palate with strawberry and cinnamon spice notes. Well balanced finish.” – Ed Peake

“Easy drinking style with pleasant red fruits combined with jasmine and dried herbs with refreshing acidity. Happy to drink this!” – Joe Turnaturi

Samuel Smith & Son

“Fuller style of Pinot. Dense and brooding fruit, with sweet spice and vanilla.” – Michael Mcintosh

Wine Tasting Review

LUC over $25 Dalrymple

Giesen Single

Pinot Noir

Vineyard Ridge

Region: Tasmania

Block Pinot Noir

VIN: 2019 LUC: $25.77

Region: Marlborough NZ

Distributed by:

VIN: 2016 LUC: $29.02

Samuel Smith & Son

Distributed by: Robert Oatley Vineyards

“Oak dominant with spice and chocolate. Plum and earthy.” – Joe Turnaturi

“Good style. Good combination of spice and earth.” – Joe Turnaturi

“The better wines channelled pure varietal fruit with careful oak and vibrant acidity – essential for Pinot Noir.” Jack Glover Marketing Director Accolade Wines

De Bortoli Lusatia

Maison Louis Latour

Park Pinot Noir


Region: Yarra Valley

Region: France

VIN: 2017 LUC: $77.40

VIN: 2018 LUC: $44.61

Distributed by: De Bortoli

Distributed by: Déjà Vu Wine Co.

“Earthy and savoury. Leafy notes over fruit, maybe wholebunch? Bitter, juicy acid.” – Michael Mcintosh

“Scented red and dark cherry. Oak sits well. Fleshy, plush, dark fruited, good acid drive.” – Jack Glover


Bay of Fires

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Region: Central Otago NZ

Region: Tasmania

VIN: 2018 LUC: $35.48

VIN: 2019 LUC: $41.45

Distributed by:

Distributed by: Accolade

Déjà Vu Wine Co.


“Lifted red fruits. Elegant. Layered with good tension and little acid. Good length.” – Jack Glover

“Good fruit profile, oak dominant. Well made.” – Joe Turnaturi

Food Pairing ➤

“ Duck, pork belly, beef bourguignon or charcuterie.” – Ed Peake “ My all time favourite match is duck pappardelle with an aged Pinot.” – Michael Mcintosh “ BBQ chicken.” – Emmanuel Conde “ Duck and game.” – Nigel Burton

April 2021 | 47

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $15-$25

“Higher priced wines inevitably showed fruit weight and complexity. Good to see winemakers no longer making lolly water or chewing gum tasting wines.”


Brockenchack Hare

Pinot Noir

Hunter Pinot Noir

Region: Great Southern

Region: Eden Valley

VIN: 2019 LUC: $19.35

VIN: 2018 LUC: $22.44

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Single Vineyard Sellers

Brockenchack Wines

“Generous palate with complex red fruits and earthy notes. Ripe tannins, soft and powdery on finish.” – Michael Mcintosh

“Elegant and restrained. Earthy beetroot, sweet sour, five spice. Long finish.” – Michael Mcintosh

Nigel Burton Burton Premium Wines

St Huberts The Stag

Tamar Ridge Estate

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Region: Yarra Valley

Region: Tasmania

VIN: 2018 LUC: $16.05

VIN: 2018 LUC: $20.86

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Treasury Wine Estates

Brown Family Wine Group

“Soft hidden nose with palate bringing forward classic cherry notes and a well balanced finish.” – Ed Peake

“Red fruit and vanilla spice

scented. Juicy and forward, plush, moderate depth.” – Jack Glover.

Editor’s Picks ➤

eakin Estate Pinot Noir D 2019, South Eastern Australia, LUC $7.31 (Red + White) F erngrove Independence Pinot Noir 2020, Great Southern, LUC $15.48 (Ferngrove Wines) Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir 2019, Yarra Valley, LUC $15.91 (Brown Family Wine Group) Giesen Single Vineyard Clayvin Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, LUC $29.02 (Robert Oatley Vineyards)

48 | National Liquor News

Silkwood Estate The

Peter Lehmann Hill &

Walcott Pinot Noir

Valley Pinot Noir

Region: Pemberton WA

Region: Adelaide Hills

VIN: 2018 LUC: $16.13

VIN: 2020 LUC: $15.59

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Single Vineyard Sellers

Casella Family Brands

“Earthy and savoury nose. Integrated oak and dense fruit. Strong licks of vanilla on finish.” – Michael Mcintosh

“Good balance of red cherry, cranberry and red plum. Cinnamon notes with ripe tannins.” – Joe Turnaturi

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $15 and under De Bortoli The Estate

Silkwood Estate The

Vineyard Pinot Noir

Bowers Pinot Noir

Region: Yarra Valley

Region: Pemberton WA

VIN: 2019 LUC: $19.84

VIN: 2020 LUC: $12.90

Distributed by: De Bortoli

Distributed by: Single

Pinot Noir facts ➤

Vineyard Sellers

“Pure fruited and delivered freshness and length.” – Jack Glover

“Darker fruits with more earth and forest floor characteristics. Nice ripe tannins that give structure.” – Joe Turnaturi

Zilzie Regional

Tyrrell’s Old Winery

Collection Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Region: Adelaide Hills

Region: Hunter Valley

VIN: 2020 LUC: $11.50

VIN: 2020 LUC: $9.03

Distributed by: Fesq and

Distributed by: Tyrrell’s

Company (VIC/NSW/QLD/ ACT), Options Wine Merchants (SA/NT), Distinctive Wines and Spirits (WA), Swallow Liquor Merchants (TAS)

“Nice fruit driven style with sweet cherry and good acidity. Great value for money.” – Joe Turnaturi

P inot Noir is the 10th most planted grape variety and one of the most difficult to grow. C hardonnay and Pinot Noir are related, which is why the two are often found in the same regions. T he most expensive Pinot Noir sells for up to $20,000 per bottle, and comes from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy. P inot Noir grapes have a thinner skin than many other red grapes, making the wine have a less intense red colour than other varieties. A ustralia is the seventh biggest country for Pinot Noir wine when it comes to acreage under vine, coming behind France, the US, Germany, Moldova, Italy and New Zealand.

“Palate much more expressive than the nose. Broad and balanced with cherry and perfumed spice.” – Ed Peake

Pierre D’Amour

Barton & Guestier

Pinot Noir

Bistro Pinot Noir

Region: Tumbarumba

Region: France

VIN: 2019 LUC: $10.32

VIN: 2019 LUC: $11.88

Distributed by: Calabria

Distributed by: Beach

Family Wines

Avenue Wholesalers

“Green leaf herbal nose. Ripe dense fruit. Vanilla dominant finish.” – Michael Mcintosh

“This wine has a pretty sasparilla and cola spice to the nose. Palate is plush and juicy red fruits with a sweet and sour note, finishing with soft warm spices.” – Michael Mcintosh

“The more expensive wines were not necessarily better examples of Pinot Noir in this line-up.” Ed Peake Key Account Manager Treasury Wine Estates

April 2021 | 49

Retailer Profile

A drive through experience for all Stuart Gordon, Group Purchasing Manager at the Super Cellars Drive Through Liquor store at Newtown Hotel in Queensland, describes how a renovation has helped increase offering, range and customer experience. Finding points of difference is a key move for retailers

Gordon said this is how the store can compete with

to get ahead of the competition and win the hearts

other bigger stores in the area.

and minds of customers.

“As an independent we can move faster than some

This was front of mind for the Hakfoort Group in

of the others when it comes to range extensions and

Queensland, when they completed a total renovation

new lines. Having some big players in the same town

of the drive through Independent Liquor Group (ILG)

makes it hard but if you think outside of the box, nine

store component of the Newtown Hotel. Now, Group

times out of 10 you can pull their customer in and

Purchasing Manager Stuart Gordon says the Super

then they stay with you,” Gordon explained.

Cellars Drive Through Liquor store is poised for great success, offering something uniquely attractive.

“Having friendly and knowledgeable staff is also a huge advantage for us as the customers know that they

“It has been very enjoyable creating and enlarging

will be welcomed with a smile and more than likely be

the footprint of this store from scratch. This is an

greeted by name, a big plus in any retail environment.

offering that Toowoomba has needed for some time

“We are always doing in-store promotions that

and we believe that it will be very well embraced by

no one else in town is doing, when you have a great

not only our catchment area but potential customers

working relationship with your reps, that’s when the

further afield,” Gordon said.

fun starts and you can offer something that none of

“We wanted to increase our offering and range and

the banners are currently doing. We also take part in

also to create a shoppable and interesting experience

all of the ILG promos and these just add to what we

for both females and males, as most drive throughs

are already doing - everyone loves getting something

predominantly cater to the males and tradies with the

for free.”

female market an afterthought.

As Gordon described, the Newtown Hotel Super

“We have created a bright, free flowing environment

Cellars has the best of both worlds, with a drive

that is ideal for browsing through or for just dropping

through and walk-in offering that cater to a wide range

in to pick up your supplies.”

of customers, thanks to the added support of the staff.

The store’s overall philosophy to do things a bit

Gordon said: “It is our great staff on the floor that

differently for the benefit of the customer, and the

do all of the hard work, they turn up for every shift

new look adds onto this. The mindset extends from

with a smile on their face and are more than happy

promotions and experimenting with new SKUs, right

to assist with any questions about the products and

through to elements of the customer experience, and

also to carry the customers purchases to their car.”

50 | National Liquor News

“We have created a bright, free flowing environment that is ideal for browsing through or for just dropping in to pick up your supplies.” Stuart Gordon Group Purchasing Manager Hakfoort Group

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