Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leading Liquor Industry Magazine
vol. 39 no. 1 - February 2020
The 2020 Annual Industry Leaders Forum
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Editor’s note Happy New Year! I hope that you’ve all had
never been more proud to be a part of this industry.
PUBLISHED BY: Food and Beverage Media Pty Ltd A division of The Intermedia Group 41 Bridge Road GLEBE NSW Australia 2037 Tel: 02 9660 2113 Fax: 02 9660 4419 Publisher: Paul Wootton email@example.com Editor: Deborah Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org
a fantastic start to 2020. I know that it’s been a
If any of our readers have been affected and have
bit rocky for some with bushfires and drought
stories that you’d like to share that will help raise
affecting tourism to many regional and holiday
awareness and recovery, then please just drop me an
Journalist: Tam Allenby
destinations. And this has had a staggering
email on email@example.com and I would
impact on what would normally be the busiest
be more than happy to share them for you.
General Manager Sales – Liquor & Hospitality Group: Shane T. Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
trading period of the year.
As the first issue of 2020, we once again bring
But while it has been heartbreaking to hear the
our Industry Leaders Forum, where we’ve spoken
stories from the regions that have been the worst
to retailers and leaders from around the country
impacted, what has been incredibly inspiring is
to hear about the successes and challenges of 2019,
to see the way the industry has rallied together to
and to discuss what we can expect from the next 12
support each other during this time.
months. We’ve also gathered insights from Nielsen,
I’ve heard stories of wine regions setting up fruit registers so that wineries and growers can share grapes with other winemakers in need of support.
Roy Morgan, Euromonitor, IRI and much more to determine what will be on trend in 2020. I wish you all a successful and prosperous 2020!
I’m also sure that we’ve all heard about the Empty Esky campaign which has gone viral on social
media, encouraging tourism back to these bushfire
Journalist: Brydie Allen email@example.com
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affected areas. Further to this, there has been millions of dollars
Deborah Jackson, Editor
raised, warehouse space and trucks donated, and
02 8586 6206
water delivered – it has been truly inspiring, and I’ve
Top Reads ➤
Average Total Distribution: 10,119 AMAA/CAB Yearly Audit Period ending September 2019.
22 Climate Change: Weather vs Wine 98 The hidden threat to your brand 78 Are seasonal beers creating a trade hangover?
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8 | National Liquor News
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Contents February 2020
News & Predictions 12 News: The latest liquor
Research, Insights & Associations
industry news for retailers
around the country
78 Shopper Insights: Seasonal
Predictions: Our features industry leaders predict
and limited release beers 80 Alcohol Beverages
Retail, Wholesale & Suppliers 27
28 Australian Liquor Marketers 30
32 Australian Vintage Limited
Advertising Code 81 Alcohol Beverages Australia 82
Brewers Association of Australia
Euromonitor: Hard Seltzers are going to be different
Black Sheep Bottle Shops
Brown Family Wine Group
Cape Byron Distillery
Good Pair Days
Independent Liquor Group
Independent Liquor Retailers
Kollaras & Co
Liquor Marketing Group
Year in Review
Nip of Courage
Treasury Wine Estates
William Grant & Sons
Wines of the Loire Valley
10 | National Liquor News
Independent Brewers Association
IRI: Drinks trends and predictions
Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia
94 Nielsen: The rise of mindful drinking 95
New Zealand Wine
Retail Drinks Australia
Roy Morgan: Consumer distrust – the hidden threat to your brand
Shopper Intelligence: Putting shoppers at the heart of your business
Spirits & Cocktails Australia
StrikeForce: Research, plan and execute
We recap the key stories that shaped the Australian liquor industry in 2019
Top scoring wines of 2019
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News The latest liquor industry
For retailers around the country
Concerns grow over Kimberley alcohol ban Western Australia’s Commissioner of Police, Chris Dawson, has submitted plans to restrict the sale of some types of alcohol by bottle shops in the Kimberley region, now being considered by the Director of Liquor Licensing. Dawson told WA Radio station 6PR that the proposal was now being put out for consultation.
Responses The Liquor Stores Association Western Australia (LSA WA) CEO Peter Peck said: “Moves like these by police are always of great concern. It’s a well-known fact that blanket restrictions do not work and in fact can harm a local economy which is the last thing small communities need right now.” The WA State Government said it understands this is a “challenging issue” with complexities relating to tourism and the local economy. Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan told the ABC “whatever steps are taken need to be compatible with a thriving tourism industry. “Whatever we do, it’s got be done in a sufficiently smart way, so that it doesn’t drive a massive trade in sly grogging, big social problems, and the organised crime problems that can come with that.”
Longview celebrates 20th vintage in 2020 Longview in the Adelaide Hills is reaching its 20th vintage milestone in 2020. And
An alternative being looked at by LSA WA and AHA WA is a Banned Drinkers Register (BDR), with the LSA and AHA trial scheduled to begin early this year, and that there was a two-year timeframe for further discussions of a potential state-wide rollout on its success. LSA WA President Lou Spagnolo told National Liquor News: “On BDR we are
although they were lucky enough not to lose
rolling out the hardware to the Pilbara this quarter. We are confident it will
anything in the nearby Cudlee Creek fire last
have a significant impact on the targeted people. Moving forward it is hoped
year, Longview Director Mark Saturno says
the BDR will reduce the need for blanket restrictions.”
that vintage 2020 will be their leanest, after donating fruit to affected winemakers. “As far as quantity, it will be down, but as far as quality, I think you can expect some pretty elegant fruit being picked later in the year,” he said. After the harvest is done, Longview will be taking time to celebrate its 20-year achievement. “We like to get on with it and don’t make too much of a song and dance about things unnecessarily, but this time we think that it really is worth crowing about.” Along with the anniversary, 2020 also marks a shift in Longview’s winemaking, as Saturno describes “lots of changes afoot and lots of things in the wings”.
12 | National Liquor News
Ian Atherton to step down as Spirits Platform CEO Ian Atherton will be stepping down from his role as CEO of Spirits Platform in September and will take up the role of Chairman. Mungo Gilchrist, who has more than 35 years’ experience in consumer marketing businesses,
Tyrrell’s makes tough vintage decision Tyrell’s has made the decision to have a severely reduced 2020 vintage, with an estimated 80 per cent of crops lost to smoke taint.
will move into the role from Rémy Cointreau. Atherton said that the new appointment was not influenced by Rémy being around 45 per cent of Spirits Platform’s total business. “It was more that when we set up the business five years ago Mungo was very instrumental in
Managing Director and family patriarch, Bruce
helping us do that,” Atherton said. “He is a very
Tyrrell, has told National Liquor News that there is
pragmatic operator and I think he’ll be a good
no certainty over the remaining 20 per cent, which
leader of the business.”
More Newsletter reads Hunter Valley 2020 vintage challenging but not doomed
Devastation in the Adelaide Hills will be felt for years
The hard work and determination behind Last Man Standing beer
Spirits Platform opens WA office
Last chance to make ACCC submission on Asahi-CUB deal
Sign up to our fortnightly Newsletter by going to this URL: https://www.theshout.com. au/subscribe-to-nln/
will continue to be tested. “Smoke taint is a very inexact science,” he explained. “It might not be there now but in 12
Kaufland announces surprise Australia exit
months’ time it can come back.”
Hypermarket Kaufland has announced it will exit the
Impacts across the Hunter
Australian market, after the
The impact of smoke taint is not universal
approval of multiple stores,
across the region. The Hunter Valley is a large
a distribution centre and a
geographical area and there were many factors
headquarters, and investing
to consider when making the decision including
more than $500 million.
proximity to the fires, elevation of vineyards, and days in contact with fresh smoke. Across the Hunter, winemakers and growers
The reason for the withdrawal was described as unrelated
are still assessing their grapes, and the region
to local factors and Frank
has come together to share the results of their
Schumann, acting CEO of
individual testing to get a broader view.
Kaufland International said the company wants to concentrate on business
Winemakers and grape growers across the region are very proud of the Hunter’s reputation and will not make wines that could damage that standing. In a statement, Tyrrell’s said: “As with any other
back in Europe, where they: “see a great deal of growth potential.” Kaufland’s 200 Australian staff were told the news on the same day it was announced publicly. What is yet to be known is what will happen to the sites where construction has already begun, including
year, any wine that we do bottle from the 2020
the distribution centre in Mickleham which has had significant work
vintage will only be of a standard that the family
undertaken since last June.
deem befitting of our 162-year legacy.” February 2020 | 13
News The latest liquor industry
For retailers around the country
Stone & Wood tops GABS Hottest 100 Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale has taken out the top spot in the GABS Hottest 100 for 2019. The 12th year of the poll saw 35,500 beer lovers place over 177,000 votes, nominating more than 2,500 beers from 290 breweries. Craig Williams, GABS Festival Event Director and organiser of the poll said Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale has been the Hottest 100’s most outstanding performer since it debuted under its original name in 2009, with this it’s fourth time at the top. He said: “To me, it’s a testament both to the beer’s quality and consistency, but importantly to the community and lifestyle they’ve built around the brand.” Taking up second place was previous two-time winner Balter XPA and third place for the third year in a row was BentSpoke Crankshaft. Other honourable mentions include Feral’s Biggie Ale, climbing 93 places from last year’s results, and Queensland breweries, which was the most featured state in the list.
The Mount Pleasant vineyard
Administrators look to recapitalise or sell McWilliams McWilliams Wines Group has appointed voluntary
“We are seeking expressions of interest to recapitalise or
administrators who are now looking at recapitalising the
acquire the Group to take this heritage brand forward in the
business, or finding a buyer for the group.
future both locally and globally.”
KMPG partners Gayle Dickerson, Tim Mableson and Ryan
Jim Brayne, Chairman of McWilliams Wine Group, said the
Eagle were appointed after McWilliams said a number of
group will now work with the administrators to find a positive
factors caused a decline in business performance.
outcome for the business.
Dickerson, Restructuring Services Partner, KPMG Australia said: “We are in the initial phase of the administration process where our priority is to undertake an immediate assessment of the business and its operations. “The company will continue to operate as normal and we are working with the McWilliams family with the support of
“We have not made the decision to enter into voluntary administration lightly,” Brayne said. “We will work closely with the administrator during the process in order to strengthen the prospects of a positive outcome for all involved.” The McWilliams portfolio includes McWilliams and
its employees while we work hard to try to preserve one of
Mount Pleasant and the company is also the sole
Australia’s oldest winemakers.”
Australian distributor for Champagne Taittinger, Mateus,
Speaking about plans for McWilliams, Dickerson added:
14 | National Liquor News
Henkell and Mionetto.
Banned Drinkers Register rollout set The Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) trial in the Pilbara
Wine Origins Alliance urges US not to put tariffs on wine
region of Western Australia is set to rollout in the first
The Wine Origins
quarter of 2020.
Alliance (WOA), made
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA WA), Liquor
up of 28 organisations
Stores Association of Western Australia (LSA WA) and
from 11 countries,
Tourism, Liquor and Racing Minister Paul Papalia have
met with community stakeholders for consultative
is urging the US
meetings ahead of the rollout.
Government not to impose tariffs on wine.
How it works
The US trade war
Scanning technology in all takeaway licensed premises
has imposed tariffs on
would cross check customer photo identification with
imports, impacting the
the BDR and if the machine turns red, the customer
spirits industry, but this
would be denied the purchase.
is the first time wine may be affected.
Banned drinkers include drunk drivers and domestic
In a letter to the US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert
violence abusers, whose details would be shared
Lighthizer, the WOA said: “Instead of putting tariffs on unrelated
with rehabilitation agencies if flagged trying to
products, like wine and sparkling wine, the US and EU should
increase their efforts to resolve these serious trade-related problems between them so the unrelated trade in wine products is
How it will help
not unintentionally harmed.”
AHA WA CEO Bradley Woods said: “With technology rapidly changing how we work, live and interact with each other, the BDR has the potential to be at the frontier of harm minimisation for alcohol fuelled antisocial behaviour, particularly in WA’s regional and remote communities.” LSA WA CEO Peter Peck said there’s no other system in place to both identify and rehabilitate problem drinkers. “It’s encouraging to see [the government], listening to industry and making a decision for the benefit of the entire community. We know that blanket alcohol restrictions don’t work. We know penalising many for the sake of a few bad
Endeavour Drinks to take Shorty’s national
apples isn’t the way to solve these issues.”
Endeavour Drinks has acquired a majority interest in Shorty’s Liquor in a strategic move to enter the growing business to business channel where they are currently unrepresented. Shorty’s Liquor is a leading drinks retailer servicing corporate customers and on-premise venues in Sydney. The strategic partnership will see Endeavour Drinks work alongside Shorty’s founder, David Short, to support an expansion into Melbourne, Brisbane and other capital cities over the coming years. David Short will continue to lead the business within the broader Endeavour Group. Endeavour Drinks Managing Director Steve Donohue, said: “Developing
Liquor Minister Paul Papalia with Pilbara MP Kevin Michel and local licensee Sharon Guilford
new growth avenues is a key priority for Endeavour Drinks as we work to connect everyone with a drinks experience they’ll love.” February 2020 | 15
2020 Trend Predictions
Industry leaders predict 2020 trends
Our featured leaders highlight their 2020 trend predictions across beer, wine, spirits and total retail. From convenience and sustainability to health and wellbeing and capturing those ‘Instagrammable’ moments – these are the trends that will shape the liquor industry this year.
“Like most in spirits I see premium continuing to grow over mainstream; with gin and local craft spirits to further power along in 2020. Premium mixer brands like Fever Tree will continue to play a pivotal role in elevating the simple mixed drinks experience; not only for gin but also expanding into dark spirits outside of traditional cola. Lower ABV and lighter spritz style drinks will also continue taking share from the more traditional categories of beer and wine. One area outside the usual I see emerging next year will be brands that bring the energy back into socialising and not take themselves too seriously. A growing group of consumers are becoming bored of every brand having a ‘big authentic story’ and looking to connect with brands that as Cyndi Lauper famously said ‘just wanna have fun.’ Did someone say FIREBALL.”
Ray Noble, Managing Director, SouthTrade International
“The health and wellness and premiumisation trends will see people drinking less in quantity but higher quality products. The effects of this fire season will be reflected in heightened consumer expectations of businesses’ sustainability efforts which will increasingly be considered in their
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Darren De Bortoli, Managing Director, De Bortoli
“Consumers are broadening their taste for bolder flavours with an
“Consumers will always want to try something new and
increasing appreciation for the craft behind the liquid as seen across
exciting. They are happy to pay a little bit more for very
Single Malt Scotch and Super Premium Bourbons. An overarching
high-quality product, but I also think consumers are becoming
theme, which has found its way to liquor, is health and wellbeing.
more discerning. They don’t want to pay double the price for
More health-conscious drinkers have contributed to the rise of
something that’s half the quality.”
healthier mixers, soda water (Highballs) and no sugar alternatives.”
Hugh Roxburgh, Founder, Crafty Buggers/
Andy Kim, VP, Interim MD, Finance Director at Brown-Forman
Buckley’s Rye Whisky
16 | National Liquor News
2020 Trend Predictions
“Consumers are always looking for better quality, particularly because we are more educated
“I can see that consumers will continue to choose
and knowledgeable than ever
quality over quantity and will have a further vested
before, with information at our
interest in purchasing products that have a strong
fingertips in an instant.”
purpose and sense of locality.”
John Kollaras, Managing
Eddie Brook, Co-founder, Cape Byron Distillery
Director, Kollaras & Co
“Convenience will continue to play a huge role as the lives of consumers get busier which contributes to the growth of emerging channels, particularly in e-commerce and in innovation in the RTD space. We can already see this reflected on the great reception of our recent launch of Bombay and Tonic ready to drink.” Mauricio Vergara, Managing Director, Bacardi-Martini Australia
“A positive for independent retail liquor is the consumer trend towards convenience… This trend, and retailers who harness it, will derive greater growth than the overall market in 2020.”
Gavin Saunders, CEO, Liquor Marketing Group
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
“Consumers, particularly the younger audiences, have a stronger focus on health and wellbeing, which is driving innovation in our new product development. In line with the health and wellbeing trend, delivering engaging and memorable brand experiences is critical with a younger demographic.”
Bryan Fry, CEO, Pernod Ricard Winemakers
February 2020 | 17
2020 Trend Predictions
“The rise in consumer focus around health and moderation will see the lighter in and alcohol free category expand dramatically. Additionally, the heightened discussions around sustainability will be a key consideration for the industry going forward.” Peter Neilson, Managing Director ANZ, Treasury Wine Estates
“Discovery and experimentation are key drivers of millennial and luxury consumer choices. We see that shoppers are increasingly seeking out unique and interesting products, not only for their own exploratory needs… But for those ‘Instagrammable’ moments.”
John Kollaras, Managing Director, Kollaras & Co
“There is no doubt there is a love affair at present for all things pink. Extending out from this more and more forms of category blur, for example Squealing Pig Rosé Gin. Beyond the pink and
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
into the category blur is VB Tea, Baileys Strawberry Ice Cream and other examples of where the brand or the
“I think consumer awareness around independent beer will
product sits outside their
continue to grow. It’s clear, not only in the beer market but
normal category place.”
throughout food and beverage more generally, that people
Jason Bowyer, Buying
want to know and understand where products come from.”
Director for Wines and
Aaron Heary, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief
Sparkling, Aldi Australia
Operating Officer, Good Drinks
18 | National Liquor News
2020 Trend Predictions
“Craft is still driving growth in the overall beer category with consumers aged 20 to 39 continuing to favour quality over quantity. While Pale Ale still represents 50 per cent of craft beer, consumers are shifting into emerging styles and brands. IPAs and Summer Ales are continuing to show good growth and we expect that to continue into 2020. Emerging flavours like Gose will gain further traction in the coming summer.”
Scott Hadley, Chief Commercial Officer, Asahi Premium Beverages
“Continued growth of savoury reds such as Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Grenache. I think Grenache is the most exciting wine for the Australian industry in the near future.”
“Premium spirits will continue to drive accelerated spirits category growth. Consumers will continue to trade up to more premium propositions both across the on and off-premise.” Colin Rochester, General Manager
“Many of the current trends will no doubt continue into 2020, with the likes of wine in
ANZ, William Grant & Sons
can at the fore. With expanding palates comes the opportunity to explore emerging varietals, while conversely the ever-popular varietals of Rosé and Prosecco show no signs of slowing down.”
Peter Neilson, Managing Director ANZ, Treasury Wine Estates February 2020 | 19
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Nick Waterman, Managing Director, Yalumba
2020 Trend Predictions
“The flavoured gin trends are there for all to see and we expect significant growth in this area next year with our belief Whitley Neill will continue to drive this category as it has done in other markets already. In Australia this may also be driven by the Spritz movement which we see continuing to grow and we are also very excited to see the Gin and Soda movement grow.” Lawrence Williamson, Managing Director, Halewood Australia
“Whilst we know that the ‘better for me’ category will continue to grow, we will also see popular categories become “Craft is still driving growth in the overall beer category with consumers aged 20 to 39 continuing to favour quality over quantity. While Pale Ale still represents 50 per cent of
is traditional Bourbon drinkers, who are beginning
show good growth and we expect that to continue
to experiment with
into 2020. Emerging flavours like Gose will gain further
Asahi Premium Beverages
“Rosé continues to be a key driver of growth across the wine market. Looking
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
free sector, where we have recently introduced McGuigan Zero.” Jeff Howlett, General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Australian Vintage Limited
20 | National Liquor News
A perfect example of this
and brands. IPAs and Summer Ales are continuing to
traction in the coming summer.”
about the opportunities in the alcohol-
adapt to market trends.
craft beer, consumers are shifting into emerging styles
Scott Hadley, Chief Commercial Officer,
forward to 2020, we are also excited
more dominant as they
John Kollaras, Managing Director, Kollaras & Co
2020 Trend Predictions
“...lighter styles both in taste and alcohol content we see as an emerging consumer trend. We currently have many wine varieties that are lower in alcohol with Moscato and Cienna and are working hard both in the winery and the vineyard to develop techniques that create lighter dry styles with flavour.” Dean Carroll, CEO, Brown Family Wine Group
“Local spirit interest will continue and become more exciting as a number
“The trend of
of gin and vodka distillers start to
convenience will continue to grow
“There will be further
online purchasing and
innovation in product
Managing Director, Campari
in technology and
logistical service it will
will be important.
“I think we will be seeing the trend
see people ordering
We will work closely
of low ABV drinks continuing and a
wine ‘on demand’. This
with partners to
greater showcase of spirits utilising
convenience is also
offer both appealing
native flavours. In the next year we
leading to dining in
product and relevant
will be seeing some new innovative
the home and therefore
Australian whiskies hitting the
market and this will be a great
exciting dynamic to the Australian
whisky market offering.”
Eddie Brook, Co-founder,
Cape Byron Distillery
February 2020 | 21
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
produce local brown spirits.”
Weather vs Wine: How climate change is impacting Australia’s wine industry
Brydie Allen investigates the impact that climate change is having on Australia’s grape and wine community and discovers research being developed to help mitigate against its effects.
wine through these severe weather incidents. In fact,
Meteorology (BOM) recorded in its annual climate
winemakers and grape growers across the country
statement that 2019 was the country’s hottest and
have been battling the effects of climate change for
driest year on record. Temperatures were around
years, and it’s only getting harder.
two degrees higher than average, national rainfall was 40 per cent lower than average, heatwaves and
drought were widespread and the fire danger index
One common impact of climate change to our wine
was the highest in recorded history.
industry is that higher temperatures are causing
At the turn of the New Year and decade, these effects
grapes of all varieties to ripen earlier.
of climate change were all too fresh in our minds,
Wine Australia CEO, Andreas Clark, said:
with weather conditions fuelling an unprecedented
“Within Australia, climate change has been most
bushfire crisis. Several people lost their lives, a billion
evident in changes to the timing of grape ripening,
animals perished, thousands of homes were lost and
which has resulted in average harvest dates very
millions of hectares burned, including up to 30 per
slowly moving forward year-by-year.
cent of vineyards in the Adelaide Hills.
“The changes to the timing of grape ripening
In other wine regions close to fire grounds, grapes
has also created what is referred to as ‘compressed
being infected by smoke taint has also become a
vintages’, whereby red and white grape varieties are
fear. Meanwhile, other parts of the country became
ready to pick at the same time, which places greater
threatened by flash floods, giant hailstone storms
pressure on vineyard and winery infrastructure.”
and even a tropical cyclone. But climate change isn’t just impacting Australia’s 22 | National Liquor News
This vintage compression or compaction is something that the Barossa Grape and Wine
“Retailers and the drinks industry are part of our community and with their support grape growers and winemakers can continue to innovate and be global leaders in mitigating the effects of climate change,” Andreas Clark, CEO, Wine Australia
Association has been seeing over time, as Viticultural
The current bushfire crisis
Development Officer Nicki Robins describes.
In recent years, scientists and firefighting experts have warned of
“There’s more of that now because we are
worsening fire seasons, so with unprecedented conditions sparking earlier
experiencing hotter, drier, summers,” Robins said.
and more ferocious fires than we’ve ever seen, that’s what started in
“The fruit ripens more quickly and that can mean that
September 2019 and continues around the country today.
Cabernet is being picked at the same time as Shiraz,
Fires and smoke have most heavily affected the wine regions of the
which could be picked at the same time as Riesling.
Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island, NSW Southern Highlands and Hunter
When it was cooler and not as dry, the harvesting of
Valley. Vineyards, infrastructure and equipment have been damaged or
those varieties would be more spread out.”
destroyed, while related extreme heat and smoke has damaged large
Earlier ripening has been contributing to vintage compression for years, with multiple sources
amounts of grapes. “Recovery will take a long time, and we must also be better prepared
recording that harvest times of today are up to three
for the next crisis that will come,” Battaglene said. “The bushfire season
weeks earlier than they were around 20 years ago.
is still in its early days, so we have a long way before we get through the
One of these sources is Professor Snow Barlow of
the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
In many areas, the damage is still being assessed and it may take years
at the University of Melbourne, who has been
to understand how much has been lost. But Clark said: “fortunately not all
working in climate change research since the early
vineyards in these areas are fire damaged.”
80s. For the past 20 years, Professor Barlow has
Throughout all the devastation though, the industry has rallied together
been particularly focused on how climate change is
to do what they can to help. Countless suppliers and retailers have raised
impacting the Australian wine industry.
funds and awareness, while the wine industry itself has donated profits,
Thanks to meticulously kept records from
products and grapes to support the relief and recovery effort.
winemakers in most regions around the country, Professor Barlow and his team have been able to track the changing harvest dates and sugar contents of grapes for up to 100-years in some cases.
Prue Henschke assesses the damage to the Lenswood vineyard
The collection of this data, as well as anecdotal evidence along the way from the makers, allowed the researchers to create a sort of database that shows the changes in maturity times for grapes. From that, Professor Barlow told National Liquor News: “On average, Australian winemakers over the last 25 years have harvested about a day earlier every year.” With harvest times pushed closer together, there’s a logistical and resource allocation nightmare created, which may make winemakers consider harvesting earlier or later than usual. But if the sugar contents that Professor Barlow studied is not correct at the time of harvest, the wine’s taste will be affected. Tony Battaglene, Australian Grape and Wine Chief Executive, described the impacts on the wine itself in a recent presentation. He said picking unripe grapes results in “high acidity, low sugar and bitter, unripe flavours,” while picking overripe grapes results in “low acidity, high alcohol content and cooked flavours”. Clark says: “The Australian grape and wine community has been proactive in its approach towards adapting to and mitigating against climate change.” February 2020 | 23
One of the approaches is a research partnership with Wine Australia and CSIRO. Doctor Christopher Davies is the Team Leader and Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Waite Campus, in South Australia, and said one of the main goals of the partnership is to alleviate the impacts of climate change created vintage compression. Dr Davies and his team split their time between vineyards and the lab, using technology and science to understand what happens inside the berries. “We’re trying to understand more exactly the mechanisms that control ripening and the onset of ripening, so that we can understand what’s happening due to climate change, and how we can manipulate ripening to try and solve some of those problems.”
The CSIRO researchers split their time between vineyards and the lab
An example of the techniques coming from
are trying other ways to protect against climate change, and as Clark said: “It is an integral part
this research is the use of synthetic plant growth
of vineyard management.”
regulators, sprayed on the vines to delay the
For example, Professor Barlow said from
his research he’s found growers planting new
As Dr Davies explains, plant growth regulators
vineyards in non-traditional directions that will
are substances which are involved in coordinating
provide less direct sunlight throughout the day.
processes in plants, such as berry development
Robins said that Barossa growers are making
and ripening. The CSIRO team has been able to
sure they’re using effective canopy management
create man-made copies of one of these regulators
and pruning techniques.
that is involved in growth, called auxins.
Long term weather impacts
“[Their levels are] normally high early – so in little berries they’re really high, but the systems inside the berries make them decrease as they grow. When they get to a certain level, then the block in ripening is released and so they ripen,” Dr Davies said. The auxins can be sprayed before ripening has begun, to delay the process up to two weeks. Parts of vineyards can be treated and delayed while the rest of the vineyard is processed at the natural timeline. “In theory it could help with the both the logistics of intake and improve the quality because you can control the time when you pick better,” Dr Davies described. Unfortunately, although auxins are already registered and used in pears and apples, they’re not yet available for use on grapes. In the meantime, growers and winemakers 24 | National Liquor News
The current widespread drought, which some
A word from the editor The conversation around climate change has never been more important, so in 2020 National Liquor News will host a series of roundtable discussions to keep the conversation going and help raise awareness on how our industry is suffering. If you would like to be a part of the conversation, I’d love to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers, Deb Jackson
refer to as the worst in living memory, is greatly impacting the whole liquor industry in Australia and wine is no exception. Years of limited rainfall means that water is increasingly becoming scarce and a more valuable than ever commodity for all growers. With supply more and more limited, water management and irrigation techniques need to be extremely efficient and effective. Clark said the Australian wine industry’s approach in this regard is ahead of other industries and countries. “Australian viticulture has been at the forefront of smarter water management and we continue to invest in R&D to optimise irrigation and develop rootstocks that exclude sodium and chlorine and are water efficient,” Clark said.
The ongoing drought has pushed for adapted approaches to everything from water and irrigation management, to soil health and mulching. Integrated strategies like this are something that Barossa Grape and Wine Association advocates for.
as well as increase the fire risk to unprecedented levels, as we’ve so recently seen. However,
conditions are characterised by more than just heat. “It’s not only the high temperature but the
“What we try and do is talk to growers about
predicted increased range of effects,” Dr Davies said.
smoothing out the ebbs and flows of vintage
“This year, for example, we had a quite unseasonably
variation,” said Robins. “We’re really focused
cool period in flowering, and if you get cool periods
on things like improving soil health including
around flowering it can actually inhibit flowering
under-vine mulch and mid-row cover, good
and so yield can be quite low.”
irrigation management, and effective canopy management techniques.”
How you can help
But the only way you can manage water is if you
For the past few months we’ve seen many incredible
have access to it in the first place. Professor Barlow
acts of support from across the whole drinks industry
highlighted that there are many producers that don’t
to help those impacted by the bushfire crisis. The stories
have public irrigation schemes nearby which makes
coming from devastated areas of the wine industry all
accessing enough water very difficult. Each year this
encourage us to keep buying their products.
problem gets harder.
Australia’s wine industry knows that the
“Water becomes a problem for many of those
challenges presented by climate change are the new
producers, and it’s a big problem this year… they’re
normal. As it gets harder to manage, it’s important
really struggling,” Professor Barlow said.
we continue supporting producers in the best way
“People expect perhaps the yields to be down this year, mainly because many of these vineyards just don’t have enough water. If you take it forward 20 years, we think those problems are going to be worse, much worse.”
that retailers can – stocking local wines. Clark said that: “Australian wineries are open for business and we need your support. “Retailers and the drinks industry are part of our community and with their support grape
On top of the drought, unpredictable weather
growers and winemakers can continue to innovate
conditions and events are becoming more common.
and be global leaders in mitigating the effects of
Harsh heatwaves and strong winds can damage vines,
“We’re trying to understand more exactly the mechanisms that control ripening and the onset of ripening, so that we can understand what’s happening due to climate change, and how we can manipulate ripening to try and solve some of those problems,” Dr Christopher Davies, CSIRO
Inside the CSIRO research lab
February 2020 | 25
Suppliers, Retail & Wholesale From health and wellness to supporting local and excelling in convenience, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spoken to leaders from right across the liquor industry and have discovered all the answers that will help set you and your business up for a successful 2020.
26 | National Liquor News
Aldi leverages double digit growth Aldi’s Australian liquor range is growing at a rate above the market average and Jason Bowyer, the Buying Director for Wines and Sparkling, predicts this momentum will continue in 2020.
Jason Bowyer Buying Director for Wines and Sparkling Aldi
In 2019, Aldi had its strongest award-winning year to date, with a trophy for beer, six gold medals for spirits, and more than
150 medals and three trophies for wine. According to Buying Director for Wines and Sparkling, Jason Bowyer, the international accolades continue to challenge perceptions about the link between price and quality. “We are really proud of the year Aldi had in 2019. Led by a strong year of stellar awards, our most to date, our alcohol range continues to wow our customers on value and quality,” Bowyer said. “Our $6.99 One Road South Australian Heathcote Shiraz 2018 won gold at the Great Australian Shiraz Challenge for the third year in a row. Quite incredible that a wine we retail for $6.99 consistently trumps wines many times its price.” Aldi’s liquor range is also showing “above market” double digit growth, says Bowyer. “We do not believe there is another national retailer seeing the levels of growth we are seeing. Our performance over the last five years has been very strong, so to continue experiencing compelling
“Drought, fires, higher temperatures and a lack of water are all contributing to a level of uncertainty within the industry. It is important that we work with our partners in finding solutions that are not only good for the customer, but also the supplier and us, the retailer.”
organic growth outside store growth is testament that we are dragging more shoppers our way,” Bowyer says. Continuing to leverage the opportunities provided by this growth
Another trend that Aldi will focus on in 2020 is that of the mindful shopper, with consumers increasingly making buying
is a focus for Aldi in 2020, as it aims to deliver quality products at
decisions based on product origins, ingredients, production
scale to customers. Rather than attracting new customers to the store,
techniques and sustainability. In this sphere, organic, biodynamic,
Bowyer said the goal is to drive existing shoppers and “convert more
vegan and low/no alcohol products will do exceptionally well.
of them to do their liquor shopping with Aldi”.
The key to success
Mindfulness about the environment is also being applied to other areas of the business, with Aldi working to create the best solutions for all parties involved in transactions in-store.
One way to encourage this conversion is by tailoring the offering
Bowyer said: “Drought, fires, higher temperatures and a lack
and marketing to consumer trends in the drinks market. Aldi sees
of water are all contributing to a level of uncertainty within the
a number of key trends emerging that will impact all categories.
industry. It is important that we work with our partners in finding
“How, when and what consumers are drinking is definitely changing. Consumers’ repertoire of products is far broader than ever before and they are chasing refreshment, occasion and the
solutions that are not only good for the customer, but also the supplier and us, the retailer. “We work incredibly hard with our great pool of business
visual element to how and what they drink, often drinking across
partners to bring our customers what they deserve – great
categories,” said Bowyer.
quality products at everyday low prices. Working with us is
“There is a move to lighter and fresher styles of drinks across
easy; shopping with us is even easier. We work hard to keep the
the beer, wine and spirits space. In wine, that is Prosecco, Pinot
customer’s trust. They know when they come to Aldi they will be
Grigio, rosé, Gamay, Grenache and Tempranillo.”
getting a good value product every time.
February 2020 | 27
Australian Liquor Marketers
ALM continues fighting for independents With new CEO Chris Baddock taking the helm in 2019, ALM is set to continue championing successful independents in 2020.
Chris Baddock CEO, ALM
Porters Liquor North Narrabeen
At the 2019 Independent Brands Australia (IBA) trade workshop, Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) CEO Chris Baddock encouraged attendees “to think about our purpose – championing successful
independents, our passion – independents are worth fighting for and finally our partnership as it’s the only way we can achieve together”. This core theme is also symbolic of ALM’s actions and attitudes over the past year, despite it being full of change and transformation. Baddock said these values will be the driver for the organisation in 2020 as well. He said there is an “absolute focus on enabling our retail partners to service their customers through the best store in town, efficient and effective supply chain, a fair retail price for all, building
Big data and AI at ALM
a robust omni-channel and building long term partnerships with
One of the positives that using big data and AI has had for
suppliers, retailers, contract customers and across the network”.
ALM, is: “An ability to build an assortment of products in
In pushing for this, several opportunities will be available to ALM, including some that are challenging. Baddock said that the goal is to always ensure that retailers can
our promotional programs which cater for a broad range of customer needs,” said Baddock. “This assortment is designed around the customers’
“service their customers’ needs and do this better than anyone else
requirements which gives us the ability to build profitability
by using their localised services to the communities they work,
into the program. As consumers repertoire’s grow and their
live and shop in”.
desire for more localised and craft brands increases we need
Throughout Baddock’s transition into his role as CEO in
data to help us foresee emerging trends, big data and AI helps
2019, he has learned about the best ways that ALM can help their
us do this. We will also use data to help build a more focused
retailers, by reflecting on the past.
core retail program which drills down to store needs.”
“All retailers have been very welcoming, helping me get to know the business, sharing their experiences, their needs and at times sharing the history of ALM with the good and the less than
sustainability of the industry. One of the ways that ALM and their retailers may be working
good to enable me to respect the past and think of ways in which
together for innovation in 2020 could be in the online sphere,
we can embrace the future.
with Baddock hinting to “watch this space”.
“This has been a great experience, the independent channel is
“We have some very exciting plans which will be shared with the
vibrant and well positioned to capture the ever increasing need
market during the year. We are working with retailers first, asking
for convenience. The ability of our retailers to move quickly to
them for input to ensure together we deliver a platform which is right
cater for convenient shopping experiences amazes me... This
for today and can also grow as technology changes,” Baddock said.
makes me determined to build programs which enable retailers to keep on innovating.” In line with ALM’s passion to fight for independent retailers,
Regardless of how the industry changes in 2020, what will remain for ALM is the same desire to champion successful independents. As Baddock said: “Doing this for family businesses excites the
they are also campaigning alongside industry bodies to ensure
team and I, as we say independents are worth fighting for – now
responsible retailing of drinks. Innovation around sociability
that’s something that gets me jumping out of bed and embracing
and moderation will prove key in this regard to maintain the
28 | National Liquor News
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Asahi Premium Beverages
Another stellar year for Asahi Premium Beverages Asahi Premium Beverages’ Chief Commercial Officer Scott Hadley discusses the brands, awards and exciting acquisitions that made last year such a successful one for Asahi.
Asahi Premium Beverages (APB) enjoyed another stellar year in 2019, with its brands performing well in the marketplace and
Scott Hadley Chief Commercial Officer Asahi Premium Beverages
Beacon, when asked about APB’s major beer plays of last year. But given the multitude of craft breweries in Australia, why
receiving a multitude of industry awards and accolades along the
did APB choose Green Beacon in particular? “In essence Green
way. For Scott Hadley, APB’s Chief Commercial Officer, highlights
Beacon gives us a broader footprint in the very fragmented craft
included the return of Somersby to growth thanks to the launch
beer market,” explains Hadley. “Importantly the brand has a very
of Somersby Watermelon and Lower Carb; the strong first year
high-quality reputation and with its presence in Queensland gives
performance of Goat Lager; and the September launch of Two Suns,
our business a fantastic platform to further expand our craft beer
APB’s newest beer brand.
presence in north eastern Australia.”
“Geoff Day, a veteran of Australian brewing, teamed up with Yosuke Tajika one of our talented Japanese brewers, to create this
Quality over quantity
highly refreshing full flavoured beer,” Hadley told National Liquor
In terms of wider beer trends, Hadley says craft options are still
News. “Combining Australian malt and wheat using Asahi Japan’s
driving growth in the overall beer category, particularly among
state of the art brewing techniques, we have been delighted with
consumers aged 20 to 39 who are “continuing to favour quality
the initial feedback on this true ‘collaboration’ beer.”
over quantity”. He also has some predictions about what beer
Of course, one of the major industry stories of last year was the proposed merger between Asahi and Carlton & United Breweries
styles to look out for over the coming 12 months. “While Pale Ale still represents 50 per cent of craft beer,
(CUB), but given the sensitive nature of the deal – and the fact
consumers are shifting into emerging styles and brands. IPAs and
that it may not be approved by the ACCC until March – Hadley
Summer Ales are continuing to show good growth and we expect
focuses on another acquisition, that of Queensland’s Green
that to continue into 2020. Emerging flavours like Gose will gain
“As an industry we need to keep lifting the bar ourselves and ensuring that we are all promoting and marketing our products responsibly. This is vital if we want to continue to be able to operate without further heavy regulations being imposed.”
further traction in the coming summer.” Given APB’s diverse portfolio and the strength of its staff – both factors which contributed to APB being named Off-Premise Supplier of the Year for the third year running at the 2019 ALIAs – Hadley is very optimistic about the company’s future, although he does foresee some challenges, mainly in the form of regulation. “APB is also facing the same issues that the entire industry is facing – greater regulation and tighter restrictions which impact the way in which we sell and market alcohol products,” he says. “This will continue, and we need to be innovative to find ways to adapt to these changes while maintaining high levels of responsibility.” He continues: “As an industry we need to keep lifting the bar ourselves and ensuring that we are all promoting and marketing our products responsibly. This is vital if we want to continue to be able to operate without further heavy regulations being imposed. “While most of the industry do the right thing, the whole industry is tarnished when others are making and selling products which appeal to minors or are marketed in an irresponsible way. It’s about us all doing the right thing.”
30 | National Liquor News
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Australian Vintage Limited
AVL positions for global growth 2019 was a year of growth for Australian Vintage Limited both in Australia and internationally. And with an exciting pipeline of innovation in the works, that growth momentum looks set to continue into 2020.
Jeff Howlett General Manager ANZ Australian Vintage Limited
The Tempus Two tasting room in the Hunter Valley
Strong showings from Australian Vintage Limited’s (AVL) four core brands – McGuigan, Tempus Two, Nepenthe and the Barossa Valley Wine Company – made for a successful year for AVL, despite some challenges faced along the way. Jeff Howlett (GM Australia and New Zealand) explains, it was these core brands that drove a successful international expansion, showing a combined global growth of 10 per cent. However, success wasn’t only found overseas. “In Australia, we saw gains with McGuigan up eight per cent and Nepenthe by six per cent, which is a great result,” Howlett says. “Last year, Tempus Two was also Australia’s fastest-growing wine brand. In September, we launched a prominent abovethe-line advertising campaign, ‘Distinctively Bold’, which has accelerated the brand’s momentum further, positioning it well for continued growth in the year ahead.” AVL’s success is made all the more impressive when
“The wine category has to focus on introducing new products and consumption rituals to unlock new entrants and occasions to ensure long-term growth. Being market driven and agile is critical.”
considering the tough conditions in the vineyard; in May, the company revealed that both crush and yield numbers were down, the weather having played havoc with the year’s harvest. Howlett says: “Some of our vineyards were impacted by frost towards the end of 2018, followed by extreme heat in January and
AVL’s new CEO Craig Garvin brought with him a vision to, in Howlett’s words, “accelerate our focus and investment behind the key brand portfolio”. “Given the rapidly changing retail and consumer environment
February. These conditions pose a challenge to viticultural teams
we operate in, it will be increasingly important for us to embrace
and we are using a number of initiatives in the vineyards.
market, consumer and shopper insights to capitalise on emerging
“We are fortunate to have a highly talented team of
trends and opportunities,” Howlett says.
winemakers, who have been nurtured and mentored by Neil
Looking to 2020, Howlett points to a focus on sustainable
McGuigan, and use their skill to ensure wine quality does not
winemaking practices and innovation as key priorities for AVL.
suffer whatever mother nature throws at us.”
He predicts that rosé and alcohol-free products – such as AVL’s
Looking ahead Another milestone for AVL in 2019 was the resignation of Neil
recently launched McGuigan Zero – and new and emerging grape varietals as the trends likely to shape the year ahead. “We are working on an exciting pipeline of innovation,
McGuigan as CEO in late July, after nine years in the role. While
bringing new varietals to market, such as an Australian Malbec,”
he continues to be involved with AVL as the company’s Technical
Advisor, McGuigan’s impact on the business was extensive. “Neil has created a huge legacy in the global wine industry and
“The wine category has to focus on introducing new products and consumption rituals to unlock new entrants and occasions
helped lead AVL’s transition to a branded business,” says Howlett.
to ensure long-term growth. Being market driven and agile is
“During his tenure, we have achieved an outstanding reputation
critical. We have some of the country’s best winemaking assets,
for our wine quality.”
enabling us to deliver market-leading products.”
32 | National Liquor News
Selling experiences, not bottles: Bacardi-Martini Australia Bacardi-Martini Australia continues to kick goals, and its four core brands of Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi and Patrón are some of the most recognisable in the marketplace. So, what’s behind this success?
“I don’t see Bacardi as a company that sells bottles.” These words from Bacardi-Martini Australia’s (BMA) Managing Director Mauricio Vergara go a long way in capturing the company’s forward-thinking ethos. Instead of just selling bottles, Vergara says, BMA excels at capturing experiences.
Mauricio Vergara Managing Director Bacardi-Martini Australia
“In today’s world, the consumers’ needs and expectations are changing faster than ever and consumers expect brands to deliver on these needs fast and keep surprising and delighting them.”
“I like to think more about us as a company that seeks to provide exceptional experiences to our consumers by being present
how their needs evolve so we can deliver the most relevant
in the moments that matter the most to them, all the way from
innovation and find better ways to engage with them,” he says.
an exceptional event to a romantic dinner at home or enjoying watching their favourite sports team play as they have a great time
A collaborative approach
with friends,” he says. “Many of these experiences start when a
“In today’s world, the consumers’ needs and expectations are
consumer is planning to shop for their favourite spirits brand.”
changing faster than ever and consumers expect brands to deliver
Leading the charge for BMA in the retail market are its four iconic brands: Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi Rum and
on these needs fast and keep surprising and delighting them.” As a supplier, Vergara says that one way of achieving this is
Patrón Tequila, which are all experiencing growth in what is a
by working closely and collaborating with retail partners in the
very competitive premium spirits environment.
off-premise and sharing insights about consumer behaviour with
“Success for these brands comes from putting consumers at the heart of everything we do, providing them with meaningful and relevant experiences that are part of their lifestyle.” Vergara summarises the key trends of the moment as
one another. “Our retail partners have a huge amount of data and knowledge about how consumers shop, what their preferences are, the occasions they shop for and what are they looking for,” he says. “As
premiumisation, convenience and the “better for you” trend, with
brand owners and suppliers, we have a very deep understanding
consumers reaching for lower sugar and lower calorie options.
of the consumer trends, how consumer needs are evolving and a
Of course, these consumer tastes and expectations are constantly shifting, and staying on top of them is what Vergara sees as the
global view of how the international trends may impact Australia. “Sharing these insights and finding ways to partner with the
biggest challenge for BMA in the years ahead. “Our biggest concern is
common objective of delivering better products and experiences
always to stay in touch with what consumers want and understanding
to the shoppers and consumers will result in continuing to drive growth for the spirits category.” As for the future? Well, Vergara says BMA will continue to do what they do best: delivering “outstanding drinks and experiences to consumers in line with our purpose of inspiring consumers to celebrate moments that matter, one drink at a time. “We’ll continue to work hand in hand with our retail partners to deliver exceptional drinks and continue to play a leading role in the premiumisation of the spirits industry,” he adds. “Consumers are drinking less but better and Bacardi-Martini is perfectly positioned to satisfy the increasing demand and consumers preference for carefully crafted, high quality, premium spirits.”
February 2020 | 33
Black Sheep Bottle Shops
Keeping ahead of the curve This month we caught up with Lyal Midgley, Owner/Director of Black Sheep Bottle Shops, which has five outlets in Queensland.
have is that I can decide and implement something very swiftly, whereas I’m sure the big companies would find it harder to action something quickly. Power costs are a real
challenge, as in some cases our electricity bill is as dear as our rent (compared to the old days when power costs were reasonable). We put solar in where we can, but only a few landlords are accommodating. Q: What is the philosophy
of craft beer breweries as they
behind Black Sheep?
emerged and took risks to delete
be the buying power and pricing
LM: We are proudly family
many mainstream beers in order
strategy of the big boys and staying
Q: Where was your first job in liquor?
owned (by the Midgley, Lockyer
to fit in plenty of craft. With wine
in the same ballpark as them price
LM: I bought my first pub in Longreach as a 23-year-old in 1989. Moved in upstairs with my wife and kids and loved it from day one.
and Nightingale families). We
ranging we try and avoid some
wise. I have noticed in recent years
strive to offer the best possible
of the biggest companies who in
a positive sentiment from a large
variety and range of products
our view are too embedded in the
portion of the public wanting to
with a focus on boutique wines,
major retail groups.
support the independents which is
The Quick Fire Round
An obvious challenge would
craft beers and artisan spirits.
We put lots of thought and
Our wines cover all bases from
effort into creating a more artisan
Q: What are the biggest
organic and biodynamic, small
fit out of our stores with lots of
issues facing liquor retailers?
wineries from all Australian, New
timber and chandeliers, etc. We
LM: The delivery and online sales
Zealand and other international
are proactive in seeking a product
model is going to be increasingly
new world regions, plus of course
if we think it will be positive
challenging, but human resources
a range of Old World wines from
for our group. A good recent
is probably the biggest challenge
most European countries.
example of this is when Bleasdale
overall. Your best employee is
recently took out the prestigious
probably your greatest asset, but
knowledgeable and courteous
Jimmy Watson Trophy with Wild
conversely your worst employee
service would be the other
Fig Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre
can do you untold amounts
cornerstone of our philosophy
– we then immediately cut a
of damage, when we are in an
Q: Favourite tipple?
to succeed in a very competitive
large commitment deal with our
industry that is so reliant on
LM: A family creation and favourite is ‘The Beautiful’ – Bombay Sapphire, ice, a couple of fingers of tonic and a light splash of fresh orange.
supplier of Bleasdale wines, that
customer service and relatively
Q: How do you set your stores
enabled us to be the only retailer
slim dollar margins. I have been
apart from competitors?
in Queensland to get access to
lucky to have some fantastic long-
LM: We work hard at keeping
term staff that have been amazing
fresh, always looking to stay ahead
Q: What are the benefits of
for the business, but bad previous
of the curve where possible. For
staff have cost me a lot of money
example, we sought out a lot
LM: The biggest advantage I
Q: Footy team you support? LM: All Queensland teams especially the Broncos.
Q: Favourite holiday destination? LM: Kingscliffe.
34 | National Liquor News
Brown Family Wine Group is on the up Dean Carroll, CEO of Brown Family Wine Group, details a strong year for the company in 2019 – and anticipates where future growth may be found both domestically and internationally.
Dean Carroll CEO Brown Family Wine Group
When asked about his 2019 highlights, Brown Family Wine Group (BFWG) CEO Dean Carroll has a long list to share. The company celebrated its 130th year in 2019, and by continuing to grow in sales; domestically, multiple brands across the BFWG portfolio are growing ahead of the market – including the Devil’s Corner brand (which “continues to lead the Tasmanian wine charge”) and the Innocent Bystander label – and BFWG was even recognised as the country’s ‘Leading Wine Supplier’ in the annual Advantage Trade Benchmark Survey. “All areas of our business impact this result and our peoples’ commitment to delivering what is of value through efficiency, insights and focus on quality is outstanding,” Carroll says. BFWG also experienced success at the 2019 ALIAs, taking home best Australian/International Sparkling for its Brown Brothers Prosecco. Carroll says that this category is “still a strong growth category with considerably more potential,” because “Sparkling is often about celebration and Prosecco has
“As regions get warmer and drier our ability to find wine varieties and areas that prosper in that environment will be a key focus.”
transcended that by creating appeal for the everyday. “If you look at it purely as a sparkling wine, we are only just
“Slowing overall consumption remains a threat both to us
reaching 10 per cent of the Sparkling Category where in the UK for
and the industry,” he says. “The constant increase in costs many
instance it exceeds 50 per cent,” Carroll explains. “Yet as we believe it
associated with resources and the impact of climate change
also attracts the White Wine, Cider and White Spirit consumer then
continue to pressure us. For example, our insurance bill has been
the opportunity remains substantial for Prosecco in upcoming years.”
driven up 233 per cent in the last two years as regional areas
One major trend that emerged even further in 2019 was canned wine, and BFWG is well represented in the category with four products: Innocent Bystander Moscato, Brown Brothers
are seen as higher risk in increasingly dry climates and building materials once considered acceptable are now seen as less so.” Carroll is also concerned about the impact climate change will
Prosecco Spritz, Brown Brothers Moscato One, and Brown
have on limited resources such as water, and the knock-on effects of
Brothers Moscato Rosé One.
this both for his company and the wine industry at large.
“We continue to work with retailers to test execution and
Export will be an increasing focus for BFWG heading into the
availability of ‘Wine in a Can’ in-store with some retailers choosing
future, and in particular, export to the Asian market. “Our focus
a dedicated ‘Wine in a Can’ bay and others merchandising the
is in Asia through its proximity and our wine style match to the
products next to the core 750ml bottle to highlight the choice
emerging opportunity with Asian wine consumers,” says Carroll.
of pack format options available within the brands/products,”
But it’s not just a case of getting BFWG wines in as many markets
he explains. “We are helping to educate consumers via serving
suggestions on back of pack and point of sale.” In terms of future challenges, Carroll describes them as “many
“For a business our size with finite resources, doing this in many countries is uneconomical so we focus on a small number
and varied”, stretching from declining consumption to changing
of priority markets and seek to overinvest to understand and
deliver to those customers.”
February 2020 | 35
Brown Family Wine Group
Brown-Forman: Riding the wave of quality drinks Brown-Forman continues to benefit from the ongoing trend of premiumisation – with consumers choosing to drink less but drink better.
When you think of Brown-Forman, you probably think of whiskey – and it’s no surprise to learn that leading brands like Jack Daniel’s continue to be the shining lights in the company’s portfolio. However, white spirits – and in particular, tequila and gin – have experienced a resurgence in recent years, and with BrownForman well represented in these categories, strong results are being posted beyond whiskey. “As we look outside of the whisk(e)y category and consider
Andy Kim Vice President, Interim Managing Director & Finance Director, Brown-Forman
“We have focused on building the advocacy and awareness of our brands, through tastings, trainings and increasing our presence at whisky shows. This has served these brands well and we will continue to build on this approach over the coming months and years.” Building successful brands
tequila, El Jimador and Herradura are both seeing high double-
The acquisition of the BenRiach distillery three years ago was a
digit growth,” says Vice President, Interim Managing Director,
significant moment in Brown-Forman’s history, and reflected a
and Finance Director at Brown-Forman Andy Kim. “Our white
renewed consumer interest in single malt Scotch. As the fourth
spirits portfolio is complemented this year with the recent
largest growth contributor to the glass spirits category in 2019,
purchase of Fords Gin. This is the first gin in the Brown-Forman
single malts are on the rise, and Kim says Brown-Forman “couldn’t
portfolio, with Australia being the first Brown-Forman global
be happier” with how the BenRiach portfolio (which also includes
market to assume direct distribution in late 2019.
Glendronach and Glenglassaugh) has performed, collectively tripling
“Gin continues to be the fastest growing category in spirits, so it is a wonderful time to introduce this premium gin into the marketplace.” Of course, brown liquor – and in particular American whiskey – is still central to Brown-Forman’s success. Beyond Jack Daniel’s, which was the focus of an above-the-line media campaign across
in size since the brands were acquired. What’s behind this success? “At Brown-Forman, our mission is to enrich the experience of life, in our own way, by responsibly building beverage alcohol brands that thrive and endure for generations.” Dark spirit RTDs are another growth category, and Brown-
Australia in 2019, Gentleman Jack and Woodford Reserve are also
Forman is capitalising on this with its Jack Daniel’s range of
on an “outstanding” growth trajectory.
premixes. Jack Daniel’s and Cola continues to be a hit (and is “still
“Gentleman Jack, which has seen low double-digit growth
the most consumed RTD flavour by far,” says Kim), but higher
over the year, continues to help drive category growth in Super
ABV propositions such as Jack Daniel’s Double Jack have also
Premium North American Whiskey. Furthermore, our premium
experienced big growth.
Kentucky Bourbon, Woodford Reserve, has had a phenomenal year, with double-digit growth.”
“The Jack Daniel’s Double Jack brand is a pioneer of the high ABV segment and a main driver of the category’s current and continued success,” says Kim. “With the success of our Double Jack & Cola variant, we launched our first flavour extension, Double Jack and Dry, in August last year. This product has been delivering positive results and has helped us to continue the momentum of this powerful brand.” Looking ahead, Kim expects the premiumisation trend to show no signs of slowing. “More consumers are drinking less but choosing higher quality drinking experiences and premium products. This change in drinking habits is evidenced by the dollar growth of premium options across all alcohol categories outperforming volume growth significantly.”
36 | National Liquor News
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Keeping a finger on the pulse of liquor retail Bucket Boys has opened its third retail location in Sydney stocking all the craft beer, wine and spirits they’ve been known for since 2016.
The western Sydney suburb of Penrith got a great Christmas present last year, their own Bucket Boys retail store. Opening its doors on High Street the weekend before Christmas, the Penrith
tap, so it’s a nice little community here.” Bucket Boys has come to really value community connections and has even
Johnathan Hepner Co-Founder Bucket Boys
accessibility to a wide range of consumers from the west to the city. With so much evolution and expansion
evolved its business goals in line with that
in a short amount of time, Bucket Boys
over the years.
aren’t slowing down now. The new Penrith
location is the third store in the Bucket
Hepner said that when he and Co-
Boys portfolio, which also includes two
founder Clint Elvin first teamed up to
neighbour High Street Social to redo their
bars. It’s been a relatively quick expansion,
create Marrickville’s Bucket Boys: “we
bottle list and provide four rotating taps.
with the original Marrickville store
were trying to create a place where we
Hepner also said there’s always more
opening in 2016, followed by the Darling
would have a selection that was kind of
plans in the works, even if nothing is set in
Square store and a pop-up co-op at
unrivalled in Sydney. So, it was all about
stone just yet.
Oxford Tavern last year.
finding weird and wonderful beers.”
What makes the Bucket Boys story unique is that each store at each location retains an individuality despite them all being under the same name. Co-founder Johnathan Hepner told National Liquor News that this contributes to Bucket Boys’ success. “Each location has to have something unique about it, to make people want to visit, and also it’s got to fit the area and fit the location,” Hepner said. For the new Penrith location, Hepner
“Our new thing for 2020 is going to be searching out alternative revenue streams, so we’re doing some research into same day and two-hour shipping with couriers so people can order online and do things faster.”
store has already partnered with its
In the meantime, the focus is to keep their finger on the pulse so they can continue chasing success in the evercompetitive retail environment. “The main thing for us is trying to figure out how to navigate what’s kind of a pretty hard and harsh retail climate these days. It’s rough trying to figure out what our customers want and how to get them to come in-store as opposed to visiting the big box retailers,” Hepner said.
But now? “We’ve put more of a focus
“Our new thing for 2020 is going to be
on building a community and supporting
searching out alternative revenue streams, so
said: “It’s right next door to all the BYO
local breweries, as opposed to just getting
we’re doing some research into same day and
restaurants and to High Street Social.
the coolest stuff.”
two-hour shipping with couriers so people
There’s kind of a built in social network
This aim also helped them choose
can order online and do things faster.”
already, so you can come and get beers
their store locations as they expanded.
and drink them while you have food, you
As it stands now, the Bucket Boys make a
stocking all the craft beer, wine and spirits
can go over next door and have things on
triangle with their stores, spread to give
they’ve been known for since 2016.
38 | National Liquor News
Bucket Boys Penrith store is open now,
Campari Australia turns challenges into opportunities Changing lifestyles and consumer habits will provide Campari Australia with innovative opportunities this year.
Simon Durrant Managing Director Campari Australia & New Zealand
Campari Australia’s Managing Director Simon Durrant described 2019 as an exciting year for the company. Aperol and the Negroni cocktail both celebrated 100 years, art and cocktails were fused with Sydney Contemporary, the Australian Open sponsorship continued, and Matthew McConaughey came to Australia with Wild Turkey. These highlights do not come without challenges, but the hurdles of last year and the year ahead are looked at in a positive light, as they present significant opportunities for the Campari portfolio. “The challenge this year has been keeping up with the
phenomenal growth of a highly competitive industry and the
introduction of increasingly diverse craft products,” Durrant said.
To maintain a competitive edge, Durrant said Campari Australia will focus on the immensely popular Aperitivo and Bourbon categories, but also lesser known yet exciting brands. He said: “Investment in innovation will continue in 2020, so we can continue refining our products and ensuring we cater to all tastes.” Campari Australia knows that consumer preferences are changing
“This is an opportunity for innovation and for drinks companies to promote existing, undiscovered brands which meet consumers’ evolving criteria,” said Durrant. “Campari’s portfolio is well suited to creating premium drinking experiences in this area through low ABV drinks such as Aperol, Riccadonna and Cinzano. The low ABV trend
premiumisation and lifestyle factors are strongly influencing
complements the emergence of quality single serve ready to drink
consumers right now, as they opt for a ‘less but better’ approach.
options, such as Campari Soda and the Wild Turkey range.” Durrant sees that a rising consumer interest in cocktail culture
“Firstly, our people. Within the industry, they remain a critical
has not only contributed to spirits category growth, but also to increased confidence to explore the category. “Looking ahead, there is scope for single serve pre-batch
driver of success. It is paramount that we attract, retain
cocktails to ensure consumers can inform themselves on the
and develop the very best talent within our industry and
strength of their cocktail.”
from external industries. By welcoming people with diverse backgrounds, we will benefit from new perspectives to old problems and innovative, diverse thinking, resulting in better financial returns. “This year, Campari Australia launched three diversity
Campari Australia plans to look at how it can minimise its impact on the environment using sustainable practices. “All businesses, irrespective of the industry, have an obligation to be socially responsible, including being environmentally conscious. Beyond this social obligation,
and inclusion streams and our Camparistas will continue to
consumers, investors and employees are actively supporting and
develop, brainstorm and implement initiatives in this space.
informing themselves about brands which act responsibly and in
While we are already seeing significant progression in inclusive
the best interests of the environment.”
leadership, this is an area in which the industry will need to continue improving in 2020.”
2020 will also see Campari Australia keep its focus on reducing water, gas and electricity consumption, to decrease its environmental footprint in manufacturing.
40 | National Liquor News
as drinking trends reflect, and they are angled to capitalise. Both
What the industry should focus on in 2020
Cape Byron Distillery
Cape Byron Distillery’s passion for sustainability Nestled in rainforest of the Byron Bay hinterland, Co-founder Eddie Brook is focusing on the sustainable growth of Cape Byron Distillery.
Eddie Brook Co-founder Cape Byron Distillery
Eddie Brook and Jim McEwan
It was a big year of growth and rapid development at Cape Byron Distillery in 2019, according to Co-founder Eddie Brook. The company expanded from 15 to 26 employees, production volume doubled from the previous year and more export countries were brought on board. It also marked a new chapter for the distillery with the start of its whisky program, with renowned distiller and industry legend Jim McEwan. Given all of this, Cape Byron Distillery was extremely pleased with the results of 2019 as a whole, and are looking to 2020 for more sustainable growth and development in the business. “In mid-2020 we will see our new sustainable rainforest whisky
The excise tax
warehouse coming online which will give us the ability to increase
Brook said the excise tax is a major factor impacting the
our storage capacity,” Brook said. “To match this added storage
future of the industry, and should be debated in 2020.
capacity, we will be increasing our production ability with a new
“Two times each year the tax is increased and most
much larger second still which will give us the ability for a six-fold
Australian suppliers would not pass this on due to push back
increase in distillation.”
from customers. As a result the only choice is to absorb the
One of the predicted challenges of this surrounds the Brookie’s Slow Gin, made with the native Davidson plum of which supply is limited. Describing the issue, Brook said: “In the last 12 months we
margin and reducing the opportunity for Australian producers to reinvest in the growth of their business,” Brook said. “We saw the increase in the excise refund scheme for craft distilleries however we are still a long way away from the
consumed 12 tonne of Davidson plum, and in the coming 12
level of support that strong industries such as the Australian
months we will be needing 24 tonne. The supply of this is purely
wine industry receives. The premium spirit industry of Australia
down to building strong relationships with the native food growers
is growing at a strong pace and we need the government to
in Australia and working closely with them so they can scale up.”
aid the longevity of our industry.”
Positive interactions with the land like this are especially important to Cape Byron Distillery, given the Brook family’s background in farming. In 2019 they released Mac, a macadamia and
rainforest and macadamia farm) so we will be able to cultivate
wattle seed liqueur, which (like the original Brookie’s Gin products)
some new future botanicals and native ingredients.”
was made using ingredients from the local area and Brookfarm itself. Brook said this is an ideal that will be continued into 2020,
Throughout any growth, changes or new products that Cape Byron Distillery sees this year, one thing they will remain
as they explore the use of more “cool and tasty” local and native
committed to is sustainability. Growing up surrounded by family-
ingredients in future releases.
planted rainforest, Brook said it’s important for drinks producers
“We are blessed with an abundance of incredible native Australian produce in the Northern Rivers and we get excited
to better the environment and their community. He said: “I believe as an industry we should look at some
about showcasing native Australian produce and flavours in
benchmarks to achieve for energy usage and moving to clean
spirits that consumers have never tried,” Brook said.
energy, waste minimisation, putting pressure back through our
“As a side family project, we will be investing in the production of our own native food orchard (secondary to our current 42 | National Liquor News
supply chain for more sustainable and recycled materials, in an attempt to have a positive impact on our environment.”
Where the art of winemaking meets the science of discovery. At Tamar Ridge, our rewards donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come in the form of Nobel Prizes for science or artworks hung in the National Gallery. Our reward is the wine itself. And our biggest incentive is to continue producing some of the most elegant and exciting Pinot Noir in the world.
Coopers embrace a ‘can’ do attitude Coopers has had another year of solid growth, thanks to further product developments. Director Marketing and Innovation, Cam Pearce, reflected on what role this will play into 2020.
Coopers had a great year in 2019, recording solid growth that saw
Cam Pearce Director Marketing and Innovation Coopers
its total beer sales rise by two per cent since the previous financial
2019 in a nutshell
year. Like the year before, new releases were largely responsible
Pearce said that “2019 was a solid year” for Coopers, with
for such growth, both in product and format.
thanks to some key areas summarised below.
Cam Pearce, Director Marketing and Innovation at Coopers,
Can expansion: Coopers now has released eight products
said a significant expansion into the can format has proved vital
in cans, thanks to great success it’s had with the format. “The
for both Coopers’ bottom line and interest in the brand.
introduction of cans has reinvigorated interest in Coopers’
“The introduction of Coopers Original Pale Ale in cans has played a significant role in this success with the new format being
range of ales.” Malting plant: The malting plant that opened in late 2017
positively received by retailers and consumers. Importantly,
is now operating at full capacity and normal profitability after
its introduction had minimal impact on bottle sales and
high barley prices impacted it in 2018. “In March, Coopers’
reinvigorated interest in our highest volume product,” Pearce said.
new malting plant was named equal best in the world by an
“Pale Ale’s introduction in cans in 2018 strongly boosted interest in the product and led the way for the expansion of our can portfolio… Cans now comprise an important component in our sales and is an area that is expected to grow.” With such success in a bolstered range of cans, the immediate focus
international jury drawn from members of the global brewing supply chain.” Brewing talent: Seven more employees have earned international qualifications through the UK’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling. “This brought the number of qualified brewers at
for Coopers in 2020 will be to consolidate their product portfolio, with
Coopers to 13, making it arguably the most technically qualified
Pearce identifying the need to investigate new opportunities.
brewery in Australia per litre of beer produced.”
“Product development will also be a major area of work, given the growing interest in new beer styles and flavours. For example, the introduction of XPA has been a great success for us and shows how Coopers is staying ahead in an increasingly competitive brewing environment,” Pearce said “Obtaining sales growth in the current Australian beer market is a significant challenge. Total beer volume in Australia has been declining for a number of years.”
Another area of opportunity is surrounding seasonal releases, with an extra special seasonal brew planned for Coopers this year. Pearce said: “Coopers releases Vintage Ale each year which provides an annual focus on the ability of our brewers, led by Dr Tim Cooper who is our Chief Brewer as well as our Managing Director. “In 2020, we will celebrate the 20th release of Vintage Ale and will be looking at something special to mark the occasion.” But while everything seems to be positive at Coopers, there’s one major issue that the brewery thinks the industry should be focused on in 2020. “Excise on beer remains a key topic,” said Pearce. “Tax now makes up almost 42 per cent of the cost of an average carton of beer. Australian beer drinkers pay $2.23 in tax per litre of packaged beer, the fourth highest rate in the world.” Compare that to a rate of 12 cents a litre in Germany or even $1.18 in New Zealand, along with the fact the rate is indexed twice yearly with GST added, and it’s easy to see the issue for Australian brewers like Coopers.
44 | National Liquor News
Bold, fearless and full of character The man behind the freshly launched Buckley’s Rye Whisky from Crafty Buggers, Hugh Roxburgh, said they’re all about doing things differently, just like the character that inspired the whisky’s name.
Crafty Buggers Founder, Hugh Roxburgh, held the very first
Hugh Roxburgh Founder Crafty Buggers
What should the industry focus on in 2020?
bottle of Buckley’s Rye Whisky in his hands in 2019. The whisky is the debut offering from the company and Roxburgh said this was undoubtedly the main highlight of the year. It was a five year journey to get to that point though, and
“I think brands need to
Roxburgh said the biggest challenges are yet to come.
stand for something. I think
“It feels like all the work to date was like getting to Everest base
consumers are becoming
camp. That was the easy part. Now I realise the huge challenge
more discerning in their
ahead and the enormous mountain that needs to be climbed,”
purchases. They want
brands that are socially and
“But it’s been an incredible journey so far and I’ve met some
amazing and passionate people in the industry. I’m really grateful
Unfortunately there are not
that these people have been willing to back Buckley’s Rye Whisky
more mainstream brands
and get behind it.”
willing to take on risks and
Part of the challenge that Crafty Buggers predicts surrounds
the need to build consumer awareness about what a rye whisky is. However, Roxburgh said this is also one of the greatest opportunities for Buckley’s. “Rye whisky has an incredible flavour and it’s hugely
With spear in hand, the Wathaurong tribe believed Buckley with his pale skin was the reincarnation of the spear’s owner and so adopted him as one of their own. He lived among them
underrated. It’s with good reason that Jim Murray, the world
for 32 years and Roxburgh said when Buckley emerged, he was
renowned whisky critic, has nominated a rye or rye-based
“bold, fearless and full of character, just like the rye whisky
whisky as his ‘World Whisky of the Year’, four out of the last
that bears his name.”
eight years,” Roxburgh said. He continued, and said that the liquid “also has an incredible
The Buckley’s story will drive a lot of opportunity in the New Year, as Roxburgh said: “Our focus over 2020 is to continue to
story… It was the first whisky to be drunk in Australia, brought
grow the brand of Buckley’s Rye Whisky. The brand has to be built
here on the US trading ship ‘The Hope’ by Benjamin Page on
from the ground up and this means pounding the pavement and
Christmas Eve, 1792. This led to one hell of a Christmas party, it
wearing out the shoe leather.”
kicked off the dodgy dealings of the NSW Corps and eventually led to the ousting of the colony’s governor.” The love of a good story is also a huge driver behind the
He continued: “When you start a business, you are always an underdog. The odds are already stacked against us. However, there is also a lot of value is being an underdog and we need to use this
branding of Buckley’s Rye Whisky. The name comes from one of
to our advantage… no one knows a lot about us but that gives us
Australia’s first underdogs, William Buckley, a wrongly accused
an opportunity to surprise people.”
English convict who escaped from a Port Phillip settlement and disappeared into unforgiving bushland. “His chances of survival? Buckley’s. After weeks of wandering he was exhausted and on the brink of starvation. However, just as
In terms of hopes for the future, Roxburgh wants to continue to create a premium rye whisky that is accessible, and see the category itself grow in popularity. “There are a few rye whiskies already available here in
he thought his luck was up he happened upon a spear marking a
Australia and that’s great because this will help build awareness
grave,” Roxburgh said.
and hopefully see the category grow as a whole,” he said.
February 2020 | 45
Innovation the key to De Bortoli’s success The accolades and awards keep rolling in for De Bortoli, and according to the winemaking company’s Managing Director Darren De Bortoli, it is constant innovation that is central to this success.
Darren De Bortoli Managing Director De Bortoli
One thing that all great companies share is a commitment to innovation, and the courage to push boundaries. That can certainly be said for De Bortoli, which continues to be recognised for its contributions to innovation in winemaking. It’s no surprise to hear from Darren De Bortoli, the company’s Managing Director, that a major highlight of the year was being named one of Australia’s most innovative companies on the Australian Financial Review’s ‘Most Innovative Companies List’, for the packaging and marketing of its popular Rosé Rosé. “Another highlight was Black Noble One being named one of the world’s top 10 fortified wines in the 2019 Global Fortified Masters blind tasting competition,” De Bortoli adds.
“Without a doubt, the foreseeable challenges are the fast-changing consumer landscape, the continuous escalating costs of grapes and wine production and climate change, which hit us and the broader industry over the past year.” An innovative approach
record high temperatures and the unprecedented bush fire season. “Despite these challenges our family and the entire De Bortoli team remain firmly focused and passionate about continuing to deliver our father Deen’s vision to provide quality wines with reasonable prices that can be enjoyed by everyone.” He also echoes the sentiments of many in the industry when it comes to the consumer trends he thinks will shape the market in 2020, highlighting premiumisation and health and wellness as key
De Bortoli credits their success to a constant push for innovation,
considerations. However, he doesn’t stop there, and his insights
which he describes as a key focus for the company.
about sustainability in the wake of the recent bushfires make for
“Aiming for ‘fully integrated innovation’ ensures that we look at everything through an innovative lens, from the wine taste and
interesting discussion points. “The effects of this fire season will be reflected in heightened
colour to the packaging as achieved in our Rosé Rosé bottle and
consumer expectations of businesses’ sustainability efforts which
closure,” he says. “It is this synergy that connects the consumer
will increasingly be considered in their purchasing decisions.”
with us, our brand and the product. This also drives us to continually develop new and exciting wine styles that will inspire our customers and we have been finding different ways to enjoy our favourite wines.” However, De Bortoli acknowledges that 2019 wasn’t without its challenges when it comes to changes in the consumer landscape, escalating production costs, and climate change. “Without a doubt, the foreseeable challenges are the fast-
According to De Bortoli, another thing is for certain too: the rosé craze isn’t slowing down anytime soon. “Consumers are definitely still loving rosé with many more people continuing to discover it, so the market is certainly still growing and unlikely to slow for the foreseeable future. “The rosé category is growing at double-digits, with De Bortoli’s rosés growing even faster than the market at +24.6 per cent vs +21.5 per cent (MAT 17/11/2019). Further growth
changing consumer landscape, the continuous escalating costs
through innovation is planned by building on our current
of grapes and wine production and climate change, which hit us
widespread offering of rosés to suit the many different occasions
and the broader industry over the past year through the drought,
and palates of our diverse consumer base.”
46 | National Liquor News
Craft Beer-Barians Storm the Gate Nathan receives a call from his beer rep to let him know he has a case of limited edition Juicy as Phuck New England IPA a beer that resulted when a piece of rotten fruit fell out of a brewer’s beard while he was attempting to express how terrible mainstream music is in liquid form.
Fear grips Nathan as he posts to social media to announce the new arrival, “Get down to Liquor Barons Ocean Reef tomorrow for this limited edition IPA; we only have 1 carton so strictly 1 can each! First in best dressed, NO HOLDS” News of the legendary beer sends ripples through the hipster-verse. Nathan knows all too well that exclusivity is paramount in the realm in the beer snob. After all, every faux-flanno wearing hop-wanker wants to be the first to write a review of why the beer is overrated, despite the fact they’d go full Dustin Martin on their own mothers to get a can. Thanks to the joys of recent fatherhood, Nathan manages just a few hours sleep before getting up for work the following day. He pulls into the carpark and notices the entrance to his shop has been transformed into a stout-whisker shanty town. As he snakes past sleeping bags & camping chairs he thinks to himself, “who the hell would queue overnight for a beer”, then he remembers, this is Perth. Nathan is bombarded with unanswerable questions ranging from whether the water used was “fair trade” to whether the earthy tones are “biscuity or bready”. Suddenly, a beer-beret wearing dissident bails Nathan up, “you said no holds mahn, and I only count 20 cans”. Chaos breaks out as Nathan is accused of crimes against beer-manity.
While explaining he put some aside for his brother in law he hears a whisper from the rabble, “I hear he keeps a stash in the cool room”. Out of the corner of his eye, he spots a malt-muncher with hooped earlobes slip into the fridge and begin rummaging around like Idiot-ana Jones in search of the holy fail. He manages to stop this particular raid but is forced to pull a staff member away from stock-take to stand guard over the remaining tins.
retail banner group of the year
2011 . 2014 . 2015 . 2017
Frankly, this is a step backward for humanity. Later in the day, Nathan’s wife pops in with the kids to say hi. He holds his kids, points at the hipster trying to bribe his staff member with a shout out on his beer blog. He takes the opportunity to impart some fatherly wisdom, “please don’t end up like this kids”.
We encourage and embrace our stores individuality, visit liquorbarons.com.au for more great stories.
Delivering world class brands Drinkworks General Manager Judd Michel said they will leverage their strong portfolio of brands and team to excite trade and consumers in 2020.
Judd Michel General Manager Drinkworks
After a successful 2019, Drinkworks is
Monteith’s Crushed Apple Cider. The brands
looking forward to the year ahead, where
have been bright spots in a declining cider
General Manager Judd Michel sees the
category, recording exciting growth and
highlights of last year driving a strong
traction that’s easy to be proud of.
start to 2020.
Setting the brands apart from
With beer brands Sol, Tiger and
competitors in the category is Drinkworks’
Monteiths all delivering great things in
focus on quality. As Michel said, “All our
2019, a solid foundation has been built for
cider products are made in Nelson at a
Drinkworks to leverage throughout this year.
world class cidery facility, using the finest
“Our major opportunities this year
ingredients. We make all our ciders from
are refreshing our Monteith’s craft beer
freshly pressed Nelson apples and not
portfolio as a fantastic, easy drinking
from concentrate like some competitors
range of craft beers. We are focusing on
within the market.”
our latest launch of Tiger Crystal which
For all brands and products,
is a lower ABV and cold filtered to deliver
Drinkworks will be utilising everything
a highly sessionable premium beer that
they have to deliver the best quality to
doesn’t compromise on taste.”
trade and consumer customers.
Tiger Crystal’s launch, for example, is
refreshing lager that doesn’t compromise on
“As with every market player, we will
on track for further success, catering to
taste. It’s brewed using a unique crystal cold
have an even bigger digital focus across
consumer desire for a crisp and refreshing
filtration brewing process, which filters the
our portfolio of brands,” Michel said.
beverage on a hot Australian day.
beer at below zero degrees, locking in the
“As always, we will be exciting
Michel described its point of difference: “Tiger Crystal is an easy-drinking, premium, lighter, cold filtered beer which delivers a
Consumer trends to watch in 2020
purest flavours and aromas. “So far, we have had a really positive
consumers with our world class brand portfolio and delivering world class
reception from consumers who have tried
service to our trade partners and
Tiger Crystal as well as our customers
customers through our field sales and
and the launch is going really well. We are
retail account teams.”
really excited to widen our distribution in
This is helped along by Drinkworks’
“Innovation is occurring at a serious
2020 and get more consumers to trial and
connection to DB Breweries and the
pace both globally as well as in
uncage their next thirst with Tiger Crystal.”
Heineken Company, in which Michel
Australia with NPD launching across
The Drinkworks portfolio will also
said they are “extremely fortunate to have
all alcohol categories. A few key
be one to watch elsewhere in the beer
access to best in class technology as well
areas that are showing strong
category throughout 2020, with continued
as an amazing innovation and marketing
growth signs for the year and further
investment behind a world class premium
team to support our brands”.
years to come are lower and mid
collection of brands including Tiger, Sol
ABV alcohol, sessionable craft and
mainstream beer, and seltzers and RTD innovation.”
Another area of focus for 2020 will be the cider category, where Drinkworks will build on the momentum of Orchard Thieves and
48 | National Liquor News
“We have had a really positive reception from consumers who have tried Tiger Crystal.”
Good things ahead for Good Drinks The Good Drinks team is looking forward to flying the indie beer flag and staying ahead of the curve in 2020.
Aaron Heary Chief Operating Officer Good Drinks
When Good Drinks Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Operating Officer Aaron Heary reflects on 2019, he thinks of the investments across the business that will deliver benefits over the coming years. Highlights of the year come in many forms, with several products doing particularly well, including the limited edition throwback beer to celebrate 15 years of brewing. “We dusted off the old recipes, gave them a touch-up and released Small Batch Lager in a striking 500ml special release can. We’re really pleased with how that beer is tasting and it’s been received really well out in trade.” Other products that did well over the year included the Single Fin Summer Ale, which Heary said was “one of the fastest
15 years of good beer
growing craft beer brands in the country”, and Side Track All Day
Good Drinks, which includes the brands of Gage Roads
XPA, which is “already proving to be a summer favourite”.
Brewing, Atomic Beer Project, Matso’s Broome Brewery and
Beyond the products themselves, an exciting moment of last year was the Atomic Beer Project’s Redfern brewery and taproom venue getting council approval. “It’s coming along really well and construction is underway…
Alby, celebrated 15 years last year. “We’ve learnt so much, the market continues to evolve, and you must keep pace and continually challenge the business and change things up. It’s been great to reflect on our history and
we have some of the best people in hospitality involved in that
to see how much the craft beer space changed in that time. It’s
project,” said Heary.
exciting to have a range of brands and products that service
“It was really important for us to work closely with the local community as well. It’s going to be a small brewery and venue that
the full beer market and deliver solutions to our customers. “I think over the years John Hoedemaker (Managing
the Redfern locals will feel is their own. We believe that a home will
Director) and I have come to realise that you can’t do
help grow the Atomic Beer Project brand across Sydney too. We’re
everything yourself, you need the best people around you to
hoping the first beer will be poured in the opening half of 2020.”
achieve what you set out, and over the past few years we
Another goal of 2020 for Good Drinks is to deliver strong margins to customers, through brand awareness and distribution.
have built a team of amazing people who we think can take us to the next level in the 2020s.”
Heary said: “No doubt it’s a challenging environment with the continued pressure from the big guys that control 90 per cent of the beer market. However, consumer sentiment continues to progress toward independent and locally produced beer.” Indeed, the conversation about independence is hotter than
Independent Brewers Association (IBA) will be built on in 2020. “The launch of the Indie Seal was a big success and has now been adopted on the packaging of most independent brewers. This year, the IBA launched Indie Beer Day around the country to celebrate
ever, with growing consumer interest in where products come
independent beer with huge participation and engagement across the
from and who makes them. Good Drinks is proud of their story
country on social media and in participating venues,” Heary said.
and their independence, so are well positioned in this trend.
“The rollout of the Indie Beer supporters seal (for venues
But Heary said there is more work to be done on growing
stocking indie beer) has been launched this year so now there is a
awareness about independent brands, both to consumers and to
great platform to continue to grow awareness of indie beer so that
retailers. He said it will be great to see how the recent work of the
will certainly be a topic of conversation moving forward.”
February 2020 | 49
Good Pair Days
Reimagining the bottle shop experience Good Pair Days is bringing the next generation of wine retail to life, making the discovery of wine more fun, more accessible, more educational, and more joyously inclusive for its members.
It’s been a solid 12 months of growth for online wine retailer, Good Pair Days. After raising $2 million in funding in late 2018, the business which initially launched as The Wine Gallery, not only
“We’re really hoping to try our take on what a reimagined bottle shop, led by tech, could look and feel like.”
rebranded and launched a new website and app, but it also won best Online Liquor Retailer at the Retail Drinks Australia Awards. Good Pair Days was founded in 2015 by world-renowned Sommelier Banjo Harris Plane and his friends Humberto Moreira and Tom Walenkamp, with the purpose of simplifying the way people shopped for wine. Harris Plane told National Liquor News that although the Good Pair Days team has barely caught their breath from 2019, they have no plans of slowing down. “We’ve got a lot planned,” he said. “We’re working directly with winemakers to pass our customer insights back to them to help produce wines our members will love. “We’re building phase 2.0 of our app with even more userfocused features. We’re doubling down on our education to really
a good place to start to get the word out because we recently we
help members learn more about wine as they go on their journey
passed the 15,000 unique customer mark.”
with us. We’re really hoping to try our take on what a reimagined bottle shop, led by tech, could look and feel like.” The guys have come a long way since launching in 2015, when they stocked fewer than 20 wines. and were mostly selling to friends. “We originally launched about four years ago on shoestring budget with a very simple site, but with the same grand ambition
Kicking goals When we asked Harris Plane about what it takes to make a great online retailer, his answer was that you “need to have a mission”. And being named the 2019 Online Liquor Retailer of the Year gave them the confidence to keep chasing their mission.
to open up the wonderful world of wine. To make the discovery
“It meant the world to us. After all the hard work we had been
of exceptional bottles of wines more fun, more accessible, more
doing to bring our vision for the next generation of wine retail to
educational, and more joyously inclusive.
life, and to have the liquor industry recognise and appreciate what
“Since those early days of packing wine in the corner of a coworking space we’ve come a long way. We’ve gone from hacked together spreadsheets with wine notes and customer ratings to what we think is one of the most advanced wine websites in the world,” says Harris Plane. “We’ve gone from stocking fewer than 20 wines, all bought through distributors to having more than 200 bottles available at any one time, with the majority bought directly from the winemakers, passing the benefits back to them directly as much as possible. “And in the early days we pretty much had friends, family, our mums and dads as our main customers, which must have been 50 | National Liquor News
we’ve built through this award meant a lot. “It really gave us confidence that we are on the right track and to keep chasing after our mission. “To get to square one today, you have to be laser focussed on user experience and customer service. They are a must. But more than that you must have a mission, stand for something, a reason to justify why you exist. For us it’s making wine more accessible to everyone. “A bit closer to home in industries that can overwhelm with the vast amounts of choice available at the click of a button, we really believe curation and personalisation are invaluable to our customers.”
An exciting start for Halewood Australia Five months after Halewood entered the Australian market, Managing Director Lawrence Williamson said it’s full steam ahead into the new year.
Originating from the UK, craft producer Halewood Wines &
Lawrence Williamson Managing Director Halewood Australia
Spirits landed on Australian shores in mid-2019. In this short
time they’ve had great success, launching imported spirit brands
and becoming the owner of local producer, Ironbark Distillery.
With portfolio growth a key focus for Halewood in the
Met with great support from the industry, Halewood Australia’s
next year, here’s some product
Managing Director Lawrence Williamson said the challenges faced
releases to watch for.Willow,
since entering Australia illustrate a promising future for the company.
low ABV spirit
“We have had fantastic results with national listings gained across
the Coles estate and key partnerships and listings gained with banner
Dead Man’s Fingers, Hemp Rum
groups such as Liquor Legends, Liquor Stax and IBA who have all
American Eagle, Four Year
been very supportive of our brands already,” Williamson said.
“The challenges very much are logistics as we are importing all of
Gelstons, Irish Whiskey
our stock from the UK, with the exception of Ironbark, and the lead times are therefore hard to manage but we have worked through this and been able to deliver on the listings gained. Challenges around meeting customer orders are nice problems to have at least.” Logistical challenges present great opportunity for Halewood
of drinks, which Halewood can cater to with its diverse portfolio. They predict the ‘ginaissance’ will continue, largely due to consumers exploring new ways to serve the spirit. “We have seen the UK trends in flavoured gin start to
going into 2020. There will be a focus on portfolio growth in the New
flow through to this market and this represents the biggest
Year, with the launch of Dead Man’s Fingers Hemp Rum, American
opportunity. We have seen Whitley Neill become the UK’s
Eagle Four Year Old Bourbon and Gelstons Irish Whiskey.
number one premium gin due to being the market leader in this
“The biggest opportunity is very much maximising the distribution we have gained in a very short period of time whilst continuing to grow our portfolio,” said Williamson. “The rate of sale we have seen already is very high, so this shows the size of the opportunity particularly in the gin, rum and whisky categories where we have significant listings already.”
category,” Williamson said. “In Australia this may also be driven by the Spritz movement which we see continuing to grow and we are also very excited to see the Gin and Soda movement.” Another key trend to watch is the rising popularity of low and no alcohol products. This is an area that Halewood already has a
This portfolio growth mindset is also leading Halewood to
major stake in across beer, wine and spirits for the UK market, and
invest more heavily into Ironbark Distillery, after a relaunch with
one they will be expanding into Australia in the coming 12 months.
new packaging in late 2019. This will be built on in 2020 with plans for a distillery bar already underway. Williamson said: “When looking at new markets, the business is very much wanting to not only import our brands but to
Williamson said they are “incredibly supportive of the responsible drinking strategy, as shown by our brand Eisberg being the largest alcohol free wine brand in the UK”. “We also have brought out an alcohol free beer offering in the
invest in the local market as demonstrated by our investment in
UK with Hawkshead Brewery and we are looking at bringing
Ironbark. We are a family owned business and we place significant
Willow CBD, a low ABV spirit at 0.5 per cent, to Australia.”
value in the importance of having a local network in our markets.”
These first five months of Halewood Australia are just a taste
Trends in drinks consumption will also be a driver for Halewood’s
of what’s to come. With a fierce determination to overcome any
strategy in 2020. The recent popularity of spirits in Australia has
challenges that come their way, it seems like growth for their
encouraged new consumers to the category and to try different types
brands is inevitable for 2020.
February 2020 | 51
Independent Liquor Group
ILG builds a strong future In 2020, the three key words for Independent Liquor Group will be growth, culture and future proofing, as they look to build a strong future
RETAIL & WHOLESALE
With a successful entrance into the Victorian
“Our purpose for the next 12 months is to focus
market and the launch of a new premium
on growth, culture and future proofing ILG in
banner in NSW; 2019 was a strong year for the
QLD, NSW and VIC for all independents.”
Independent Liquor Group (ILG). And according to CEO Paul Esposito, that momentum will
The importance of cooperatives
continue into 2020 as the cooperative works to
“We will continue to drive our vision and be a
ensure the continued success of its independent
sustainable cooperative that provides competitive
pricing and best practices to our members. We
Esposito told National Liquor News that 2020
will also be focusing on membership and making
will see continued growth in value, volume and
sure that all independent retailers understand that
membership across Queensland, New South Wales
a cooperative is a organisation that is owned and
controlled by its members.
The rollout of the successful premium Fleet Street
“We are Australia’s largest member owned
banner will continue, with 20 stores expected to be
liquor cooperative. Our objective is to provide
operating by the end of 2020. And ILG’s footprint
cheaper goods and services for our members,
in Victoria will grow, with numerous new members
and we can deliver this with membership growth
already in the final stages of joining ILG and Wayne
and scale. Our profits are distributed back to our
Taylor has been employed as Business Development
members not shareholders.
Executive for VIC.
compete effectively through better buying power.
numbers, with six stores operating in NSW over the
“Australia’s retail landscape is dominated by
festive season, all showing good growth in sales and
three major players that report to shareholders.
foot traffic,” says Esposito.
The ILG shareholders are our members and our The risk we face with the ‘big three major players’ is
Brisbane over the next few weeks. We envisage
their dominance on pricing and supply. “The best way to safeguard independent retailers
will have close to 20 stores operating by the end
is for more independent retailers to join the
52 | National Liquor News
CEO Independent Liquor Group
dividends are distributed within the membership.
NSW, and we will be launching our first store in with the current interest in the marketplace, ILG
“ILG gives independent retailers the ability to
“Our Fleet Street banner group is growing in
“We currently have six more in the works for
“Our purpose for the next 12 months is to focus on growth, culture and future proofing ILG in QLD, NSW and VIC for all independents.”
Pictured: The ILG family went on tour to Vienna to Budapest in 2019
O D D LY I N F U S E D w i t h BER M U RO S E a n d C U C PLEASE ENJOY THE UNUS UAL RESPONSIBLY PLEASE ENJOY THE UNUSUAL RESPONSIBLY
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Independent Liquor Retailers
ILR delivers strongest results in six years ILR’s Queensland expansion has been a huge success and paved the way for a 9.8 per cent growth in income in 2019.
Independent Liquor Retailers (ILR) has enjoyed its
freight etc. I believe it is important that we put
most successful result in six years, growing to 423
our focus on best cost price for members to be
members across NSW, ACT and Queensland and
competitive in today’s market.
delivering 9.8 per cent growth in income.
“Partner that with our other need, which is to
General Manager Corey Leeson told National
continue to expand our data capture to ensure we
Liquor News that the expansion into Queensland has
are understanding what is happening at store level
been a major factor in ILR’s growth, having yielded
and use that data to build the best promotional
more than 50 members in the first 12 months.
program for our members.”
“We have really found our niche and will continue
When it comes to trends, Leeson says that
to expand our focus on this region to power our
he’s noticed people’s repertoires are expanding
growth. Our Liquor & Co banner has been the most
but shoppers are also wanting to support
well received with its contemporary branding and
customised marketing. We aim to get this to 75 members and secure some larger pub groups.” But the year has not been without its challenges,
“Consumers like to try new things which is why product innovation is so important to support. There is also a movement towards supporting locally
with a membership base that is strong in regional
produced products such as craft beer, gin and wine.
areas there have been many that are heavily affected
This has led to the need to make our promotional
by drought and bushfires. Leeson says that ILR
programs more relevant to regions within NSW, ACT
will work with these members to ensure that they
and Queensland. So, we have divested our marketing
“survive and then thrive once things settle down”.
into five specific regions to allow for this.
He also highlights that a growth in competition,
“I see opportunities in tailoring our marketing to
increasing costs, a shift to online retail and a decline
the right consumers with the right product and the
in consumption, have all presented challenges.
right occasion. Being smarter with how we promote
“ILR’s focus in 2020 is getting back to our core values of ensuring we are securing the right cost of goods and delivering the right margin to our
and use data to ensure what we do has the desired increase in sales and profit.” So, with continued growth in Queensland and a
members. With the impending increases in stock
more targeted approach to ranging and promotions,
costs due to CDS, CPI, low wine yields, drought,
it looks set to be another strong year for ILR.
54 | National Liquor News
“I believe it is important that we put our focus on best cost price for members to be competitive in today’s market.” Corey Leeson General Manager Independent Liquor Retailers
Kollaras & Co
Kollaras & Co cruising into more growth The key pillars of export, independent retail and cruise have contributed to a positive year at Kollaras & Co. and will continue to be focused on into 2020, as Managing Director John Kollaras says.
With five new wines, four new spirits brands and two successful range extensions launched in the past 12 months, 2019 was a busy
year for Kollaras & Co.
In 2020, their 60th year of operation, Managing Director John
Our distribution centre at Albion Park Rail in NSW has delivered record performance in terms of volume
Kollaras said there will be a continued focus on strengthening this
imported, packaged and shipped – All whilst achieving
portfolio. Describing their 2020 motto as “fewer, bigger, better,” the company will focus on wine supply as they meet the demand for
John Kollaras Managing Director Kollaras & Co
DIFOT levels north of 95 per cent. ➤
We were particularly pleased with the awards our brands
the three key pillars that have been contributing to YOY growth;
won which provided a real boost to sales, with a total tally
export, independent retail, and cruise.
of 97 medals.
Kollaras said: “You can expect to see focus on priority
Export business units launched two new market specific
brands like Two Truths, Mo-Town and Riunite, with an
brand entries, designed exclusively for key customers and
emphasis on generating consumer awareness, trial, and
their core consumers.
optimising retail positioning. “Importantly, we will work to further strengthen our brand
2019 has seen an influx of key talent to the organisation with extensive industry experience and quality
portfolio through strategic innovation, enhanced global agency
reputations, bolstering our capability in Brand Marketing,
partnerships, and proactive rationalisation of less relevant
Export, and Technology.
products. Whilst I can’t give much away, 2020 is set to be a landmark year of innovation.” One of these opportunities was the continued move into global markets, with the aim of “expansion… always, in all ways,”
already delivering strong results.” Meanwhile, the core pillar of independent retail is focused on
according to Kollaras. Being a long-term partner of major cruise
giving “independents the ability to compete with authenticity
companies, Kollaras & Co has extended this supplier relationship
to USA and Asian cruise markets. Kollaras exclusively told National Liquor News in 2019 that they will be pouring on the first ever Virgin Voyages ship in early
“This strategy is about future proofing independent operators and all we need is their buy in; we’ve been passionate about this since our conception,” Kollaras said.
2020. He said: “Our focus is to continue driving our distribution
In order to do this, Kollaras & Co understand the need to be
footprint and consumer recruitment into our portfolio, which is
abreast of consumer trends, while angling to be in a position to cater to them. And they’re doing this already too, for example, by introducing a spirits portfolio to offer competitive prices in emerging categories, as well as recognising shifts in consumer behaviour and lifestyles. With a finger firmly on the pulse, Kollaras & Co knows what will be successful in 2020. Kollaras says that: “Discovery and experimentation are key drivers of millennial and luxury consumer choices. We see that shoppers are increasingly seeking out unique and interesting products, not only for their own exploratory needs… But for those ‘Instagrammable’ moments.”
56 | National Liquor News
A year of opportunity ahead for Lion 2020 is set to be a year of innovation for Lion with a strong focus on customer experience, according to Managing Director James Brindley.
2020 is shaping up as another exciting year of opportunity for the liquor industry in Australia, as it is for Lion. The year before was also full of highlights, but Lion’s Managing Director James Brindley said they were experienced alongside an
James Brindley Managing Director Lion
announcement that Brindley said has been received really positively. “It’s the ultimate three-way win: good for our customers, good for the environment, and good for Lion,” he said. “We have committed to sourcing all our electricity from
ongoing challenge that has been all too present in the minds of
renewable sources by 2025, but we are offsetting our remaining
organisational footprint from this year to put us in a carbon
“The ongoing drought, and severe bushfires have had a significant impact at both ends of our supply chain,” said Brindley. Lion, which recently announced a suite of bushfire relief
neutral position. Reducing our total carbon emissions continues to be the number one priority, and we will have a relentless focus on energy efficiency and biogas optimisation in 2020.”
initiatives to the value of $1 million, has long held a commitment
An environmental focus is just one of the ways that Brindley
to environmental sustainability. Brindley said that they are “really
says: “Lion is fortunate to now be part of an incredible network
proud to lead the industry with this commitment” and it should
of breweries and other beverage businesses – in Australia and
be a key factor for discussion in 2020.
around the world – all focused on doing the right thing by the
This year Lion has committed to becoming carbon neutral, an
communities in which they operate.” Another way Lion will contribute to communities this year is by supporting the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Australia’s longest running charity to support those living with HIV. The Foundation will receive sales proceeds from Brooklyn Brewery’s Stonewall IPA, set to be released early this year in time for Mardi Gras. Joining the IPA will be other interesting releases across Lion’s portfolio, thanks to increased innovation efforts. Brindley said: “Lion is really focused on new avenues for growth in addition to our leading beer portfolio. Craft spirits,
Lion’s 2019 highlights Extended focus on craft spirits, energised by new
non-alcoholic beverages and alcoholic seltzers will give us a really diverse offering.” Pushing this diversification is increased consumer demand
partnerships with Four Pillars Gin, recently awarded world’s
for drinks that are “better for you”. Within Lion’s portfolio, the
best gin, and Vanguard Luxury Brands.
continued strength and growth of XXXX Gold, Iron Jack and
Introduced Australians to Quincy, an alcoholic seltzer.
Heineken 0.0 (and its ALIA win) are evidence of this.
Launched Australia’s first mainstream gluten-free beer in
“There is an ongoing societal shift towards more responsible
Hahn Ultra Crisp.
drinking, as evidenced by almost every government statistic.
Have taken Byron Bay Premium Lager national.
The industry has played an important role in contributing to this
Tooheys celebrated 150 years of being NSW’s favourite beer.
change, and Lion is proud to be one of the largest supporters
Opened Malt Shovel’s latest microbrewery Tiny Mountain
of DrinkWise, which does invaluable work in educating people
in North Queensland.
about how to consume alcohol safely,” Brindley said.
Established world’s first industry-scale aggregated PPA with AHA NSW.
“As always, it is up to the whole industry to play its part in promoting responsible drinking and continuing the positive change we are already seeing in attitudes towards alcohol.”
58 | National Liquor News
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Liquor Barons take a local approach With consumers actively seeking out products that are new, local and different, Liquor Barons has steered its strategy away from premium wine, and by taking a more local approach has achieved a third year of 20 per cent growth.
Chris O’Brien General Manager Liquor Barons
Liquor Barons has achieved a third consecutive year of near 20 per cent
overall growth, with a four per cent growth in customer foot traffic and an 11 per cent increase in customer loyalty. And General Manager Chris O’Brien attributes this success to their highly successful ‘Barons’ advertising campaign (pictured) and a strategic move away from the premium wine business model that they have previously been known for. “We know for business, especially in a challenging market, the focus needs to go beyond maintaining sales. As a result we take a more stringent approach, focusing on margin accretion so as our members’ businesses not only survive
Wine is a thing of the past
variety and range of product which will
but exceed expectations.
O’Brien says the retail liquor landscape
utilise cannabis as a core ingredient.
is changing, and consumers are moving
On offer will not just be cannabis in its
will be determining if our mission and
away from premium wine and towards
pure form but also vape, edibles and
vision aligns with the market and the
local beers and spirits. He says, “If you’re
beverages including teas and non-
changing landscape of retail in Western
planning to join a premium wine group in
Australia and if our current suite of
2020, you’re 10 years too late”.
“At the forefront of our review in 2020
services align to our retailers’ needs in 2020 and beyond. “People are still looking for value, but
“The consumer has moved on. They
“There is also tremendous opportunity for liquor industry to be a part of this
want local, more local and very local.
change. We are ideally placed to act as a
They also want beer, different beer but
dispensary of cannabis products once it
they are actively seeking out products
everyday beer as well. Spirits are making a
that are new, local and different, which
comeback, but the big brands are suffering
is what we are focused on providing.
as the market turns to locally made
important to continually revisit their
They are looking to be challenged from
products which utilise local produce and
strategic plan and that “In 2020, we have
a taste perspective and like to share
innovative ingredients. It’s a big call but
an ongoing mandate of continuing to
this with their friends. This rings
wine is becoming less important.”
innovate, push the boundaries, agitate the
especially with millennials where their
With the legalisation of cannabis on the
As a cooperative, O’Brien says it’s
market and simply do things differently
experience is shared via multiple social
horizon, O’Brien sees opportunity for the
as we know this resonates well with our
media channels. It’s all about being
liquor industry to be a part of this change.
members and the market – stay tuned for
‘Insta’ worthy.” 60 | National Liquor News
“What people don’t realise is the
THE TALE OF TWO SUNS Introducing Two Suns: A new, premium easy drinking beer by two brewers from two great brewing nations. As Australian summer approaches, so does beer drinking season and this year we’re welcoming something new to the fray. Enter Two Suns – a unique collaboration between two passionate brewers from two great brewing nations: Australia and Japan. The two master brewers behind Two Suns, Geoff Day from Australia and Yosuke Tajika from Japan have expertly combined their brewing expertise to create something exceptional for Australian beer drinkers. The result encapsulates the best of both worlds, with Two Suns bringing something better to the world of easy drinking beer. Made in Australia with 100% Australian malt and wheat, using precise Japanese brewing techniques, it’s the newest easy drinking, ultra-refreshing premium Australian beer. “Two Suns has a unique flavour profile of low bitterness with a subtle malt aroma and character. Its distinctive crisp taste and dry finish makes for a really nice easy drinking refreshment. It truly is the result of marrying the best of two very passionate brewers that are excited to show off what’s best about our home countries,” says Day. Two Suns makes for the perfect option to enjoy under the Australian sun whether it’s your next barbeque or afternoon sip session, look out for the bright yellow label. Two Suns is available now.
18+ Drink Responsibly
Liquor Legends launches new e-commerce platform Performance in 2019 was excellent for Liquor Legends and Urban Cellars, but with the impending launch of a new e-commerce platform just around the corner, Managing Director John Carmody expects 2020 to be even stronger for the group.
It’s been a year of growth for Liquor Legends and Urban Cellars in terms of sales and gross profit, but with the impending launch of a new e-commerce
platform, Managing Director John Carmody is expecting 2020 to be even more successful. Carmody attributes 2019’s success to a focus on growing gross profit, transaction counts and basket size, and through tactical offers and the success of their Rewards program, they have been able to meet those objectives. “Performance in 2019 was excellent, with our program delivering growth like-for-like and new business. With our Rewards and Loyalty Program, members support, support of suppliers and the
core of delivering on our Customer Lifecycle
launch of our e-commerce marketplace, we expect
Opportunities and e-commerce is a critical part
2020 to exceed 2019’s exceptional performance,”
of the future, and you must have a solution,”
Carmody told National Liquor News.
“Our immediate focus will be on launching
“We are currently testing new ideas to drive our
our e-commerce marketplace and ensuring that
Rewards program forward which will see some of
it delivers to the standard our members and
our customers being rewarded in more customised
customers have come to expect from Liquor
and tailored ways. We will continue to give our
Legends. Taking advantage of our data richness,
whole customer base incredible pricing and access
we will ensure the customers journey on our
to money can’t buy prizes and experiences.
online platform will showcase the same level of
“It is essential that you have quality data to be able
personalisation and detail that our customers
to do anything with it and the reality is that many
experience through all channels of the business
independent banners other than us have not invested
into technology which allows them to effectively use
Artificial Intelligence and customer loyalty
their data to provide validated solutions. “We are working on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assist us across our business and the high quality
Being able to capture and effectively use
of our data allows us to do this efficiently and
customer data is an important element to
effectively. It’s a stretch to say we use AI today, but
retailing in 2020 and one which Carmody says
we are at the forefront of its integration into our
isn’t being invested in widely enough. Liquor
business processes. We use complex algorithms
Legends is well known for its successful loyalty
today to plan and deliver better outcomes. It
program and they are currently testing ideas on
assists us in understanding our business and our
how to take it to the next level.
members’ business and to personalise the offer to
“Our Rewards and Loyalty program is at the 62 | National Liquor News
our customer which we see as critical.”
“With our Rewards and Loyalty Program, members support, support of suppliers and the launch of our e-commerce marketplace, we expect 2020 to exceed 2019’s exceptional performance.” John Carmody Managing Director/CEO – Hotel & Tourism Management Pty Ltd Chairman – Retail Drinks Australia
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Liquor Marketing Group
LMG focused on making members more profitable RETAIL
Following a highly successful year for LMG and its members, CEO Gavin Saunders sees growth continuing strongly throughout 2020.
Last year was a record year for Liquor Marketing
significant increases in catalogues and social media
Group (LMG), with performance significantly
spend being the primary drivers of foot traffic, and
higher than the overall market results, according to
greater engagement on customer direct marketing
CEO Gavin Saunders.
through our databases of consumers generated
At LMG, success is measured by achieving
through e-commerce and social,” said Saunders.
one primary objective – making members more
“We have seen strong growth in the overall
profitable. And the results reported throughout
LMG business along with our members scan sales
2019 have helped to achieved this.
growing faster than the market.”
In fact, growth was achieved above market
Another area that contributed to the success
across each major category and state, which was an
of 2019 was the LMG premium programs, which
incredible achievement when cycling a record year
are optional for retailers and cover premium wine,
spirits and craft beer. The range is different for each
“2019 calendar year growth was primarily driven by increase in customer counts and transactions. Also pleasing was that high margin categories
state, specially tailored to suit the needs of the local premium customer. Based on the results of these programs in 2019,
of spirits and wine led our growth which drove
they will continue to be a focus for 2020, especially
additional profit for members along with increased
sales,” Saunders said. Other notable contributors were the rollout
CEO Liquor Marketing Group
“The premium wine program, despite being in year on year growth, delivered in excess of 35 per
platforms, which have increased total sales and
cent growth in the portfolio and an average basket
basket size for most venues.
size which was 70 per cent greater than an average
through e-commerce offers the opportunity for
its fourth year and already achieving considerable
of the Bottlemart and Sip’n Save e-commerce
“The direct connection with customers
“We have seen strong growth in the overall LMG business along with our members scan sales growing faster than the market.”
wine basket,” Saunders said.
greater engagement and tailoring of offer for our
Thirsty Camel partnership
customers. These targeted promotions have been
LMG has formed a partnership with Route 66 Liquor Limited, the licensee
incredibly successful in terms of redemption rates
of the Thirsty Camel brand in Western Australia.
and repeat patronage.”
The partnership was formed based on both groups being memberowned and identifying the opportunity to provide greater support for WA
High hopes for 2020
independent retailers through a combination of the services and support
There is a focus to continue growth, “enhanced
of LMG and the Route 66 teams.
in 2020 through both our traditional marketing, 64 | National Liquor News
Spritzed wine? Sure can.
SPRITZED WINE IN A CAN How Refreshing
Exciting times ahead for Pernod Ricard Bryan Fry was appointed CEO of Pernod Ricard Winemakers in December last year, and with an eye to the future, reflects on a big year for the Australian arm of the business.
Bryan Fry CEO Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Formerly the Managing Director of Pernod Ricard in the Pacific, Bryan Fry was recently promoted to CEO of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the winemaking side of Pernod Ricard, but nonetheless spent most of 2019 in charge of the company’s Australian operations – and described last year as a big one for the company. “Our teams have continued to navigate a competitive wine, spirits and Champagne landscape, working closely with our customers, partners and retailers to create unique partnerships, products, campaigns and experiences for our consumers,” he told National Liquor News. Given the high-end nature of many of Pernod Ricard’s brands, it’s also a company well-placed to take advantage of the premiumisation trend that has swept the industry for many years, and it’s no surprise to hear from Fry that he expects that particular trend to continue in 2020. “Premiumisation is arguably one of the most notable trends occurring in the alcohol industry currently, we are seeing consumers looking to trade up to premium offerings and adopting
“In 2020, The Glenlivet range will experience a full packaging transformation which we are very excited about.”
the ‘less is more’ mantra,” he explains. “It is a continuation from
points to health and wellbeing as a major factor that all suppliers
what we have seen in recent years and will continue to be a focus
must consider – especially among younger demographics.
for us as we move into 2020. We expect to see the market evolve
Beyond this, he says it’s a “unique and exciting time in the
in line with this trend, but also with an increasing desire for more
wine, spirits and broader alcohol market”, with a major upswing in
personalised and crafted offers at the customer and consumer level.”
consumer interest in how drinks are created and consumed, and a
One of PR’s premium offerings is The Glenlivet 12YO Single Malt, which was relaunched in Australia just over 12 months
major uptake “in products that offer a new twist from the traditional”. He also points to regulation as a crucial factor that the industry
ago – and, moving forward, it’s a brand Fry is particularly excited
must collectively discuss in 2020, if it is to continue to flourish. “Our
about. “The Glenlivet 12YO is the definite expression of The
industry is already a highly regulated one, yet we face increasing
Glenlivet, which was the first officially recognised Single Malt
demands for new restrictions on the way we do business,” says Fry.
Scotch whisky,” he says. “We unfortunately had such a global demand that we needed to
“We need to continue to proactively demonstrate the good things the entire wine, spirits and beer industry brings to Australia
remove it from many markets around the world due to short supply
in order to balance the debate: about $20 billion in economic
a few years ago, but due to additional capacity coming on stream we
activity supporting more than 400,000 jobs, paying nearly $6 billion
were able to successfully re-introduce the product into the Australian
in tax and providing countless convivial moments enjoyed by the
market this year. In 2020, The Glenlivet range will experience a full
millions of Australians who drink responsibly every day.”
packaging transformation which we are very excited about.”
Despite challenges such as this, Fry’s optimism and belief in
Given Fry’s experience in the industry, he’s also well placed to
the quality of Pernod Ricard’s offering is self-evident. “In my view,
discuss the trends that are currently shaping the market, and like a
we have the best premium wine, spirit and Champagne portfolio
number of the executives interviewed for this year’s Leaders Forum,
in the industry, and we want everyone to know about it.”
66 | National Liquor News
Porter’s builds national footprint Since being acquired by Australian Liquor Marketers three years ago, Porter’s has undergone a revamp and enjoyed extraordinary growth.
Giuseppe Minissale Head of Supplier Engagement and Investment Australian Liquor Marketers
Since being acquired by Australian Liquor Marketers three years ago, Porter’s
has undergone a revamp and enjoyed strong growth. Porter’s is not only set to achieve its aim of opening 100 stores over the next few years, but over the coming months the group will open stores in Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland, and with one already trading in Victoria, it will be a true national chain. Giuseppe Minissale, the Head of Supplier Engagement and Investment at Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) says that a significant investment has been made in both the new and existing stores and they are “reaping the rewards” from that investment. “We’ve been investing in our current stores and acquiring new stores, and this has resulted in strong growth in both sales volumes and store numbers.” says Minissale. He says: “Consumers are looking for vibrant, upbeat, renovated shops that are hitting current market trends. Every time we invest in the tailored refurbishment of a Porter’s store there is a strong uplift in sales for that store.” This new direction for Porter’s has
“Consumers are looking for vibrant, upbeat, renovated shops that are meeting current market trends.”
seen the group raise its store count to 31 and Minissale said it’s been a “really
challenging ourselves with at Porter’s is
how it benefits the retailer. If feedback is
exciting challenge” exploring new ways
making sure that if somebody has a great
positive, then we’ll look at whether other
to make the Porter’s model work in
new idea, that we trial it. If the idea works,
stores could benefit from it as well.”
then we’ll look to roll it out more widely.
“The new stores in Victoria and Western
The focus for Porter’s in 2020 will be to
“For example, we’re trialing digital
continue to grow and Minissale says that
Australia are adaptations of the Porter’s
ticketing at our store in Moonee Ponds,
having a national footprint is the vision
design. One of the things that we’re
Victoria, and we’ll watch that and see
for the brand.
February 2020 | 67
Nip of Courage
Nip of Courage celebrates the Aussie spirit After a great year of growth for Nip of Courage, Kathleen Davies sees even more opportunity on the horizon.
It was a great year for Nip of Courage in
Kathleen Davies Founder Nip of Courage
job opportunities are limited.”
2019, as Founder Kathleen Davies and her
One of the recent ways that Nip of
team not only celebrated their own successes,
Courage has been helping producers
but those of the distilleries they represent.
overcome some of these barriers, is through
With new products, people, awards and
getting their stories out there to connect
events, Australia’s leading distributor and
with potential customers via podcast.
exporter of local spirits is helping raise
After almost three years in the making,
awareness for the diversity and quality in
the Aussie Spirit Podcast collaboration
between Nip of Courage and Podcastone
“One of the main highlights for us
Australia debuted its first season last
was the growth we experienced in the
year, coming in as the number four rated
last quarter for 2019 when many other
podcast on Apple’s charts over summer.
stakeholders in the industry experienced a
Davies said: “The Aussie Spirit series
slight decline in sales,” Davies said.
follows the journey of some of the 200
But there’s still opportunity to do more
Australian distillers embracing local
in 2020, with Nip of Courage focused on
botanicals, crops and climates in order
providing a more customised approach to
to craft some uniquely Australian Spirits.
the more than 50,000 potential businesses they could be selling to. “Customer service is a huge opportunity.
Australia’s ‘Ginaissance’ still strong
From award winning whisky, to gin, to vodka and rum, we hear from the farmers,
One of Davies’ predictions for the
the pioneers and the passionate distillers,
We will be conducting a survey for our
future of the spirits category is that
all around Australia, who are putting the
online retail customers and wholesale
Australia’s love affair with gin will
craft back into distilling.”
customers in the first quarter of 2020 to
continue in earnest.
try to build a more tailored approach to customer service in our business.”
“Is the Australian industry flooded
Davies pointed to the craft trends that are increasingly driving consumer
with gin? The answer is NO. The surface
behaviour, specifically that: “locally made
has merely been scratched in Australia.
and owned products are on the rise.”
Encouraging the local market
Gin is forecast to be the second fastest
Nip of Courage’s mission is to raise the
growing international category by 2021
retail, but again, there is always the
profile of the world quality Australian
behind whisky,” she said.
potential for more. While some larger
craft spirits that captivate the hearts and
Already this trend has been influencing
chains have whole sections dedicated to
minds of discerning drinkers. When they
whisky and rum), start-up distilleries lack
Australian craft spirits, Davies said there
gain more customers, the local craft spirit
of industry experience and poor business
is a wide opportunity for independent
industry gets more support.
acumen, lack of distributor and wholesaler
retailers to capitalise on the trend, while
options to cope with the needs of start-
supporting local businesses and family.
However, Davies said that there are barriers for Australian craft spirit producers
up distilleries, and distillery locations;
which are keeping the industry in its infancy.
approximately 90 per cent of craft
working tirelessly behind the scenes to
distilleries are based in isolated locations
encourage independent retailers to stock
where the economies are fragile and the
craft spirit lines.”
“Distillery scale of production challenges (mainly for dark spirits like 68 | National Liquor News
“At Nip of Courage we are still
Thirsty Camel – Victoria
Quenching customer thirst for convenience Last year was a great one for Thirsty Camel
Club V2.0 will drive true loyalty to Thirsty Camel
Victoria, with growth in both volume and value.
by rewarding customers for every dollar they spend,
According to General Manager Adrian Moelands,
giving them even more incentive to shop with their
this was driven by the retail group’s understanding
local bottle shop,” he said.
and prediction of consumer needs. From this,
In terms of categories that have done well in
a number of programs were implemented
the past year, Moelands highlighted the beer and
throughout the year that will be built upon in
ready-to-drink (RTD) categories, with the potential
2020, including opt-in portfolio boosters for
for further growth in 2020 thanks to Top Drops and
members, like the Top Drops premium program
and the Crafty Camel’s Thirsty Camel extended craft beer program. “Top Drops delivers a premium spirit and
“Our beer business was driven by the growth of contemporary and craft brands. In the RTD category high ABV has continued to perform well
wine portfolio for our membership. It’s an
with convenience 10-packs servicing our customers’
opt-in program that allows retailers to increase
convenience needs,” Moelands said.
their premium range in their business and has
“We expect to continue this success off the
seen exceptional take up in the pilot stage,”
back of our new premium and craft programs. The
consumer swing to convenience shopping should
“As craft beer now makes up 10 per cent of the Australian beer market, we recognised the need for our retailers to capitalise on this.
also benefit our retailers, and as mentioned, we intend to further leverage this in 2020.” To fully capitalise on the consumer demand for
Crafty Camel provides Thirsty Camel bottle
convenience this year, Thirsty Camel will be going
shops with an extended range of local craft beer
beyond what is expected from the usual bottle
enabling retailers to have an exciting range for
their customers.” Thirsty Camel has also completed the launch
“Crafty Camel provides Thirsty Camel bottle shops with an extended range of local craft beer enabling retailers to have an exciting range for their customers.” Adrian Moelands General Manager Thirsty Camel – Victoria
As Moelands says: “Thirsty Camel’s store footprint and customer lean heavily towards
of its rebooted loyalty program, Hump Club.
convenience shopping, we plan to extend on this
The tiered program features exclusive member
opportunity into the new year.”
discounts as well as vouchers to spend back at the
Thirsty Camel Victoria’s General Manager, Adrian Moelands, says they’re well positioned to cater to the increasing number of convenience shoppers.
bottle shop when they reach spend levels. Moelands
Predicted retail trends in 2020
said the new version was delivered for the benefit of
“Consumer behaviour is shifting, and there is a move away from big-box
both the customer and retailer.
shopping as customers continue to chase convenience options to suit
“By integrating with the retailer’s POS Hump
their busy lives. I predict we will continue to see growth in home delivery
Club V2.0 has streamlined the customer experience,
liquor, as more scheduled, same day, and last-minute options enter the
making it incredibly easy for customers to redeem
marketplace to meet shopper demand.”
their My Offer and transactions. We believe Hump February 2020 | 69
Treasury Wine Estates
TWE’s year of celebration and innovation In an ever-changing industry landscape, Treasury Wine Estates’ Managing Director ANZ Peter Neilson is looking forward to new opportunities in the wine category.
The highlights of 2019 had Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and
Peter Neilson Managing Director ANZ Treasury Wine Estates
its brands celebrating success, innovation and milestones. Peter
TWE wins big at ALIA
Neilson, TWE Managing Director ANZ, was pleased with these
“It’s fantastic and genuinely humbling to be recognised by
achievements and how they’ve been received by industry and
our peers and the wider industry at an event such as the
Australian Liquor Industry Awards.
One of the significant highlights was Penfolds celebrating
“I’ve always said that I believe the strength of our
175 years of winemaking heritage. Neilson said: “To mark the
brands lies in their diversity. We’re fortunate enough to be
anniversary, we released Special Bin 111A Clare Valley Barossa
custodians for some of Australia’s leading labels – from
Valley Shiraz 2016 – a new, rare Penfolds wine, which has quickly
those with rich histories with wines that continue to pay
captured the attention of critics and collectors alike.”
homage to the origins of the Australian wine story, to our
Another new product was a cross category infusion of wine and spirit, the Squealing Pig Rosé Gin, the first of its kind in Australia. The “brand’s playful nature, paired with the quality
newer and emerging brands which ensure we’re engaging new consumers to the category. “The success at last year’s awards is also a reflection
and expertise it’s renowned for,” also represent a significant
of the hard work and dedication of our entire team and
opportunity for TWE in 2020.
I’m hopeful we’ll uphold these levels of achievement as we
“I’m looking forward to building on the success of new releases
head into 2020.”
such as Squealing Pig Rosé Gin, with a focus on blurring category lines (the emergence of cross-category beverages), led by quality and considered innovation,” Neilson said. But first, as TWE prepares for the 2020 vintage, Neilson said the immediate focus will be “to continue working with partners to find solutions in this ever-changing landscape, that deliver on consumer needs and customer and internal expectations. “As Australia’s leading producer of wine, we feel it’s incumbent on us to be at the forefront of driving category growth and with our amazing portfolio of brands and a focus on premiumisation we are well equipped to do so.” Such a strategy worked well for TWE in 2019, with several of its products well positioned to capitalise on the biggest wine trends of the year, proven by the fact that six Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA) categories were taken out by TWE. “Whether it was through phenomenal growth in varietals
in market [according to IRI data] with our Squealing Pig Spritzed Rosé and Spritzed Pinot Grigio.” From a business perspective, throughout 2020 there will be increased emphasis on sustainability, and creating long term value for TWE and the wider industry. As a wine producer, TWE is
such as rosé, or through spritzed offerings and wine in cans, there
intrinsically linked to natural and human resources, making this
is no denying that refreshment continues to be a key factor for
an extremely important factor for them.
consumers in their enjoyment of wine,” Neilson said. “Canned wine as a category and the role that convenience plays
Neilson said: “As an industry, we all have the opportunity to positively contribute to the environment and our communities. This
is another trend that showed growth in 2019. At TWE we’re proud
will look different for every company based on size, product and
to have the number one and two canned wine products currently
location but there’s always more we can do.”
70 | National Liquor News
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BE BRILLIANT AND INSPIRED, DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Â© 2019 BOMBAY SAPPHIRE AND ITS TRADE aDDRESS ARE TRADEMARKS
Wherever You Are
William Grant & Sons
Premium spirits and exceptional activations forecast for 2020 Disruptive brand activations, like the ‘Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer’, are central to William Grant & Sons’ approach to leveraging the premiumisation of the spirits market.
Colin Rochester General Manager ANZ William Grant & Sons
“In an Australian spirits market environment driven by premiumisation, innovation and spectacular growth of the gin and single malt whisky segments, 2019 was an outstanding year for William Grant & Sons Australia.” It’s safe to say that Colin Rochester, William Grant & Sons’ (WG&S) General Manager Australia and New Zealand, is pretty happy with how 2019 turned out for the company. According to Rochester, last year’s highlights included the September launch of Sailor Jerry’s RTD; multiple NPD launches for WG&S leading gin brand Hendrick’s; and the continued growth of Glenfiddich as the number one single malt in Australia, with innovations like personalised labels and the ‘Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer’ of particular note. “The Whisky Wanderer is a double decker luxury whisky lounge bus, designed to educate and inspire consumers and trade customers on single malt Scotch whisky… and bring a touch of
“In an Australian spirits market environment driven by premiumisation, innovation and spectacular growth of the gin and single malt whisky segments, 2019 was an outstanding year for William Grant & Sons Australia.”
Scotland to the tasting experience,” says Rochester. Given the company’s origins, single malts are an obvious focus
Beyond single malt, Hendrick’s Gin is central to WG&S strategy
for WG&S, and in September, they launched Aerstone, a new
both globally and locally, with a number of successful NPD
single malt that aims to help whisky drinkers better understand
launches in 2019. “As Australia’s number one super premium gin,
the single malt Scotch category.
we continue to drive gin growth through our disruptive, innovative
“Aerstone Single Malt addresses two key barriers to entry to trading up from the blended Scotch segment into single malts; flavour and price,” Rochester explains. “In addition, age statement continues to
brand campaigns, and continued gin innovation to drive category growth,” Rochester says. “Since its launch in September 2019, Hendrick’s Midsummer
be a key ‘reassurance feature’ for those consumers looking to enter
Solstice has driven incremental sales and growth as consumers
and explore the single malt segment. This is particularly relevant for
continue to explore and experiment across the gin segment.
blended Scotch whisky drinkers where approximately 36 per cent of new single malt drinkers enter and switch from blends. “Aerstone Single Malt aims to simplify the taste messaging and
“To complement this, we have also launched Verano Gin in Watermelon and Lemon in the premium flavoured gin segment. Flavoured gin will continue to grow in Australia, where IWSR
help new single malt drinkers navigate category flavours through
forecast that this sub-segment of gin will grow by 500K 9L cases
clear on pack taste descriptors. The range showcases two different
this year and reach 1.2M 9L cases by 2023.”
styles of whisky under the same brand, allowing consumers to easily understand the spectrum of flavours and demystify the traditional – and often complex – language associated with the category. “Even the imagery for Aerstone aims to help consumers clearly
Rochester is also keen to take advantage of consumers continuing to trade up to more premium spirits. “Our strategy to leverage these trends is a continuing focus on disruptive brand activations across our key brands with a focus on
understand what each whisky might taste like without focussing
experiential events in the on-premise, driving innovation to ensure
on the more typical – and often ambiguous – whisky analogies for
currency in an increasingly competitive premium landscape and
flavour,” says Rochester.
partnering with our retail partners to premiumise.”
72 | National Liquor News
Full page advert Pernod Ricard
Wines of the Loire Valley
Discover wines from the Loire Valley A local expert tells us why we should explore wines from France’s third largest vineyard area.
After excellent growth in 2019, this year is the
by educating them on why the region is already
perfect time to explore the Loire Valley through wine,
popular among sommeliers and wine experts.
according to Pierre-Jean Sauvion, the Export Director
“The wines of the Loire Valley have many
Loire Valley Region for Grand Chais de France. “There is a very dynamic market for rosé and white
wonderful wine assets: their physical, stunning natural landscapes, varied soils and climates and
wines [from the Loire Valley]. We’ve always believed
renowned international grape varieties including
that our lighter wine styles suit the Australian drinking
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. All
landscape perfectly; we are now, largely through our
these elements allow the development of different
marketing campaigns and further importer support,
wine expressions (from fruity and fresh, mineral and
seeing exports increase,” Sauvion said.
textural, to richness and incredible age worthiness),
Australia is the Loire Valley’s seventh largest
of different colours and typicity as well,” said Sauvion.
export destination, growing by 47.3 per cent in
“This varied offer seduces wine professionals
volume, and makes up 11.9 per cent of French
and can fulfil many different desires, be it price
PDO and PGI wines on Australian soil. But despite
point, wine styles and wines that address current
this market share growth increase of 3.4 points in
market trends; such as medium-bodied reds, fresh
one year alone, many local wine consumers aren’t
dynamic whites and more organic and bio-dynamic
confident about navigating the region.
producers than any other region in Europe.”
“The richness and diversity of Loire Valley wines
On offer right now to prove these facts is the
is sometimes difficult for Australian consumers
2019 vintage, which, although it encountered
to grasp. We are home to so many well-known
climate-related challenges, is impressive.
appellations and wine styles it can be quite overwhelming,” said Sauvion. To uncover what the region’s wines can offer
Describing the season and the resulting wines, Sauvion said: “If the season has been tiring for the vines, it has also been tiring for the men and
to Australians, the Loire Valley look to retailers
women working the vineyards, but the result is
and the valuable connections they have with the
full of promise: the wines of the 2019 vintage are
certainly expressive, and aromatic purity is one of
One way to pique general consumer interest is 74 | National Liquor News
their key characteristics.”
“The wines of the 2019 vintage are certainly expressive, and aromatic purity is one of their key characteristics.” Pierre-Jean Sauvion Export Director Loire Valley Region Grand Chais de France
We created a rum wi th notes of orange, cinnamon and nutm you’re supposed to eg, not because that do it - but because ’s how it tastes good. It’s a lit usual suspects, but tle different from th it’s damn tasty, and e as far as we’re conc erned - that’s what counts.
COMPANY POLICY: IF IT
For more information, contact your Halewood Australia rep, call 02 9513 8895 or email us on email@example.com
Image above: The Magnificent Unknown campaign
Transforming and reinvigorating Yalumba After a year of working on its brands, Yalumba has big domestic and international plans for 2020.
The wine industry and market has changed a lot in the 170-year history of Yalumba. Knowing there’s
Predictions for the South Australian wine industry
still more changes to come, Managing Director Nick
“At the time of writing we have just experienced the Adelaide Hills
Waterman says that Yalumba has worked hard on
bushfires and this will have a big impact on the region during 2020. I feel
business transformation and brand reinvigoration,
confident that the industry will show its collegiality and support those
and in 2019, the outcome of this work has hit home.
wineries and personnel impacted to get back on their feet.
In 2019, Yalumba “launched several new
“I am also really encouraged by some of the small boutique producers
Yalumba brands including Samuel’s Collection,
becoming more established in South Australia. This trend together with
which was channelled toward the independent
a really vibrant fabric of restaurants, wine bars and festivals both in
retail sector, and Yalumba Wild Ferments, a brand
Adelaide city and regional areas is helping to make SA a real destination
for the on-trade,” he said.
for those seeking such pleasures.”
Waterman is the first non-family member to be Managing Director, but he said a highlight of 2019
“This is also the case with various trade wars
was welcoming the first of the sixth generation to
and what this will do to our relative competitive
the business, Jessica Hill-Smith, the great great great
advantage vis a vis European Countries.”
granddaughter of Yalumba Founder, Samuel Smith. Emphasising the family heritage is part of the
What is your 2020 industry focus?
brand strategy for Yalumba, with its latest multimedia
Waterman says there are challenges facing
campaign ‘The Magnificent Unknown’ telling the story
the industry that need to be addressed from
of Samuel’s first vine planting. This is something that
Waterman said will continue into 2020 as Yalumba positions itself as a quality, heritage winemaker. “The Yalumba media campaign will continue and
On a state level, he said: “Within SA Biosecurity is very important and there is currently a review of the five Biosecurity Acts being undertaken by the
we will strive to move the centre of gravity for brand
State Government. It is really important we keep SA
Yalumba in response to the premiumisation trend that
is occurring in all markets,” Waterman said. Challenges for the year ahead are predicted to centre around international export markets. Waterman said: “Given the UK is our largest
“Australia wide, there is a need to debate the current Container Deposit Scheme that is considering wine bottles. And finally, on an international industry level, is the sustainability factor.
export market; we anxiously await the finalisation
“We need to collaboratively discuss and join
of Brexit and how that impacts upon FX rates and
forces to tackle climate change and water, both of
trading agreements between the UK and its primary
which are real issues and have a major impact upon
the wine industry.”
76 | National Liquor News
“We need to collaboratively discuss and join forces to tackle climate change and water.” Nick Waterman Managing Director Yalumba
Research & Associations
Wondering whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be on trend this year? Or how you can make the most of the space in your store? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spoken to shopper experts, industry associations and data analysts from across the country and have all the insights into what to stock in 2020 and where to position it in your store to maximise on sales.
February 2020 | 77
Are seasonal and limited release craft beers creating a trade hangover? Norrelle Goldring rounds up industry perspectives on the impact of consumers increasingly seeking novelty over core range craft beers, and the viewpoints are strikingly similar.
About Norrelle Goldring: Norrelle has 20 years’ experience in the liquor industry and in retail, category, channel and customer strategy, planning and research, working in and with global retailers, manufacturers and research houses. Contact Norrelle on 0411735190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Panel ➤
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
T he Brewer: Dave Padden, Founder & Head Brewer, Akasha Brewing Company T he Retailer: Lachlan McLean, Beer Cartel T he Rep: Pat Harrington, NSW Sales Manager, Hawkers Beer T he Punter: Nick Palmer, Craft Beer Enthusiast since 2010
Norrelle: When did the trend of craft beer
We’ve got good on-the-ball staff with social
consumers increasingly seeking new and
media: ‘here’s a new product shot posted two
limited releases become particularly
minutes ago’. Previously we’d get an email once a
week. Now you need to be on the pulse; if an email
Dave: I think the trend has always been there,
comes in at 11pm at night, you need to jump in
however five to 10 years ago it was limited to the
and order them, you can’t wait until Monday.
pointy end of the market – the hardcore beer enthusiasts and collectors. Many of the consumers
Norrelle: What do you think is behind this?
at that stage were new to craft and happy working
Dave: The move seems to be driven from the
their way through a brewery’s core selection which
consumer side, but many breweries, both here
was new and exciting for them.
and in the US, have been quick to change their
It has become much more noticeable in the last two to three-years as a larger proportion of
In the past, a typical brewery would have
craft customers are asking ‘what’s new’ while
a solid core range of beers available all year
also buying in smaller formats and they are after
round, then perhaps release a ‘seasonal’ beer
more variety in a single purchase.
once a month. We now see breweries constantly
Lachlan: We noticed it maybe two-and-ahalf years ago, since mobile canning became an
releasing one-off beers, some even giving up on a core range altogether.
option for breweries. Consumers were always
Lachlan: Consumers are now used to different
after limited releases, but once mobile canning
beers, but there are only a few pubs with a good
came out breweries had the opportunity to do
range of craft beer. We know that people will buy
small runs and it has snowballed since then.
a new beer just to get the badge on Untappd. If
We’ve gone from having 300 new SKUs a year
you’re not moving core range, how do you stay
to 1000 a year. It can take half a day every week
relevant? Feeding off the consumers’ want for
to create new products in the POS system. There
new is probably not sustainable if you’re not set
are 700 breweries in Australia, and on average
up in that way. We’re now doing limited release
each is putting out a new beer each month (and
tinny packs monthly and they just fly off the shelf.
sometimes every week). 78 | National Liquor News
business models to cater for it.
We bounce off the store staff to get the
customer feedback and how much we
out there now, the competition for shelf
die down as consumers get burnt out by all
should get. When it’s a smaller release we
space has really increased.
the new beers.
In the past, special releases were used
The market is maturing. Brewers are
We always want to sell out, we’re confident
as a reward for buying core range, or for
finding their identity, and a whole lot of
between our survey database, beer club and
volume buys. Some venues only want
consumers who have started discovering
other channels we can move it, but we’re
limited releases, but I won’t give them
craft in the past two years. As the market
conservative and don’t want excess stock.
those unless they buy some core range.
matures breweries will find their core
Generally, we wouldn’t want to take more
Brewers buy their packaging, malt
range, you must have your local base first.
than a case or two for unknowns, particularly
and hops based on core range. So limited
We suspect there will be a lot of brewery
styles that aren’t in at the moment.
releases become more expensive – different
closures in the next two years.
Pat: Consumers are looking for badges on Untappd for unique check-ins, which
malts, hops. And the providers can’t make some malt and hops at scale.
encourages trying new beers – often seasonals, special releases and one-offs. In the off-premise, punters go into the store with their Untappd app, looking for something new and different. Nick: Consumer tastes have changed; they’re seeking more flavour generally. The
Brewers Association (IBA) and beer lobby groups get people into craft. If they do well,
“We’re now doing limited release tinny packs monthly and they just fly off the shelf,” Lachlan McClean, Beer Cartel
stuff I was drinking back in 2012 would probably be considered bland now.
It all depends how well the Independent
people will continue coming in and the wave will keep going for a bit longer. If the five to six per cent penetration of craft beer stagnates then consumers will burn out. The US has a core range celebration day. The top 50 craft breweries in the US declined in sales, the newer breweries are driving the
Norrelle: Where do you see this all
growth but a lot of those are very small local
going? Who are the winners and
breweries, taproom only with no national
Norrelle: What has been the impact
losers likely to be?
distribution. Australia needs to head down
on you? And on the trade more
Dave: Consumers are definitely the losers
that model. There’s room for Australia to be
in this environment of chasing the next big
more local and more taprooms – and there
Dave: I have always believed strongly that
thing. Non-core range beers are expensive to
you’d get core range.
quality needs to be at the core of the craft
make, the cost of packaging alone for a non-
Pat: Punters need to change their
beer industry. Without this we will struggle
core beer is huge due to the low volumes, and
mentality and then the trade will follow.
to grow our segment of the larger beer
this needs to be passed onto the consumer.
Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s
industry beyond the five to six per cent that
The quality of the beer is also suffering with
better. There have been some signs in the
we currently have. Without a consistent core
breweries unable to perfect the beer when
US that the market is moving back to core
range, breweries don’t have the opportunity
they are constantly moving onto new styles
range, but it may take longer here because
to work on a particular beer over time. It takes
or at least variations of a style.
the market isn’t as mature yet.
many batches of beer to perfect a style, let
Breweries themselves are having to
alone one particular beer. Breweries that lack
accept smaller profits on these constantly
core range or at least a focus on a particular
changing beers, and the danger of no longer
The increasing market maturity of craft
style are often releasing beers that lack quality
being the ‘next big thing’ is just around the
beer and the plethora of new products
and sophistication which not only damages
corner. Brand loyalty is extremely difficult
available is creating headaches for brewers,
their own brand, but the industry in general.
without a core range offering.
retailers and consumers alike. There’s a
Pat: It’s getting harder to get core range
Lachlan: I don’t see limited releases
need for a refocus on core quality and local
into outlets. They want limited releases
slowing down any time soon, although
beers, and a likely shakeout of breweries
and seasonals because that’s what their
I hope they would. It may slow down
without a core range they are known for
customers are asking for. A couple of
eventually; it’s just going to take time.
or a loyal local following is foreseen. The
years ago you’d get three to four core range
Brewers who have been in craft longer
pursuit of predominantly limited and
products in at a time, now it’s only one or
have gone back to producing quality beers
seasonal releases as a manufacturing
two. Also, because the market has matured
and not just chasing the new. It’s all the
strategy is not seen as sustainable for both
and there are just so many more products
newer guys doing the limited releases. It’ll
production and financial reasons.
February 2020 | 79
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
might pass, or only get a couple of cases.
Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code
ABAC sees positives in a challenging year Last year was a record year for ABAC Panel decisions and upheld complaints, but the alcohol marketing regulator is looking positively at the year ahead.
The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC)
are typically inadvertent, in that, the proliferation
Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code sets the
of smaller alcohol producers sees them more likely,
standard for responsible alcohol marketing in
out of ignorance, to slip up.
Australia, regulating its content and placement. ABAC Chair, Harry Jenkins AO, said that while
“In the vast majority of cases marketers acted promptly to comply with ABAC’s determinations by
there were a number of challenges in 2019, there
modifying or removing material and undertaking
were also some positives for alcohol marketers to
system reviews to ensure compliance.”
build on in 2020. “There was an increase in breaches of ABAC
Last year also saw a significant increase in alcohol packaging decisions, and Jenkins said:
standards in 2019, with 75 per cent relating to social
“Trade publication coverage of the breaches
media,” Jenkins told National Liquor News.
together with engagement with the Independent
“ABAC has been regulating social media activity
Brewers Association has created a greater awareness
by alcohol marketers since the first complaint
of ABAC, leading to a 37 per cent increase in pre-
about Facebook marketing in 2009. In 2014 ABAC
vetting of alcohol packaging.”
developed a best practice guide for alcohol marketers
Pre-vetting is one of the positives of 2019, as
on the use of digital media, with updates in 2016 and
Jenkins explained: “Record pre-vetting requests
2018 to guide marketers as this medium has evolved.”
were received in 2019, (2,192 pre-vetting requests)
“Pre-vetting remains the easiest and most efficient way for marketers to ensure their promotions are responsible before hitting the marketplace.”
Detailing some of the ABAC numbers in 2019,
up 25 per cent on last year. The ABAC Pre-vetting
Harry Jenkins AO
Jenkins said 2019, “was a record year for ABAC Panel
Service checks marketing material for compliance
decisions and upheld complaints: 128 complaints
with ABAC standards prior to the material reaching
received; 68 separate ABAC Adjudication Panel
decisions up 11 per cent on the previous year; 39
“Pre-vetting remains the easiest and most efficient
decisions resulted in at least part of one or more
way for marketers to ensure their promotions are
complaints being upheld (noting that two were
responsible before hitting the marketplace.”
deemed no fault breaches), up 86 per cent on the previous year”. He added: “While the high level of breaches is
Jenkins welcomed the creativity of advertisers, but cautioned on the importance of compliance, re-iterating that pre-vetting, which is open to non-
disappointing, the rapid turnaround in addressing
signatories of the Code is the safest way to ensure
ABAC’s rulings by marketers is welcomed. Breaches
alcohol marketing and packaging compliance.
80 | National Liquor News
Alcohol Beverages Australia
ABA highlights its plans for 2020 In 2020, Alcohol Beverages Australia will move the conversation away from consumption and towards the social and economic value of the liquor industry.
Andrew Wilsmore CEO Alcohol Beverages Australia
With Sydney’s lockout laws finally reversed and statistics showing that Australians are drinking at 50-year lows, overall the evidence points towards a positive shift in Australia’s drinking culture. But there is still more to be done, and Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) says that it’s now time to move the conversation away from consumption and towards our industry’s social and economic contribution. “Our plan is to build further on that in the coming year to tell stories that resonate with people. Our video ‘Here’s to the People’ was a great platform to tell the innovation, employment and economic story, and we will see more of that this year. “We also have a real opportunity to talk about the valid and important contribution our industry makes to the Australian economy highlighting the jobs, expert revenue, taxation revenue and tourism dollars this industry continues to create for the
“It’s important that we move the conversation from one of consumption to one of social and economic value which is part of our social license to operate.”
benefit of Australians. consumption to one of social and economic value which is part of our social license to operate.”
Reinvigorating Sydney Sydney’s nighttime economy took a significant hit since lockout
how moderation is the new norm, it’s time for governments to start swinging the pendulum towards more favourable policy settings.” Wilsmore says the next priority is to “ensure the finalisation of the Draft Drinking Guidelines sees a big shift in how they are presented and well understood by Australians”. “We also need to place a very big marker in the sand that the
laws were introduced in 2014, with hundreds of venues closing
selection process for reviewing these Guidelines in the future
and local and international visitors venturing elsewhere.
must be beyond reproach and avoid the situation we have today in
The rollback of legislation means that trading hours will be
which many of the people selected to review the Guidelines come
extended for licensed venues, all bottle shops across the state and
from an anti-alcohol or temperance movement background as
for those in the Sydney CBD precinct, and that after-midnight
there is no way they can be impartial.
drink regulations will be relaxed. “The nighttime economy has been seriously harmed by the
“Another major opportunity is to make sure our response, and that of Governments to the National Alcohol Strategy is a
suite of measures that had been in place and we expect their
positive one. While this won’t always be easy, particularly with the
reversal will bring an economic and social boost to the city that it
funding of further research into the ‘costs’ of alcohol, the industry
desperately needs,” says Wilsmore.
is committed to reducing harm and we want to be a credible
“Those first few months will be very important for Sydneysiders and tourists to demonstrate we can have a great night time economy
participant in that. “Our job is made easier by our members – they are so
without harm due to misuse of alcohol. I hope we can become a case
focused on doing the right thing and take their obligations really
study for policy settings in other States and Territories.
seriously. We also want to acknowledge the Australian public
“The pendulum has swung too far towards more regulation and greater burdens on industry and the individual. Considering
who continue to do the right thing by drinking moderately – and we hope this continues.”
February 2020 | 81
“It’s important that we move the conversation from one of
Brewers Association of Australia
2020: a year for opportunity and reform While there are many exciting opportunities for Australian brewers, the industry has long been subjected to one of the highest excise taxes in the world. Brett Heffernan, CEO, Brewers Association of Australia, says it’s time for that to change.
Beer tax reform will be high on the agenda for the
governments are investigating whether the factual,
Brewers Association of Australia as we head into
scientifically proven information about sugar and
2020, with CEO Brett Heffernan saying that it’s time
carbohydrate content in all alcohol products should
for things to change.
be banned from labels and marketing materials,”
Australians pay the fourth highest excise tax on beer in the world and that tax quietly increases every six months, a fact that Heffernan says is “appalling”. “It’s clear that Australians simply don’t know what or how much tax is in a beer and, when illuminated, the reaction ranges from shock to
says Heffernan. “That’s despite growing interest among consumers wanting to understand what is in the products they buy – especially sugar, carbohydrates and calories.”
outrage. Our putting a toe in the water on this issue
publicly has been instructive. We will be building
Consumer preferences are constantly changing and
on that in 2020.
in 2020 we can see a greater demand for low and no
“That a beer is fast becoming out of reach for everyday Aussies is simply wrong. When 42 per cent of the price of a beer is tax, eclipsing any other
alcohol products, and breweries are delivering on this demand to great success. “The major brewers continue to launch new
input cost to be the biggest cost in the price of a
products and, especially the development of
beer... that’s political dynamite.
alcohol-free beers has been an eye-opener over
“Without giving too much away, the time is right
the last year. CUB, Lion and Coopers have each
for beer tax reform. There is no legitimate reason
launched no alcohol products and I think even they
for Australians to be paying top tier tax on a beer
may have been surprised at just how popular they
compared to the rest of the world. With a variety
have become. I know I was.
of external factors in play – cost of living pressures
“Continuing that dynamic approach and
for one – 2020 presents opportunities to get on the
exploring new innovations is key to keeping pace
front foot and drive a positive agenda for change.”
Another issue that Heffernan raises is the
“The one constant with beer over the last four
proposed banning of sugar and carbohydrate content
decades has been change. Being responsive and
from alcohol labels. Particularly given the growing
adaptable is paramount. There is more than enough
trend towards health and wellbeing and consumers
of the Australian beer market to go around. It
increasingly wanting to make informed choices.
continues to change, and from that, opportunities
“In a bizarre twist on consumer rights, 82 | National Liquor News
“Continuing that dynamic approach and exploring new innovations is key to keeping pace with consumers.” Brett Heffernan CEO Brewers Association of Australia
An exciting year of opportunity for Cider Australia Cider Australia President Sam Reid looks ahead to an exciting 2020 featuring an export program, premiumisation and supporting Australian farmers.
In 2019 Cider Australia rolled-out the 100 per cent
drinking repertoires. We need to ensure that cider
Australian Grown ‘Trust Mark’ which has helped to
drinkers can stay with the category throughout
give Australian cider its own identity.
their lives, like they can with wine, beer and spirits, by ensuring a diversity of styles, flavours and
market, unifying producers and giving drinkers
formats exist in the market place and that we don’t
a functional and emotional reason to trade up to
lose drinkers from the category due to a lack of
a better-quality product which in turn is getting
those more mature, discerning options,” Reid said.
supported by retailers. With a successful year in the bag, Sam Reid,
“The biggest opportunities are to continue to premiumise the category, using purpose grown fruit
President of Cider Australia, said that the
to create amazing flavours and draw attention to the
immediate focus in 2020 will be the Export
100% Australian Grown Trust Mark and make sure
program and taking the 100% Australian Grown
more consumers are aware of it. Once consumers
Trust Mark on the road to China.
are aware of it, it will be a no brainer and will gain
“We are currently planning on showcasing a number of Cider producers and launching the 100% Australian Grown ‘Trust Mark’ in China in partnership with Wine Australia in May and June. “Along with that we are launching an Australian
its own momentum, as who doesn’t want to support Australian farmers right?” Reid added that as the category continues its premium growth, there are opportunities for retailers who come on that journey and who are
Cider Day, a celebration of ciders made from 100
able to guide consumers through the varieties that
per cent Australian grown fruit which will be held
the category offers.
on March 14.” Premiumisation has influenced the entire
“Cider is an incredibly unique and diverse category, not just Australian, but regions within
industry for many years, and Reid said that for cider
Australia and also regions around the globe. If
to have a sustainable future the category needs to
we can help more Australians access some of the
continue to premiumise.
diverse styles and flavours that exist internationally
“The category is currently dominated by cheaper
“The biggest opportunities are to continue to premiumise the category, using purpose grown fruit to create amazing flavours and draw attention to the 100 per cent Australian Grown Trust Mark.” Sam Reid President Cider Australia
people will be able to better understand the
ciders which use imported concentrate and these
importance of provenance more than ever, and that
ciders occupy a place in peoples’ minds and
will get the cider pulled off the shelf.”
February 2020 | 83
The mark is already having an impact in
Time to be part of the solution Active industry participation is helping DrinkWise bring positive change to the Australian drinking culture.
Simon Strahan CEO DrinkWise
Throughout 2019, DrinkWise has communicated a message of moderation to Australians, and despite a sometimes imbalanced focus on negative news, CEO Simon Strahan says data shows responsible drinking habits are increasing. For examples of how moderation messaging is being taken on board, simply look to the consumer trends driving the
DrinkWise moderation message to
industry right now, like the rise of low ABV.
reach all major racing venues across
“The increased availability of low and
behavioural change. “We have updated the government on
Australia. Our messaging is now seen at all
the success of the program in the hope
no alcohol products… demonstrates that
major race days… via signage, bar point
that the innovative use of communication
the industry respects the need to provide
of sale display, geo-targeted social posts,
channels can be part of their planning
quality alternatives for those who are
digital advertising and integrated visual
around future FASD campaigns.”
looking to manage their overall alcohol
content played over on-course screens.”
consumption,” Strahan said.
Across the whole industry, Strahan said that another continued focus for 2020 will
regarding young adult drinking in
Opportunities and challenges for 2020
Australia, our research has shown that
One of the hottest topics in alcohol
binge drinking as a rite of passage into
regulation right now is also a focus for
message across industry assets in the
adulthood is no longer the norm.”
DrinkWise in 2020, the Food Standards
events space to promote the importance of
Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
drinking in moderation,” Strahan said.
“Contrary to some media reports
In fact, the amount of young adults drinking to excess is down by 10 per cent
review of pregnancy warning labels on
on the previous year. At the same time,
be creating a collective and sustainable approach towards positive change. “We’ve seen the benefits of a consistent
“It’s important that we work to achieve a similar level of consistency with the use of
Strahan said: “DrinkWise provided a
Get the Facts DrinkWise.org.au messaging
Statistics that overall alcohol consumption
submission based on available evidence,
on all product advertising, as this provides
has remained responsibly steady
highlighting the need to address existing
a clear message of moderation and allows
compared to years before.
consumer awareness and potential
consumers to seek out evidence-based
communication challenges to ensure a
information via our website, including
practical tips and advice.”
we see from the Australian Bureau of
“Through our work with Australian Grape & Wine, resources have been distributed to over 1,700 wineries across
This is tied in with the success of
Strahan’s final message to the industry
Australia to help educate consumers about
the DrinkWise Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
is to highlight the value of an inclusive
standard tasting pours and to provide them
Disorder (FASD) Awareness Program, a
approach: “A collective approach is the only
with the resources to track their drinks
proactive industry supported action.
sustainable approach, so we’d encourage
while they are at cellar doors,” Strahan said. “In 2019, we extended our racing
“Surveys of medical practice staff and
those companies attempting to undertake
patients show that the approach, one of
their own small, ad hoc initiatives to become
partnership model to include the
the most comprehensive around this issue,
part of a broader solution that is proven,
Australian Turf Club, allowing the
is creating greater awareness, attitude and
successful and long term.”
84 | National Liquor News
“TOGETHER, WE WE MADE MADE MY MY FAVORITE FAVORITE “TOGETHER, BOURBON ON ON THE THE PLANET” PLANET” BOURBON MATTH E W M C C O N A U G H E Y MATTH E W M C C O N A U G H E Y
Euromonitor Lion launched Quincy in late 2019
Hard Seltzers are going to be different
The health and wellness trends will remain in 2020, with Australian drinkers adopting new flavours and lighter versions of traditional alcoholic beverages.
Author: Alejandra Cornelio Research Analyst, Euromonitor International
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
In 2019 we saw the long-term declining trend in total consumption
currently driving a 200 per cent growth in the category despite
of alcoholic drinks stabilise. Trade sources agree that in addition
being relatively new and only representing a small percentage of the
to spirits-based cocktails being responsible for this, Australian
industry. There have been a few attempts to disrupt the beer market
drinkers are starting to adopt the new flavours and lighter versions
with alternatives such as hard sodas and Smirnoff Ice, however
of the traditional alcoholic beverages that they once thought of
these have all failed to do so. Hard seltzers are going to be different.
giving up as health and wellness trends settle and new ones emerge. Sources also affirm these shifts mostly come from the younger
How will hard seltzers affect other categories?
population who have shown to be drinking way less than any
Established within the beer category in some markets, alcoholic
previous generation and have also shown to be more curious and
seltzers are considered RTDs in Australia and are expected to gain
to have a higher willingness to explore and try new things. This
some market share from the beer and spirits categories, particularly
current situation creates the perfect environment for hard seltzers
gin and those meant to be mixed with lighter mixers such as tonic or
to be the most important trend coming in 2020. Hard seltzers
have experienced a vast success in the US with a little over one billion US dollars in sales in the last year. These â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;healthy beersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; are 86 | National Liquor News
In 2019, with new gin distilleries and local gin brands continuing to emerge, gin did not see any signs of reaching a
peak. Despite the attempt of hard seltzers to bond
have plans on further acquiring any cider brands and
with a similar consumer target, the strong growth
instead they plan to focus their efforts on their craft
in premium gin is expected to keep propelling
lines and newer trends such as hard seltzers.
the bloom of this spirit. Premium gin brands have been successfully keeping up with current trends,
releasing gins with minimalistic labels and ‘pretty’
In 2020 we see refreshing, light and fizzy taking over
looking bottles. On top of this, hard seltzers are
the alcoholic drinks Australian market. As compared
slowly being added to the list of top ingredients for
to most RTDs hard seltzers truly tick all the boxes
the latest cocktails to be in scope in early 2020.
regarding the latest trends by being low in sugar and
In the case of white wine, alcoholic seltzers do
low in carbs. Australia already embraces RTD drinks
not represent a significant threat as we all know the
and thus possesses an enormous potential for this type
resurgence of spirits such as Aperol Spritz have been
of drink to flourish as compared to other markets like
the one in charge to snitch some of these white wine
South America where these have not yet taken off.
drinkers who used to put a glass of Sauvignon Blanc
Due to this, hard seltzers will experience a smooth
on top of their list and have now been captivated by
adoption very much alike to the way it happened with
a small range of bitters known to have the power to
hard kombucha. With the explosion of kombucha
embellish almost any drink as well as the still present
in the last couple of years, hard kombucha is already
obsession for local Prosecco and other pink sparkling
becoming increasingly available among major off-
wines which are meritocratic of an Instagram post.
trade distribution channels in the last year.
In 2020 we expect Australians to continue to
Similarly, 2020 expects to see the birth of small
show their love for local beer with mid-strength and
local brands which will look to follow other current
craft beers experiencing the fastest growth within
trends such as premiumisation. Lion was quick to
the entire beer category. Hard seltzers might not
introduce Quincy in a gin alike glass bottle aiming
represent an ultimatum to these classics, however
for a higher end market as compared to the US brand
the newest additions to the beer portfolios such
White Claw, currently leading the Australia seltzer
as low-alcohol beers might face a challenge as
market, only offered in cans which at the same time
hard seltzers share more than one characteristic
hit the bull’s eye in convenience trends, still present
in common with a lot of these alternative beers by
mostly among the younger demographic. But as
being low sugar, low carb as well as having opted for
new craft versions arise these will also be expected to
a similar refreshing crisp sour non-bitter taste.
appear in the traditional brown glass bottles.
Moreover, the recent success of low-alcohol beers
“Hard seltzers have experienced a vast success in the US with a little over one billion US dollars in sales in the last year.”
might be challenged further by the growing penetration of non-alcoholic beers. Trade sources have commented on this by saying that the typical Australian beer drinker is more likely to go for a non-alcoholic beer rather than a low-alcohol one as these are still trying
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
to figure out how many beers they can have or when to stop drinking before engaging in activities such as driving. Sources show that the most common reason why young adults drink non-alcoholicic beer is because they are the designated driver. Another category that is losing popularity is cider. After a tough year of weak sales, the cider market will only experience a tougher one with the introduction of alcoholic seltzers. We can expect to see a wider range of sugar reduced and low-carb options in ciders in 2020. Leading beverage companies do not February 2020 | 87
Independent Brewers Association
Growing the indie beer movement The Independent Brewers Association are helping broaden appreciation for Australia’s diverse range of indie beers.
Jamie Cook Chair Independent Brewers Association
3 Ravens hosted an event for Indie Beer Day
With each year that passes, the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) finds that Australians’ love of indie beer is growing. It would be hard for it not to, considering the wide reaching and integrated campaign from the IBA to build awareness of indie beer and why it matters. Chair of IBA, Jamie Cook, said their major successes in 2019 are examples of huge amounts of hard work and perseverance paying off. “Seeing the introduction of the excise changes in July which increased the rebates from $30k to $100k and removed the restriction on the use of smaller kegs was pleasing to see after years of lobbying work,” Cook said. “With the successful merger of Good
“As indie beer is adopted by a much broader drinker base it will become a much more approachable, acceptable and preferred choice when it comes to buying a beer.” Cook said: “All retailers should look to
more breweries in suburban and regional Australia, the category is quickly becoming more accessible and relatable than ever. In the last financial year alone, there were 87 new independent breweries that came online, compared to 54 the year before. But while there has been growth in the independent brewing sphere, Cook said
Beer Week and the IBA and both BrewCon
getting on board with our Trade Supporter
and the Indies taking another huge leap
Seal program so they can identify
forward, the IBA’s event program now
themselves as being savvy retailers who
restricting access to the market is
provides a strong platform for industry
are supporting the small, local and
hampering the growth of an industry
education and celebration along with the
which is having a hugely positive impact
promotion of good beer to consumers.” Meanwhile, IBA rolled out a range of resources for their members, including
Stocking independent beer is also encouraged by IBA due to the increasingly wider appeal it’s had to beer drinkers.
the industry is still being held back. “The current practices around
on the local economy,” Cook said. “The impact that these practices have on increasing the price the consumer is
labelling guidelines, a product recall guide
“As indie beer is adopted by a much
and quality fact sheets. After the successful
broader drinker base it will become a much
especially in these times of low wage
roll out of the IBA Independence Seal
more approachable, acceptable and preferred
growth in the face of living increases.”
covering around 70 per cent of Australia’s
choice when it comes to buying a beer.”
independent beer volume, they’ve also introduced a retailer version.
Gone are the days when indie beer was seen as an urban hipster product. With
paying for beer is also not a great thing
A new General Manager might help lead the charge against these challenges, but as yet, IBA are still looking for the perfect fit for the role left after the
Impacts of proposed pregnancy labels “While the IBA supports mandatory pregnancy labelling, we believe the proposed
resignation of Alexis Roitman last year. Cook said: “It is a great opportunity for
approach to design is out of step with consumption habits and trends and appears to
the right candidate to join and lead a very
impose unnecessary costs and complications on producers (especially small ones).”
strong team, and work with the Board to continue developing our industry.”
88 | National Liquor News
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A decade of drinks
Daniel Bone, Insights Director at IRI reflects on a decade of drinks trends and offers predictions on which categories will show growth in 2020.
Over the last decade, the industry’s top dollar
What to look out for
driving category will arguably be remembered
The format seemingly everyone’s viewing in awe
most for the mainstreaming of craft beer amid
from afar is hard seltzers – a ‘better-for-you’
outstanding absolute and share growth. Off-premise
option that grew by over 40 per cent in volume
value and volume sales more than doubled in the
and value in the US off-premise in 2019. I am
last five years alone. However, single-digit growth
largely bullish about the format’s prospects in
looks set to be the ‘new normal’ in the decade ahead
this market – as IRI will detail in a forthcoming
amid the continued maturity of the segment. The
research paper in Q1 – although it will need the
challenges of brewers in sustaining just low single-
dedicated ranging and scale apparent in the US
digit gains in the US is a telling warning sign for the
market to fully realise its potential.
craft beer market locally, particularly with a two to three-year horizon.
Low and light themed IPAs in particular will be a growth theme in the coming years. And with
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Short and long term, consolidation will remain
craft lagers accounting for nearly half (47 per cent)
a dominant theme both locally and globally; this
of all segment growth in 2019 (MAT To 01/12/19)
includes fewer craft breweries unable to generate
– largely due to the soaring sales velocity of the
enough scale in a slowing market, as the highest
Mountain Goat Goat Lager bub-brand – we expect
performing ‘indie brands’ are being coveted by the
to see the once maligned lager style utilised by
brewing giants (is Colonial next?).
breweries to recruit more drinkers in craft and/
ABV will increasingly come into focus with mid-
or to keep them drinking craft within a given
strength craft helping to ensure that craft remains in
occasion. Once again, lower ABV craft lagers is a
the shopper’s consideration set given the preference
more specific form of NPD that we anticipate seeing
shift towards any liquor beverage that is light in both
more activity in, which will help reinforce lagers
alcohol and calories.
as the more palatably priced and approachable
90 | National Liquor News
“We are looking at a retail liquor market that should reach $23.5-27.0bn by the time we are reflecting on the decade ahead once more in 2030.” Author: Daniel Bone Insights Director IRI
“Locally, sour craft beer’s growth contribution has been over eight times its sales contribution. In other words, it’s a style with considerable growth momentum that appears to bode well for the new decade.” flavour option versus more intense and alienating craft styles. Look out for more fruit inspired sours too akin to the popular Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale offering in the US – a brand we flagged in our 2018 research into the five wellbeing trends shaping liquor choices. Locally, sour craft beer’s growth contribution has been over eight times its sales contribution. In other words, it’s a style with considerable growth momentum that appears to bode well for the new decade. Fruit infused flavours will continue to fuel growth in the irrepressible gin segment within glass spirits. We recently published an extensive study into gin trends and included a topline forecast that anticipates near 20 per cent unit sales growth in 2020. After all, the level of flavour diversity in this market – at least in terms of discernible sales impact – remains comparably low versus European markets. Spiced rum and tequila – with the latter showing a more pronounced sales lift in 2019 – appear to offer considerable growth potential for the years ahead, particularly as some gin fatigue eventually sets in. Ten years from now I anticipate that we will be referring to a more fragmented liquor market characterised
automated online shopping and a greater realisation of the growth potential that exists from leveraging Meanwhile,
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
liquor’s suitability for food pairing experiences. narratives
will gather genuine ‘marketing currency’ – both packaging and ingredient focused. An epicurean mindset among a greater proportion of everyday Australians will continue to insulate the industry from the intensity of trading pressures, particularly legislative and margin related. We are looking at a retail liquor market that should reach $23.5-27.0bn by the time we are reflecting on the decade ahead once more in 2030.
February 2020 | 91
Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia
Providing a united voice for successful independents LSA WA will continue its work to ensure that independent liquor retailers in Western Australia are not regulated out of existence.
“We are determined to ensure our industry does not
BDR will eliminate any prospect of an MUP across
get regulated out of existence. That is our focus and
we are happy to work with any other organisation,
For Spagnolo, the greatest challenge in 2020 will
association or group which shares that mindset.” That
be ensuring that WA doesn’t get hit with the harsh
is the key message from Lou Spagnolo, President
liquor retailing restrictions that are being felt in
of Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia
(LSA WA) as they continue to minimise threats to independent liquor retailers in Western Australia. And despite having a few wins chalked up on the
“We have great concerns on how the Health Lobby are seeming to have a very high level of influence on their government’s actions. Western Australia is a very
board in 2019, having successfully seen legislation
different market to other jurisdictions, and we are
passed to control the growth of liquor stores more
focused on keeping it isolated from areas of concerns
than 400sqm and being a driving force behind the
like the Northern Territory.”
rollout of a Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) in the
Last year, LSA WA announced a new
Pilbara region, Spagnolo says there is much more to
strategic partnership with the Master Grocers
be done, but it can’t be done without the continued
Association (MGA) and Spagnolo says it has
support of industry and trade.
been a “massive success”.
“We need to be the united voice that works with or fights the government for your right to trade.” LSA WA’s immediate focus in 2020 will be the launch of the BDR trial in the Pilbara, with equipment
“Now, we work together across Australia with a true independent national partner on legislation at both state and national levels. “On industrial relations alone MGA provide
being rolled out across the region this quarter. The
access to three HR lawyers, not just consultants
BDR has been a collaborative effort between LSA WA
but lawyers. In return, we assist with lobbying at
and the Australian Hotels Association of WA (AHA
a state and national level. And that’s just the tip of
WA). The trial has a two-year timeframe and it’s hoped
the iceberg. It’s a relationship that grows our two
it will lead to further discussions of a potential state-
industry bodies closer and stronger every day.
wide rollout on its success.
“We all must work towards fulfilling and
“We are confident it will have a significant
exceeding our obligations on responsible service
impact on the targeted people. Moving forward it
and continue to engage and nurture community
is hoped the BDR will reduce the need for blanket
relationships. That is where the argument will
restrictions. We anticipate the implementation of a
92 | National Liquor News
Above image: LSA WA celebrated successful independents at its 2019 awards night
“We all must work towards fulfilling and exceeding our obligations on responsible service and continue to engage and nurture community relationships. That is where the argument will be won.” Lou Spagnolo President LSA WA
Discover New Zealandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Most Awarded Winery
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The rise of mindful drinking We can expect to see more innovation and greater demand in the ‘better for you’ space as consumers continue to strive for a healthier lifestyle in 2020.
The rising popularity of Dry January, Dry July, low-
‘good for we’ options across channels and categories.
carb beer, alcohol free spirits and hard kombucha
Consumers are increasingly seeking options that are
in Australia suggests that ‘mindful drinking’ is the
better for their own health and that of their families,
latest health-craze among Aussie consumers.
while also being better for the wider community
Australians are reducing the alcohol they
and the environment. Aside from being a strong
consume with one-in-four claiming they have done
premiumisation play, the target market for this sweet
so recently. This is more pronounced for men aged
spot is highly engaged and readily identifiable making
over 40. When exploring the reasons behind the
it an attractive proposition for marketers.
reduction in alcohol intake, 32 per cent of beer drinkers said they are opting for a healthier lifestyle. As with any category or industry, change doesn’t
Innovation that blurs category lines is a consistent trend we are seeing in the liquor market – there is
liquor manufacturers, bars and restaurants that don’t
lots of collaboration between breweries, distilleries
adapt to shifting ‘mindful drinking’ preferences, the
and winemakers currently in play. While still in its infancy in Australia, consumers
soft drinks, mocktails, low and non-alcoholic
now can find whisky brands with a hint of IPA beer,
options, kombucha and botanical tinctures all offer a
wines aged in whisky barrels and spirits brands
wealth of opportunity for on-premise establishments
venturing into the ‘ready-to-drink cocktails’ space.
to experiment with and promote to consumers. And Australia is not alone; in the UK, the no/
Looking to the US market for inspiration, there’s significant growth in the Hard Seltzer category,
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
low beer category has grown by £16.1 million in
which is a carbonated alcoholic beverage. Before the
the latest 12 months, attracting new buyers to this
year ends, Hard Seltzers will be worth over US$1
healthier market niche.
billion – an almost doubling in the last year. In
The rise of mindful drinking globally suggests that no-alcohol options will continue to grow as a
Australia, brands like K. Booch are looking to mirror the rise of the Hard Kombucha category globally.
consumer beverage choice during social occasions.
Ready-to-drink spirits is one category that is
Aside from the successful launch of Heineken Zero
set to take off with a proliferation of new products
in 2018, there has also been an increase in non-
and innovation aimed at meeting the evolving
alcoholic craft spirits. Global brands like Seedlip
needs of Australian drinkers. Mixing spirits and
and local entrants like Ecology & Co are providing
soft drinks has traditionally been popular, but the
consumers with more options than ever before.
next generation of ready-to-drink products is also
Manufacturers are also channeling their innovation efforts to hit the sweet spot between ‘good for me’ and 94 | National Liquor News
Senior Vice-President, Beverage Alcohol Practice (US), Nielsen
Innovation and blurred lines
mean that a revenue stream has evaporated. For
outlook will be far less bright. Near-beers, premium
Author: Danny Brager,
resonating with the more modern shopper who is on the hunt for healthier beverage choices.
Author: Marcos de Arruda Senine, Director Liquor Services (Australia), Nielsen
66% of alcohol beverage drinkers aged 21-34 said they are making an effort to reduce their overall consumption of alcohol
New Zealand Wine
New Zealand wine in record demand With the demand for New Zealand wine at an all-time high, Sauvignon Blanc is still leading the charge, but rosé and low alcohol wines are also showing growth.
“Like Australia, rosé is also continuing its
showed no sign of slowing in 2019, with total export
ascension. It is now the fourth largest New Zealand
value reaching a record $1.83 billion. Export value
wine export reaching 5.195 million litres in 2019
rose by six per cent in June year end 2019, translating
and, while a minnow compared to Sauvignon
at a retail level to more than $7 billion dollars of New
Blanc’s 231m litres, isn’t too far behind Pinot Gris
Zealand wine sold around the world annually.
(8.67m litres exported), beating Chardonnay
The UK and USA led the growth, with the USA
(5.088m litres exported) for the first time. That
continuing to be New Zealand wine’s largest market
more than doubles the 2.389m litres of 2017, and
with more than $550 million in exports and it
nearly 10 times that of 2010, when New Zealand
remains either the highest or second highest priced
exported just 0.559m litres of rosé.”
wine category in the USA, UK, Canada, and China. When it comes to growing and emerging trends, Natalie Grace, Founder of Perfectly
2019’s significant events • The International Sauvignon Blanc
Rieslingable, flags low alcohol wines and rosé,
Celebration at the end of January brought
while not forgetting the hero of New Zealand
more than 100 international wine producers,
wine, Sauvignon Blanc.
experts and key influencers to Marlborough
“Retail buyers note that moderation is one of the key trends in Australia and lower alcohol offerings
to explore the complexity of the country’s flagship variety.
are growing in popularity with customers across
• The industry celebrated 200 years of the first
all categories. Those involved in the New Zealand
vine planted – from these small beginnings
Lighter Wines programme are already benefitting
wine in New Zealand has grown to play a
from this movement,” she says.
significant role in the social and economic
“The initiative is the product of a New Zealand research and development programme led by New
wellbeing of the many grape-growing regions.
“In Australia, participants [of the Lighter Wines Programme] are selling twice as much low alcohol wine than a year ago and demand in New Zealand is expected to triple in the next five years.”
• Finally, building commenced on the Bragato
Zealand Winegrowers and the 18 New Zealand
Research Institute (BRI) Research Winery in
producers involved aim to have a 10 per cent share
Marlborough. The facility will deliver world
Founder & Consultant Perfectly Rieslingable Perfectlyrieslingable.com
of the global market between 2025 and 2030. In
class research outcomes to support the
Australia, participants are selling twice as much low
quality, sustainability and growth ambitions
alcohol wine than a year ago and demand in New
of the industry and key stakeholders.
Zealand is expected to triple in the next five years. February 2020 | 95
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
International demand for New Zealand wine
Retail Drinks Australia
Retail Drinks looks to build on a successful 2019 After its first full year of operation, Retail Drinks Australia is aiming to build on many of the important successes that 2019 brought.
Julie Ryan CEO Retail Drinks Australia
The 2019 Retail Drinks Industry Awards
Retail Drinks Australia (Retail Drinks) was formed in late 2018, meaning that last year was its first full year of operation. But despite being so young, the association hit the ground running and achieved many important successes. Having built that solid foundation and established its credibility across both the industry and governments of all levels, Retail Drinks CEO, Julie Ryan is looking for more success in 2020. “Retail Drinks’ major focus in 2020 will be continuing its proactive consultations and collaboration with governments across all Australian states and territories on a range of policy issues affecting the industry,” Ryan told National Liquor News. “Whether it be online alcohol sales and deliveries, liquor licensing, store trading hours or alcohol advertising, Retail Drinks will seek positive changes for the industry while also promoting
What are some of the key issues for 2020?
and enhancing the ability for retailers to trade responsibly.”
Talking about the association’s focuses for 2020, Ryan added: “Further to its advocacy activities, Retail Drinks will also be focusing
Online alcohol sale and delivery regulation National Alcohol Strategy impacts on liquor licensing
policy, including advertising, availability and trading hours
on expanding its member services offering as a key priority for the
year ahead, with a specific emphasis on well-being and mental health.
“In addition to its existing member offers such as a dedicated HR Member Hotline and Business Insurance Program, Retail Drinks will be working with various industry suppliers to secure high value offers on essential business services for its members. “Retail Drinks is the only liquor retail membership body which
Addressing issues within the revised NT Liquor Regulations Banned Drinkers Register trials in WA, and the threat of increased restrictions in WA CDS amendments being considered in some states, and
the potential introduction of CDS in others Delivering meaningful assistance for small business to
navigate challenging economic trading conditions.
provides assistance both over the phone and through web based resources, but also ensures that all of its members receive an ‘in-
“This issue can be demonstrated by the example of
store’ visit from one of our membership services team who have
inconsistent CDS legislation across multiple states and territories.
extensive experience in liquor retail.
Concerningly, there are active proposals at a state and territory
Retail Drinks acts for all its members on a state and territory
government level which, if adopted, would further entrench these
basis, but also as a national association for packaged liquor
interjurisdictional inconsistencies and create additional red tape
retailers. Ryan said that the key issue for Retail Drinks to address
for liquor retailers and other businesses to navigate.
is not confined to one particular problem or policy area but
“All state and territory governments need to adopt a policymaking
rather the significant inconsistencies evident in the policymaking
approach which is both fact-based and evidence driven as well as
approaches of different states and territories.
consider a unified and consistent approach with other jurisdictions
“These inconsistencies can lead to a patchwork of policies
where practically possible. As has been shown in the past however,
across the country creating an enormous red tape and
this issue is one which can be very difficult to resolve. It is our hope
administrative burden for liquor retailers operating in multiple
that over time, issues such as CDS, online alcohol sales and RSA to
states and territories,” Ryan said.
name a few, can achieve a level of national consistency.”
96 | National Liquor News
Consumer distrust: the hidden threat to your brand Distrust can have an enormously corrosive effect on any company, but it can be difficult to identify so the Roy Morgan Risk Report has been developed to identify and put distrust on the radar of every company board.
Author: Michele Levine CEO Roy Morgan
For decades brand strategists, including those in the liquor industry, have recognised the importance consumer trust plays in purchasing decisions and brand loyalty. But new research from the Roy Morgan Research Institute has revealed an even more powerful force unrecognised and unmeasured until now: Distrust. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says it’s crucial to get to grips with the threat distrust poses. “Trust is vital to the success of any business, but it is distrust that can cause disaster, leading to customer churn, loss of market share and, for publicly owned companies, a plummeting share price.” Distrust, it turns out, is not an uncertainty about whether to trust, or even an absence of trust. Levine describes it as something quite separate. “It’s much darker and more damaging. It has an enormously corrosive effect yet has been hiding in plain sight.”
Billions at stake
a $2.3 billion write-down in value as tens of thousands of people
The Roy Morgan Research Institute surveys around 50,000
took their business elsewhere. It’s the ultimate demonstration that
Australians each year in depth about almost everything
no brand is immune from the corrosive effect of distrust and no
imaginable, from their favourite tipple and preferred shoe store
amount of previous goodwill is enough to shield you. It can be
to their bank balance and hopes for the future. Two years ago,
managed, but first you have to know what you’re up against.”
Levine says, she and her team realised something was changing, but none of the existing measures, including their extensive trust
The glass is half full for the liquor industry
and consumer confidence surveys, could explain it.
The Roy Morgan Risk Report issued in November 2019
Identifying distrust as the issue was the breakthrough. A
measures the 190-most mentioned brands (from a total pool of
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
whole new research stream was developed. Levine says what it
800) across 25 industry categories. By subtracting the percentage
uncovered has surprised even the most experienced marketers
of survey respondents who distrust an industry or brand from
and corporate leaders, who thought they knew their customer
those who trust it, a Net Trust Score (NTS) or Net Distrust Score
base inside out.
(NDS) is revealed.
In fact, this ongoing measure has been titled the Roy Morgan
The best possible result is a high NTS. A low NTS indicates
Risk Report because Levine believes distrust should be on the risk
room for improvement. An NDS should be a sharp warning to
register of every company board, right alongside workplace health
management and the company board.
and safety, exchange rates and IT vulnerability. To anyone who thinks that’s an exaggeration, Levine offers
The liquor industry has a presence in two of the 25 Risk Report industry groupings: Retail and Food and Beverage. Pleasingly,
three letters: AMP. “For decades it was one of the most trusted
each enjoys an NTS in the most recent report, although there is
brands in Australia. Then came the revelations of the Financial
quite a gap between them.
Services Royal Commission and we watched as distrust skyrocketed. The result was a 70 per cent drop in share price and 98 | National Liquor News
Retail is right at the top of the tree with the highest NTS of any industry, thanks to consumers feeling significantly higher trust
than distrust towards it. By contrast, Food and Beverage came in at ninth, of the 11 industries rated positively, with only slightly
more trust than distrust. (For the record, of the 14 industries with
As well as asking Australians which brands they trust
NDS, Mining and Petroleum was the most distrusted.)
and distrust via unprompted, open-ended questions, the
However, on an individual brand level, it’s clear that liquor and
Roy Morgan Risk Monitor collects detailed, open-ended
liquor retailer brands are far from front of mind when people are
reasons for these feelings, providing both quantitative
asked, “Please list all the companies you trust and why”. While
and qualitative data. The Net Scores are calculated by
there are brands that sell liquor among the ranked list of 127 NTS
subtracting distrust responses from trust responses: % Trust
brands, all but one are supermarkets: Aldi (second most trusted
- % Distrust. To provide an accurate picture of sentiment
brand in Australia after Bunnings), IGA (15th) and Foodland
within the entire Australian consumer market, two types
(37th). The other is general retailer Costco, which sells liquor in
of surveys are undertaken regularly; the big-picture Roy
NSW, ACT and Victoria (62nd).
Morgan Risk Monitor and industry-specific Roy Morgan
Several liquor-specific retailers – BWS, First Choice Liquor and
Industry Risk surveys.
Liquorland – were nominated by a small number of respondents, but only Dan Murphy’s passed the threshold of 20-or-more unprompted mentions to make it into the ranked lists, placing 73rd on the overall
Reasons consumers trust and distrust brands
NTS brands list, and 15th of the 24 NTS brands in Retail.
The reasons Australians give for their feelings of trust towards a
In the Food & Beverage category, six brands were mentioned
brand have key themes: Quality customer service and experience;
unprompted by respondents – Bundaberg, Carlton and United
Good and helpful staff; A good returns policy; Quality products
Breweries, Coopers Brewery, Lion, Tooheys and Treasury Wine
and services; Fair prices; Never having experienced problems with
Estates – however none passed the 20-or-more threshold for
the company; and, Having a good relationship with the brand
inclusion in the ranked lists.
over time. Distrust is similarly grouped by theme: Poor customer service; Greed and focus on profits over customers; Perceptions of overpricing; High costs and unaffordable price increases; Unethical Practices; Misleading and dishonest behaviour; Lack of respect for privacy; and, Poor environmental record. It’s worth noting that while pricing matters, distrust does not necessarily increase as prices increase. It is the perception that a cost is unjust, unjustified or hidden that creates distrust. When it comes to the reasons for feelings of trust or distrust about liquor and liquor retailer brands, place of origin and authenticity feature strongly. Reasons for trust included, “Excellent product”, “Reliable”, “Always delivers quality”, “Great people, local”, “a good Aussie company”, “family business”, “very good service” and “good value for money”. Reasons for distrust included, “Selling a false image”, “Deceptive”, “Advertising is excessive” and “Sold out to overseas consortiums”. Levine says Roy Morgan will continue to measure distrust because doing so provides crucial information. “Organisations that fail to track their Net Trust Score or Net Distrust Score effectively turn a blind eye to this very real risk, making themselves vulnerable to enormous brand damage: If you can’t name it and measure it, you can’t fix it. But for the leaders who seek to understand what drives trust or distrust in their customers – and potential customers – knowledge is power.”
February 2020 | 99
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
“Trust is vital to the success of any business, but it is distrust that can cause disaster, leading to customer churn, loss of market share and, for publicly owned companies, a plummeting share price.”
Putting shoppers at the heart of your business Understanding your shoppers is the key to any successful business, and here David Shukri from Shopper Intelligence simplifies how to put your shoppers’ needs first.
Shoppers are the lifeblood of every liquor business. From the
Author: David Shukri Senior Insight Director Shopper Intelligence shopperintelligence.com.au
Take age groups as an example. Millennials (those aged 18-34)
smallest single store operator to the biggest national chain, if you
make up an increasing proportion of liquor shoppers. Last year
don’t put them at the heart of your decision-making, chances are
this group accounted for nearly one-in-three liquor shoppers and
they won’t have you in mind when they go to buy liquor.
their basket spend and trip frequency were significantly higher
Overall, liquor stores are doing a good job of responding to shoppers’ needs and wants. Last year, 66 per cent of shoppers were satisfied with the overall experience they had in the channel. That’s a higher percentage than the year before and considerably higher than it was three years ago. Still, with competition increasing and per capita liquor consumption falling in recent years, how do you capitalise on this
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
positive sentiment and stave off these challenges? The key is understanding what your shoppers think, want and
than the average for the channel. But is this valuable shopper distributed evenly across all the retail banners in Australia? The answer is no. Some banners, such as Bottlemart, over-index considerably within this age group. Half of their shoppers are under 34. At the other end of the spectrum, around one-in-five Liquorland customers reports being in this younger demographic. Why does this matter? Well, aside from the extra visits they make and the extra money they spend compared to the average
do so you can make measured decisions that increase traffic and
liquor shopper, millennials attach greater importance to a wide
spend without damaging the bottom line. So, here are three ways to
array of topics, including how enjoyable their shopping experience
do that based on what shoppers have told us in the last 12 months.
is, what healthy and responsible drinking options are available to
1. Profile your shopper
them, and the choice of premium products a retailer offers. Responding to these needs is critical in order to attract and
Just as no two liquor stores are identical, no two shoppers are
retain them in the coming years. Moreover, you only really know
either. However, when you survey 24,000 shoppers every year, you
what you need to do when you get under the skin of that unique
start to see trends appearing that can help steer a whole variety of
blend of shoppers at a banner by banner level. That is when the
choices, from price and promotions to range and layout.
exciting stuff really starts to happen.
100 | National Liquor News
2. It’s in the DNA! grouped together in categories. Simple, right? Well, much like
Top 5 Traffic Driving Categories
Top 5 Spend Driving Categories
humans, who each have a unique genetic code, every category in
1. Cask Wine
the store has its own identity. That identity defines how shoppers
2. Red Wine over $15
approach the category, the role it plays and the impact it has
3. Pre-mix Rum
3. S parkling Wine over $15
for the retailer. Just like a problem with a human gene, when
4. Contemporary Beer
something goes wrong with a liquor category, it doesn’t play quite
5. Pre-mix Scotch
Liquor stores are made up of products and those products are
(ex. Champagne) 4. Craft Beer
the role it should, and its performance can drop. Clearly this is not
5. White Wine over $15
where you want your categories to be. Let’s consider the two ways to drive growth. You can either Confused? It all comes down to how different groups of shoppers
shoppers to buy more or pay more (increase spend). This dictates
interact with the category. In this case, people under 34 who buy
what levers you need to pull in order to maximise the opportunity
Shiraz view cheaper bottles (less than $15) very differently to their
each category offers. Of course, nothing is black and white. No
older relatives and are much more promotionally driven. At the same
category is 100 per cent traffic driver or 100 per cent spend driver,
time, they’re also more likely than the over 34s to trade up to a more
but they are a blend of both. It is this blend, together with how they
expensive bottle or buy Shiraz on impulse. This is an example of a very
compare to each other, that counts.
dynamic category and one that offers great opportunities to tailor and
Forty-five per cent of shoppers treat the average category in liquor as a traffic driver. This means they view it as the main
differentiate your offer, depending on who you want to target.
reason they went shopping, that they don’t want to run out of that
3. Drive by occasion
category, or that promotions encourage them to shop it.
Those millennial shoppers aren’t just different because of how they
The highest over-index to average comes from Cask Wine, with slightly more than half of shoppers saying it is a traffic
shop, but also because of why they shop liquor. On average, 39 per cent of liquor shoppers have a specific
driver. Conversely, only about one-in-four shoppers (the lowest
occasion in mind when they go to a store. The number drops to
proportion of all categories) say Cask Wine is a spend driver. In
fewer than a quarter of over 55s, but balloons to nearly two-thirds
other words, shoppers are relatively less likely to buy Cask Wine
of those under 34. This is a really important difference for liquor
on impulse, to try something new or different in the category, or
businesses to grasp and respond to.
to pay a little more for a better-quality product. As a result, it’s most important in a category like this to make sure you: • Engage with shoppers before they enter the store (as opposed to at shelf) • Maintain excellent shelf basics, including strong availability and range simplicity • Promote pre-store and lead on excellent value. Craft Beer on the other hand behaves quite differently. It under-
Millennials are far more likely to buy liquor with a defined social event, meal occasion, party or gift in mind. Messages that speak to those occasions, both pre-store and in-store, are especially important to capture the attention of this shopper. At the same time, nearly three-quarters of younger shoppers will consume the liquor they buy within a few hours of purchase. Among over 55s, the number is just one in four. Convenience and portability become much more important
indexes significantly as a traffic driver but ranks fourth as a spend
in a world of immediate, occasion-based consumption. Store
driver compared to all 32 liquor categories. This means you should
layout and range must be front of mind. Within this, the use
and location of chiller space also come in to play and will vary
• Encouraging purchase in-store through eye-catching displays and theatre • Offering well-selected premium products that spur shoppers to trade-up • Inspiring and exciting customers with innovation and information about the category. A third example is Shiraz. This varietal scores highly as both a traffic and spend driver.
depending on your shopper profile and category DNA. Overall, the bar continues to rise in the liquor channel and shoppers’ expectations are rising too. There’s still plenty of room for growth, but it will only come for retailers and suppliers who have a deep understanding of who’s shopping, why they’re buying and what’s most important to them. Once you have that, you can truly start to influence and lead the liquor market of tomorrow.
February 2020 | 101
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
attract more shoppers (increase traffic) or you can get existing
Spirits & Cocktails Australia
A sustainable future for the Australian spirits industry After taking up the role of CEO, Greg Holland is ready to drive economic opportunities with Spirits & Cocktails Australia.
“This is a very exciting time to be involved in the spirits sector,” said Greg Holland, CEO of Spirits & Cocktails Australia. After taking up the role in November last year, Holland said he’s happy to be contributing to the Australian spirits industry at a key moment in its history. “The Australian spirits industry is currently at the stage the Australian wine
Worth fighting for “In recent years, Australia’s local distilling sector has started to build a premium reputation, with Australian-made spirits taking out prestigious awards around the world – just a couple of months ago, Four Pillars was named International
Greg Holland CEO Spirits & Cocktails Australia
local spirits across the world, becoming internationally recognised for their unique flavour profiles and products, innovative techniques and sustainability. This premium spirit trend is also a factor on home soil, as more people move to ‘drinking less but better’. Holland said that data is showing the
Gin Producer of the Year. There
drinking culture in Australia is positively
sector was at 40 years ago and, with the
are now over 200 distilleries in
changing thanks to trends like this.
right regulatory framework it’s poised
Australia – predominantly small,
to make a huge contribution to jobs,
family businesses. These businesses
frequently on a daily and weekly basis,
the rural supply chain, and tourism and
are passionate about what they
and more people are deciding not to
also emerge as a key agricultural export
do, committed to their communities
drink at all. People are drinking better
product,” Holland said.
and many of them are investing in
quality rather than higher volumes,”
Part of the regulation that is holding the industry back right now is the huge tax on spirits in Australia, the third highest spirits tax in the world. Spirits &
Cocktails Australia highlighted that it is 63 per cent higher than New Zealand’s, and
much-needed tourism and hospitality infrastructure, creating local jobs and supporting Australia’s broader tourism offer.”
“Most Australians are drinking less
he said. “We do acknowledge, however, that there are issues arising from excessive alcohol consumption and under-age drinking that need to be addressed.” What Spirits & Cocktails Australia
more than double the beer tax and four
wants to work towards is sensible and
times the cider tax.
practical regulation of the industry, in a
When this high level of tax is then
way that is beneficial to the public’s health
increased every six months, spirits producers
and safety, and stakeholders like retailers
and manufacturers face a huge barrier.
“We need urgent action to fix the
The great results achieved through
unfair alcohol tax. We need a system that
their involvement during the 2019 NSW
relieves the high tax paid by drinkers,
Government inquiry into Sydney’s night-
stops the tax getting worse and attracts
time economy is one example of their work
material investment into the industry,”
in this regard, contributing to the reversal of
the lockout and regulations that restricted
“A failure to reform Australia’s complex alcohol tax system has long-term
the service of spirits after midnight. According to Holland, the biggest thing
implications for revenue, growth, jobs,
we can learn from the inquiry is that:
hospitality, tourism and basic fairness.”
“Over-regulation needs to be addressed
Australian distillers are creating a vibrant and premium reputation for 102 | National Liquor News
to enable the industry to flourish responsibly.”
Research, plan and execute A well-executed in-store strategy will position your business to attract loyal customers, ensure reduced out of stocks and ultimately maximise your investment. Stephen Wilson takes us step by step through the planning process of creating a compelling in-store offering.
Author: Stephen Wilson Category and Insights Manager StrikeForce
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
The reward for presenting shoppers with
process. Once you have a target in mind,
a compelling, well thought out product
such as sales revenue, units sold or retail
to which categories? This is where
range can be significant. Conversely an
margin itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to develop your roadmap.
understanding share of sales comes into
ad-hoc approach can be disastrous. Consequences can include stalled
Floor and shelf planning
What percentage of space do I allocate
its own. By understanding the percentage of expected sales by category, shelf space
or stunted growth, product duplication
Ask yourselfâ&#x20AC;Ś How much shelf space do
can be allocated in a planned manner.
devaluing the finite shelf space available
I have? The first step in allocating prime
What is the logical flow for the
and decreased revenue and profitability.
real estate to individual categories is
shopper decision tree? Understanding
establishing the number of shelves and
how each category is shopped allows
facings that are available.
you to apply a logical flow of categories
So where do you start? Identifying your end goal is the first step in the planning 104 | National Liquor News
start to build your category universe.
What sits on the top shelf? A great
Does share of shelf meet share of
location for smaller or regional brands,
sales? Alignment of share of shelf with
creating a focus area for explorers to locate
There are non-negotiable
share of sales will reduce the instance of
new and interesting products.
considerations when designing
out of stocks and reduce the time spent
the optimal range for any retail
replenishing shelves during peak periods.
What are the key sub categories? Doing
How many facings do I allocate for each item? This is solely dependent on the item share of category and number of
The range must provide a
your research and understanding category
dynamics allows for a tighter range and
Core products are the bedrock on
shelf allocation within categories to higher
store? Strong, highly visual displays
which the compelling proposition
rotated regularly to attract interest and
How much space do I allocate the each
facings should be allocated accordingly. What do I have at the front of the
keep your offer fresh and compelling.
Apply the 80:20 rule thereby
sub-category? Similar to understanding
A dedicated area at the front of store is
putting focus on core products
which categories require more shelf
ideal for leaving a positive impression
that will draw shoppers in-store
space than others, space allocation for
and increase the chance of a sale.
sub categories requires application of the
Complement your core range with
While there is no absolute guarantee of success, a well thought and planned
items that align with prevailing
Which items have the highest sales
market trends e.g. Health and
velocity? At an even more granular level
in-store strategy will position your
wellness, ‘better for me’.
top selling items need to be allocated more
business to attract and retail to loyal
Understand your customers.
facings than slower selling lines to avoid
customers, ensure reduced out of stocks
Identification of local nuances
unnecessary and time consuming stock
and lost sales and ultimately maximise
driven by demographics should
allow for product ranges to be
approach, complementing a well-executed
How much space do I allocate to
tailored according to shopper
these items? Facings need to be allocated
preference increasing loyalty and
based on share of sub category sales and
Research is a great first step
providing a point of difference.
Where should they be positioned? Items with the highest sales velocity will to match the shopper decision process
collectively form your core range and
during their in-store journey
should be given prime real estate at eye
How will they physically shop my store? According to the ‘invariant right
level on shelves in the middle of the fixture. What about new products? A dual
Identify key customer groups to begin formulating your strategy. What are the prevailing trends
driving shopper behavior? What categories, brands and items
are most heavily shopped? How much revenue does the
theory’ the majority of shoppers will walk
approach can be adopted, creating interest
average basket of goods
to their right when they enter a store. This
and excitement utilising floor displays for
area needs to allow ease of entry and is the
high profile brands supported by media
point where shoppers will get their first
and promotion to encourage trial while
impression of your offering.
allocating shelf space in close proximity to
What, if any, barriers are present to impeding customer flow? Clear,
What profit margin should my
business aspire to? An effective and efficient supply
chain is mandatory. Where will I source my products
uncluttered access to aisles and shelves is
mandatory to ensure there are no physical
The final stage in the process is to
impediments for shoppers to get to their
physically position your range on shelf.
What’s next? Now it’s time to get more granular and
from? What is the lead time for deliveries? How many units do I sell per week?
Where does my core range sit? Prime
position at eye level on middle shelves is
considered the ideal location for shoppers
How often do I need a delivery? What contingency plans do I have in place?
to find and shop the highest velocity lines. February 2020 | 105
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Designing the optimal range
Proving Australian wine is far from ordinary
Wine Australia has been working hard to build the reputation about our local wine across the globe.
CEO Wine Australia
As we head further into 2020, and into
tool. Clark described this as a tool that:
Australia produced wine, so there is a
the final year of a $50 million Australian
“Allows exporters and those interested in
significant promotion and education effort
Government investment to grow
exporting to explore potential markets
ahead,” Clark explained.
Australia’s wine exports and showcase
and gain a better understanding of
wine tourism, Wine Australia CEO
opportunities in different markets at
in the USA, retailers and distributors are
Andreas Clark has a lot to be proud of.
different price points.”
reluctant to stock Australian wine because
Throughout the past few years of this
The first of its kind for the wine sector,
“We face a chicken and the egg situation
they say there’s not enough consumer
investment, Wine Australia has delivered
it draws data from multiple sources to
interest and consumers don’t try Australian
several successful projects and programs, and
help give local winemakers information
wine because there is so little on the shelf.
these are evident in the highlights of 2019.
to reach objectives specifically relevant to
Along with targeted marketing, education and training campaigns in
their business. Another highlight was the $8 million
“We are working very hard to influence the influencers so that Australian wine is better recognised.”
key locations, the grant has allowed the
Far From Ordinary campaign: “The single
creation of a global Market Explorer
largest investment Australian wine has
on research and development that can
made in the United States market, taking
improve the current state and prospects of
100 Australian wine exhibitors to New
the industry. Right now, one of the hottest
2020 wine trend predictions
Back home, Wine Australia is focused
York, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles
topics in this regard is mitigating the
“The principal trend that we are
and San Francisco for a series of consumer
impacts of climate change through more
seeing is premiumisation, that is the
events, seminar and trade tastings.”
trend to move up the value chain,
The US is the largest wine market in
“Operating sustainably with respect for
often accompanied by reductions
the world and represents a significant
in consumption. It is a global trend
opportunity for Wine Australia in 2020,
particularly obvious in developed
albeit a challenging one. Building from
won’t change anything if they’re not put
the momentum of the Far From Ordinary
into practice, which is an ongoing challenge
campaign, Wine Australia’s strategy is to
Wine Australia will continue to address.
“Another trend that is influencing
our environment is a key priority,” Clark said. But all the new ideas and hypotheses
consumption is sustainability,
grow awareness and understanding of the
Clark said: “A perennial challenge for
consumers want to be assured
diversity of Australian wine, and capitalise
us as an RD&E organisation is to translate
that wine, and other agricultural
on the 23 million case opportunity.
research into practice, we are always trying
products are being produced in a sustainable manner.”
106 | National Liquor News
“A recent survey by Wine Intelligence
to improve rates of research adoption –
found that fewer than 50 per cent of USA
without satisfactory rates of take up it is hard
wine consumers were even aware that
to demonstrate the benefits of research.”
Year in Review As we kick off 2020 we take a look back at some of the biggest off-premise stories from 2019
February 2020 | 107
Year in Review
January Queensland reveals its craft beer strategy The Queensland Government revealed details of its craft beer strategy, developed alongside the industry to support independent craft brewers in the state. The Queensland Craft Beer Strategy (QCBS) identifies nine actions within three key priorities: investing in people and agriculture; improving access to markets; and appropriate regulation and planning. Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “Independent craft brewing is emerging as a fast-growing industry… Our local craft brewers have already established a reputation for award-winning quality and brewing techniques, with multiple accolades awarded to our brewers. “We are committed to partnering with this niche and progressive industry to drive ongoing growth across the state, while acknowledging that the strategy will be delivered within the framework of the Government’s policy on the responsible consumption of alcohol.”
McWilliam’s secures ‘absolute stability’ after $15.8m investment
Queensland’s share of the craft beer market has grown nine per cent in six years, and the Government hopes this will help boost that further.
The McWilliam’s Wine Group (MWG)
CUB’s eBay venture riles retailers
completed a $15.8m recapitalisation along
Carlton & United Breweries began
with strategic partners Margaret River Wine
selling direct to consumers through
Production Pty Ltd (MRWP) and Australian
eBay, as part of a ‘trial’ conducted by
agricultural fund manager Laguna Bay.
AB InBev’s global growth and innovation
With this investment, CEO David Pitt said the group would focus on short and longterm plans. “There has been significant improvement
division, ZX Ventures. Lance Eerhard, ZX Venture’s head of e-commerce Asia Pacific South said: “ZX Ventures has been selling a limited
year on year and that trajectory will continue
range of CUB products on eBay since
again through our FY19 year,” Pitt said.
November last year.
“We are really setting ourselves up strategically to go again in FY20 and beyond. So we’ll spend the next part of this
“This is a trial and ZX is continuing to assess the response from consumers.” Retailers were not happy by the move, and said it was not in the best
year defining our strategic plan and then
interests of retail trade, especially as the online prices are lower by up to
leveraging our partnership with MRWP.”
20 per cent.
MWG is a 140-year-old family run wine
One retailer said: “If you are running a trial on a level playing field then
company, the sixth largest wine group
of course you can take some analysis out of the sales. But when you are
in Australia which has endured a tough
below cost, how do you get a read on that? People have only bought from
few years, but with a more strategic and
you because you are so cheap.”
streamlined focus, there is optimism that the future is bright for McWilliam’s.
Alike to when Moët Hennessy moved into online retailing in 2014, retailers said this move will make them seriously consider their position when it comes to ranging CUB products.
108 | National Liquor News
Year in Review
February Proportion of Australians drinking declines A Roy Morgan report highlighted a gradual decline in the percentage of Australians who consume at least one type of alcoholic drink over an average four week period. The report showed that 67.9 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over had at least one drink in an average four week period, compared to
Liquor ‘the strongest performer’ for the Coles group In Coles’ first result since the Wesfarmers demerger, liquor was the strongest performer in the group.
70.1 per cent in 2013. It also showed declines for all major categories of alcoholic drinks, except for cider, which recorded growth. Over the last five years the biggest decline was for wine (down 1.3 per cent), followed by RTD (down 0.9 per cent), liqueurs (down 0.8 per cent)
Overall, the group delivered total sale revenue of $20.9bn, up 2.6 per cent on the prior corresponding period, with EBITs of $733m, down 5.8 per cent.
and beer (down 0.5 per cent). Michele Levine, Roy Morgan CEO said: “The potential reasons for this decline are likely to be as a result of switching to healthier
In the liquor group, total sales revenue was up by 0.6 per cent to $1.7bn with EBITs up $85m, an increase of seven per cent.
options, cost, social issues involved such as drink driving and alternative drug taking.”
Coles CEO Steven Cain said that the liquor group had “all metrics trending in a positive direction”. “Our work around promoting exclusive brands is paying off,” Cain said. “Average basket size continued to improve, driven by general market trends of premiumisation and a favourable mix impact from the spirits category overall. “Exclusive label brands are growing faster than non-exclusive brands with over 50 new lines launched in the half.” Online successes of Coles were also replicated in liquor with online growing at around 30 per cent.
Brad Banducci says Dan Murphy’s needs to innovate Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said that Dan Murphy’s needed to reposition through innovation in order to keep up with rapidly changing consumer needs. The comments were made during the Woolworths results presentation for the first half of FY19, a disappointing result for Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG) with a small sales increase and a fall in earnings before interest and tax. Banducci said, “BWS has really led the charge for us here,” thanks to on-demand home delivery. The success of BWS and Jimmy Brings has begun to influence changes to the Dan Murphy’s model. “Critically important in this category is the whole topic of convenience and people wanting it now,” Banducci said. “A lot of work [in Dan Murphy’s] is not getting the traction we would like right now in sales numbers, but will be a key part of our future.” February 2020 | 109
Year in Review
March The Lion and Four Pillars teams
Lion buys 50 per cent of Four Pillars A deal was announced that saw Lion buying a 50 per cent stake in the Four Pillars business. Co-founder Stuart Gregor said the decision to sell came after being approached by a number of entities to invest in Four Pillars. Gregor said that Lion felt like the best option because “Lion are very genuine about their desire to get into craft spirits and particularly the desire to get into Australian spirits and they are a good business populated by good people”. The 50-50 partnership was attractive as it allowed the co-founders and owners to still contribute to the business. Lion’s Managing Director, James Brindley, said: “What Matt, Cam and Stu have done in creating Four Pillars in just over five years is nothing short of remarkable and we want them to keep their hands on the wheel, while we offer advice, counsel and assistance.”
Anger over Kaufland Victoria’s go-ahead
Consumers moving away from big box retailing
Master Grocers Australia (MGA) hit out
retailing’s strong run in Australia’s packaged liquor retail landscape was
at the Victorian Government’s decision to
about to change.
A research paper released in March by Morgan Stanley, said big box
grant permission for German multinational
Morgan Stanley’s retail analyst Thomas Kierath said: “We think
Kaufland to build three stores in Victoria,
that consumers are shifting away from big box retail formats as they
as well as a distribution centre and
increasingly prefer convenience and experiences that are better
headquarters in Melbourne.
cultivated in a small box environment.”
The mega stores would sell huge ranges of products, including liquor. MGA CEO Jos De Bruin said: “The State Government claims to be a friend of small
Kierath also said that significant store closures are likely over the next 12 to 18 months, with online retail and soft sales-per-sqm taking a disproportionate bite out of big box profits. The need to reposition and innovate in order to appeal to changing
businesses, today’s decision shows that they
consumer needs was being recognised by big box retailers already, as
don’t care at all what happens to these
they began to explore online, delivery and click and collect options.
hard-working enterprises. This is an anti-small business decision and a multi-million-dollar gift to a foreign multinational.” There was also concern that the move would set a precedent for industrial land in Victoria to be turned into shopping centres with subsequent impacts on the local community. “Local small businesses will continue to fight this attempt to undermine local planning rules,” De Bruin said.
110 | National Liquor News
Year in Review
The legend from Lion rides off into the sunset Doug May, Lion’s Trade Relations Director, announced his retirement. “I’m happy that I’m able to leave Lion on my own terms,” May said. “I’m going to buy a farm, have a few head of cattle and enjoy my retirement.” Working with Lion for 21 years, May proved to be popular across the industry, with many wishing him well for the future. “Doug has been selfless and tireless in his work for our great industry, for Lion, and for his customers and colleagues. I cannot thank him enough for his contribution,” said Lion’s Managing Director James Brindley. Shane Tremble from Endeavour Drinks Group said: “Doug understands that one of the great strengths of our industry is its people, he built a network of friends, colleagues and relationships that covered every sector of the drinks industry and he earned the respect of all of us.” These sentiments were echoed by many across the industry, who said May is a “living
Liquor market boost for Coles Liquor
legend in beer,” “a true gentleman of the Australian liquor industry,” and will be missed.
Coles released its third quarter figures, showing solid sales growth and detailing a strong performance by stores it has converted into the First Choice Liquor Market brand. Liquor sales revenue for the third quarter were up 4.3 per cent on the prior corresponding period, which Coles said was a result driven by
The Lion and Vanguard teams
size and transaction numbers. They
Lion acquires minority stake in Vanguard Luxury Brands
also mentioned the spirits category
Lion further cemented its entry into the growing craft spirits category, acquiring a
being the strongest performer.
minority stake in the premium spirits distributor Vanguard Luxury Brands.
improvements in the average basket
Since 2016, Coles has been converting First Choice stores into First Choice Liquor Market stores, with conversions numbering 19. In its third quarter report, Coles said: “An additional 10 conversions are scheduled to be rolled out in the
The announcement followed the 50 per cent purchase of Four Pillars, a brand distributed by Vanguard since its launch in 2013. Vanguard Founder and Managing Director James France said: “This investment means we will go even further in providing the best brands for the best bars and retailers, and for that reason we are truly at the forefront of Australia’s flourishing craft and premium spirits industry.” France continues on as Vanguard Managing Director, and was described by
fourth quarter. Converted store sales
Lion’s Managing Director James Brindley as someone who is widely recognised
grew by almost double the rate of
and respected within the spirits industry around the world.
unconverted stores, with customers
“Vanguard is a fabulous business and we at Lion will work hard to ensure we
responding positively to the renewed
support Vanguard in continued service and engagement with our customers,”
format and range on offer.”
February 2020 | 111
Year in Review
May What will be Kaufland’s impact on liquor? Kaufland is owned by the German Schwarz Group, the world’s fourth largest retail conglomerate, currently operating nearly 1300 stores across Europe. Australia will be the first non-European market, with the retailer already securing store approvals faster than Costco did when it first entered the country. The Kaufland liquor model primarily stocks its own brands and occasionally international branded flagships Baileys or Corona. But due to its extreme big box format (stocking up to 60,000 SKUs compared to 25,000 of Woolworths and Coles), site availability is a major constraint. Based on European penetration, Morgan Stanley estimates Australia could have as many as 295 Kaufland stores. However, if you look at Aldi’s local history, ranging liquor in stores since 2003 and only accumulating a 3.3 per cent share of total packaged liquor in that time, Kaufland’s share of total off-premise liquor sales should be a slow burn.
Market share gains for independent retailers Roy Morgan research suggested consumers were spreading their alcohol spend further with an increased investment in independent outlets. While Woolworths still held significant ground within the alcohol retail market, the Roy Morgan Alcohol Retail Currency Report suggested that consumers were becoming
Growth and change for Endeavour Drinks Group Woolworths revealed its third quarter results, detailing continued sales growth across the Endeavour Drinks Group
more receptive to drivers such as proximity to other shops, low prices, an easily browseable range, special offers, staff knowledge and good service, found commonly with independent retailers. Commenting on the findings, Norman Morris, Industry
(EDG). However, Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said the
Communications Director at Roy Morgan, said: “Despite
company still expected overall EBIT in FY19 would be lower
the dominance of the supermarkets, the independent
retailers have shown a market share gain of 3.1
Online sales were the driver of much of the growth, with the concern still surrounding innovation to keep up with demand. “The real issue in the drinks business is the consumer is changing very quickly and we need to innovate our business to keep up with their changing needs,” Banducci said. Following the results came news that EDG had appointed a new Managing Director of Dan Murphy’s, Alex Freudmann who was Director, Fresh Foods at Coles. Freudmann will report to Managing Director of EDG, Steve Donohue, who said: “Alex will be responsible for driving forward the Dan Murphy’s strategy in line with Endeavour Drinks’ broader ambition to connect everyone with a drinks experience they’ll love.”
112 | National Liquor News
percentage points (to 12.9 per cent) over the last year and are now ahead of hotel bottle shops which have fallen by 1.8 percentage points to 9.2 per cent.” The report is based on face-to-face interviews of 50,000 consumers over 12 months, 7,000 of which purchased packaged alcohol.
Year in Review
June Five wine trends you need to know In seminars at ProWein, international wine experts discussed the key trends they predicted would impact the global wine industry in coming years. Of these, five were most prominent and seemed driven by three main issues: climate change, social change and the ever-present changing nature of the industry. These trends were: wine in cans; high altitude wines; wine – all being driven both from the winemaker side and
‘A whole new world ahead’ for Coles Liquor
the consumer side.
Coles CEO Steven Cain outlined the refreshed strategy for the
Chenin Blanc and Gamay varieties; field blends; and vegan
For example, convenience and format from a consumer side drives the popularity of wine in a can, but this is then supported by the fact that some “really beautiful stuff”
business as a whole, which is aimed at restoring growth and profitability as well as creating a new era at Coles. Speaking at the first Coles Investor Day since the Wesfarmers
is being put into the cans themselves by the winemakers
demerger, Cain said the overall vision was to: “become the most
developing the category.
trusted retailer in Australia and grow long-term shareholder
What all the trends have in common are innovations on what wine is traditionally known as, whether that be format, style, blend or technique.
value” with the purpose to “sustainably feed all Australians to help them lead healthier, happier lives”. Looking to the future and how the strategy will impact the liquor business, Cain said there is a lot of change happening in Coles Liquor under the management of Cathi Scarce. These changes surrounded updates to the First Choice Liquor Market website to increase offer personalisation. Cain said this would “enable a whole new world ahead for us”. Other changes that the group outlined surrounded exclusive liquor brands and reducing promotional intensity.
Ian Atherton inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich Ian Atherton, the CEO of Spirits Platform, was inducted into the Keepers of the Quaich Scotch Whisky Society along with 45 other new members at a private ceremony held at Blair Castle. Keepers of the Quaich was established by the Scotch whisky industry to recognise the outstanding commitment of those who produce or promote whisky. Atherton, who has been in the whisky and spirits industry for more than 30 years began his career in the 1980s selling both Scotch and Australian whisky for Gilbeys before he moved across to Suntory selling Japanese whiskey. In 2016, he joined Spirits Platform as CEO, which distributes a great range of whiskies including The Macallan, Highland Park, Bruichladdich, Naked Grouse and Glenrothes. To date, just over 2700 men and women from more than 100 countries have been inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich. Together, with the select few that are subsequently distinguished as Master of the Quaich, they represent thousands of years of shared experience and knowledge.
February 2020 | 113
Year in Review
Graham Campion, Owner of the Commodore Hotel and Paul Esposito, CEO of ILG
ILG launches new Fleet Street banner Independent Liquor Group (ILG) officially launched its Fleet Street banner group, opening the flagship store at The Commodore Hotel in McMahons Point. ILG CEO Paul Esposito said the new banner would be a high-end offering targeting the premiumisation trend. He said that feedback from both suppliers and customers was already positive with people saying the store has a good feel about it, a good
ACCC will review Asahi’s CUB deal Back in July, Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to divest Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), its Australian subsidiary, to Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. for $16 billion.
ambience and people feel the warmth when they walk in. He added that one of the main focuses for the Fleet Street concept was around making stores comfortable and in particular, shoppable. “What we need to do today is to make sure that people come back into stores, instead of just ordering online and shopping in that way,” Esposito said. “We want to bring people in stores, and I think a concept like this invites people in.”
The deal would see Asahi become the biggest brewer in Australia and would also mean that more than 80 per cent of Australia’s beer market is owned by Japanese companies. The ACCC announced it would begin a public review on the proposed deal. CUB’s CEO, Peter Filipovic, said: “We are a great Australian business, with iconic brands, world-class breweries and great people. These have made us the market leader in Australia, and we look forward to growing the business and the beer category with Asahi.” Peter Margin, Executive Chairman,
Woolworths to combine then demerge EDG and ALH
Asahi Beverages added: “This is an
In July, Woolworths Group revealed its intention to combine Endeavour Drinks
exciting proposition for our business
Group and ALH Group into a single entity and then separate the new business
and will support our vision to be the first
through a demerger “or other value-accretive alternative”.
choice in beverages.” The ACCC’s review may see Asahi have to sell some brands for the deal to
The new business, which Woolworths said would likely be called Endeavour Group Limited, is expected to separate during the 2020 calendar year. The merger of Endeavour Drinks and ALH would create Australia’s largest
go ahead, which is what happened to
integrated drinks and hospitality business with sales of approximately $10bn
ABI when it bought SABMiller. If the deal
and EBITDA of $1bn. It would comprise over 1,500 BWS and Dan Murphy’s retail
goes ahead it would see CUB have its
drinks outlets and 327 ALH hotels. ALH retail drinks outlets currently comprise
fourth owner in eight years after SABMiller
approximately 35 per cent of Woolworths Group retail drinks sales with 86 Dan
bought Foster’s Group in 2011, and then
Murphy’s and 512 BWS stores owned by ALH at the end of March 2019.
ABI bought SABMiller in 2016.
Other businesses to be included in the merger include Pinnacle Drinks, Langton’s, Cellarmasters and an 8.7 per cent stake in ALE Property Group.
114 | National Liquor News
Year in Review
August Cider Australia says Asahi-CUB deal puts market at risk Cider Australia asked the ACCC to consider the cider category
such as Pale Ale, IPA and Sour Beers – are well established, tap
separately in its review of Asahi’s proposed bid to buy Carlton &
contracts for cider tend to cover the entire category,” Reid said.
United Breweries (CUB). After Asahi’s $16bn deal for CUB was tabled in July, the ACCC said it had been notified of the proposed transaction and would begin a public review once a submission was received. But Cider Australia President Sam Reid said the industry
“Such a significant consolidation in brand ownership is likely to further limit competition and innovation in the cider category to a far greater extent than in beer. “We encourage the ACCC to independently consider the competitive landscape for cider, including to re-consider the
body was concerned about the impact of the deal given that a
impacts of tap contracts given they can completely lock out new
combined Asahi/CUB business would control around 70 per cent
and emerging products.
of the category by volume share. “Unlike beer where different sub-segments of the category –
Liquor Barons joins LSA WA Liquor Barons announced that it had joined forces with the
“It may be time to consider prohibiting non-price incentives in tap contracts, or even getting rid of tap contracts completely.”
The lifestyle choices driving alcohol trends
Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia (LSA WA) as a
Drinks market analysis company,
gold level partner.
IWSR, released its Global
The independently owned and operated retail liquor cooperative has more than 75 stores around Western Australia. Liquor Barons General Manager, Chris O’Brien, said: “As a
Trends Report, which examines developments and identifies opportunities around the world
Western Australian independent retailer, we need an organisation
for the beer, wine, spirits and
to lobby for what’s right for our industry. We applaud the results
mixed drinks market.
that LSA WA has achieved in the last 24 months and are excited to come on board as a gold level partner.” Peter Peck, the CEO of LSA WA, said the addition of Liquor Barons reflects the association’s advocacy, purpose and ongoing commitment to keep the industry thriving. “There are industry associations who are there to offer their
The report stated that “global changes in consumer behaviour, technology, economics and even environmental stewardship are helping to drive evolution and innovation in the beverage alcohol industry”. In developed markets like Australia the report emphasised the ongoing premiumisation trend as “an attitude of ‘less but
members discounts and services. Then there are those that have your
better’ driving consumers towards crafted products – often
back, advocating to cut government red tape,” said Peck. “The LSA
with a hyper local spin”.
WA has been operating since 1952 and we’ve been doing both.”
This focus for consumers means that more niche and localised flavours are starting to gain traction “for instance, spirits made with locally foraged botanicals” the report said – a trend well established in Australia particularly within the gin category. An interesting factor for suppliers, venues and retailers to consider is a desire for education and experiences among consumers. It also said that lifestyle and ethical choices are
L-R: Peter Peck, CEO, LSA WA, Timon Andrijasevic, Liquor Barons Nedlands, Chris O’Brien, General Manager, Liquor Barons
increasingly influencing consumer choices and behaviour.
February 2020 | 115
Year in Review
September Metcash evolves and premiumises its private label range Metcash developed its liquor business and store network, which included the ongoing evolution and premiumisation of its private label range. Speaking at the Group’s Annual General Meeting, Group CEO Jeff Adams said: “We have once again made good progress with our store investments to improve the quality of the IBA network. A further 81 stores were refreshed, and
across the wine, beer and spirits categories. Sales continue to grow strongly,
CCA details management and organisational changes
particularly in the wine category, which was up 20 per cent on the prior year.
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) revealed
The wine category now represents around 85 per cent of total private and
management and organisational changes as
exclusive label sales.
part of a two-year transition phase as the
110 cool rooms upgraded, bringing the totals to around 330 and 610 respectively. “In our private and exclusive labels initiative we now have about 80 SKUs
“While we continue to have highly competitive and challenging markets, I’m generally excited about our plans for the future. I’m also very encouraged by
group targets a return to mid-single digit earnings per share growth from 2020.
the enthusiasm and passion I have experienced from our independent retailer
In detailing the organisational changes,
and supplier partners to ensure the independent retail sector remains strong
Group Managing Director, Alison Watkins, said
the moves would further integrate beverage categories across each country and see
Total alcohol consumption remains at 50-year low
them managed in line with geographical
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics
alcohol and coffee portfolios join the
(ABS) showed that while total alcohol
Australian Beverages team under the
consumption in Australia remained steady,
leadership of Peter West.
there had been a rise in spirits consumption. Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) said that
responsibilities. The changes see the Australian-based
Further alcohol and coffee in New Zealand, Paradise Beverages in Fiji and Samoa, and
the data showed the majority of Australians
the international alcohol sales team, join the
are still enjoying alcohol responsibly and still drinking at 50-year lows.
New Zealand and Fiji businesses under the
“It’s really important that we understand the bigger picture at play
leadership of Chris Litchfield, and the coffee
here,” said ABA CEO Andrew Wilsmore. “The data still shows a long-term
portfolio in Indonesia will be part of the
decline in consumption which means the vast majority of Australians are
Indonesian business under the leadership of
enjoying alcohol responsibly and in moderation.
“While the mix of what people are drinking is changing, overall, we
Due to these changes, Managing Director,
know from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that drinking at
Shane Richardson (pictured) leaves CCA after
harmful levels and underage drinking is at record lows, and those statistics
five years with the business.
are more insightful than per capita figures. “A significant cultural shift has taken place, with the largest decline in
Watkins said these changes did not affect the portfolio range, availability or any current
figures coming from young people aged 18-24, who are drinking far less
or projected growth plans for the alcohol and
than any generation before them.”
116 | National Liquor News
Year in Review
October Beer Cartel celebrates 10 year anniversary Beer Cartel celebrated 10 years by revamping its beer subscription and releasing a limited-edition
ABAC calls for more care on packaging
anniversary beer. Beer Cartel was an early pioneer in the online
The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC)
liquor retail space and
called for more care with alcohol packaging
over the past 10 years, one
practices after the number of complaints about
of the core products has remained the monthly beer
L-R: Geoff Huens and Richard Kelsey
subscription, the oldest of its kind in the Australian market. Richard Kelsey, who is Director of Beer Cartel, said the anniversary was an opportunity to revamp the subscription model to reflect the evolution
packaging increased “noticeably”. Laying out ABAC’s quarterly report, Chair Harry Jenkins AO reminded producers that packaging that could be perceived as appealing to minors is prohibited under the Code.
of the market. “Not only have we seen that craft beer drinkers love trying a variety of
“Packaging complaints have been trending upward,” Jenkins said. “The desire of some
beer through products like our Beer Advent Calendar, but we surveyed
manufacturers to be creative is understandable, but
members who clearly told us that limited releases and variety were at the
they must have regard to wrongfully appealing to
top of their wish list, so we’ve revamped our offer accordingly,” he said.
minors. Yet again, this underscores the necessity for
“We’ve kept it as a monthly subscription, but the pack formats have changed, including a shift to all cans. We have three tiers to the beer
producers, especially the small players, to pre-vet their marketing with ABAC before going to market.”
subscription with these varying by pack size and the mix of new and limited release beers.” Alongside the subscription revamp, Beer Cartel released a special
ABAC said it would remain strongly committed to educating the alcohol industry about responsible marketing practices, highlighting that
anniversary beer in collaboration with Ekim Brewery, which also
it offered its free annual compliance training
celebrated its 10th anniversary.
webinar, which had a record number of over 300 participants joining from throughout Australia.
A big win for the independents The Oak Barrel in Sydney was named the Liquor Store of the Year for the third time at the 2019 Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA). For Scott Fitzsimons, the Whisky & Spirits Educator at the Oak Barrel, as well as being both humbled and delighted by the win, he said that he is mostly just happy to see so many independent liquor stores recognised in the category. “We love them all. There’s so many great bottle stores and we don’t understand why we’ve been so lucky to win this award three times out of four nominations,” Fitzsimons said. “What I love is that there were so many independent bottle stores on that list. I grew up at Vine Wine before I came over to the Oak Barrel. It’s great to see so many independent bottle stores that are punching above their weight.” Plonk in Fyshwick and Bayswater Fine Wines in Rushcutters Bay tied as runner-up.
L-R: Paul Downie, Scott Fitzsimons and Joe Perry from the Oak Barrel
February 2020 | 117
Kollaras & Co and The Beijing ABA Company sign the deal
Year in Review
November New Board appointed at Retail Drinks Australia Retail Drinks Australia held its first where it announced changes to
Kollaras & Co signs agreement to expand into China
its Board of Directors.
Kollaras & Co signed a distribution agreement with North China’s
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
John Carmody, Managing Director of Hotel & Tourism Management, was appointed
largest wine importer which will see the company’s brands distributed in China. The partnership with The Beijing ABA Company Ltd was
as the new Chair, taking
signed at The China International Import Expo, which was held
over for retiring Chair,
in Shanghai. Kollaras had the brands that will now be available
in China on display at the Expo, which is a major initiative of
Five new appointments were made to the Board including Chris Baddock, the CEO of ALM, John Wilson, Owner of Liquor Legends Hawker and Charnwood, Richard
the Chinese government to support trade liberalisation and economic development in China. Speaking about the agreement, Kollaras & Co Managing
Kelsey, Co-founder of Beer Cartel, Scott Towers, Director of
Director, John Kollaras, said: “Today marks a new chapter for
Red Bottle, and Sharni Wise, Retail Operations Manager at
our businesses. This joint venture is a great step as we strive for
greater market penetration in North Asia. We are truly excited to
An ‘Observer Seat’ will also be occupied by the winner of the 2019 Young Liquor Retailer of the Year winner, Monique Strand from Dan Murphy’s. The new Board members replaced retiring Directors, Justin Dry from Vinomofo and Rod Pritchard from ALM. Faye Hartley from the Northern Territory and Sam Cufone
continue engaging in one of the most rapidly-moving, innovative and dynamic markets in the world.” Li Yan, General Manager of ABA added: “Our mission is to bring only the best brands to end consumers. And we sincerely look forward to a successful, long term partnership.” The signing of the Memorandum Of Understanding was
from South Australia have also retired as Directors but
witnessed by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who said it is
will continue in a new capacity for Retail Drinks as State
“fantastic” to see Australian companies expanding into China.
Brown-Forman names new MD for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands Brown-Forman Corporation revealed its new Managing
skills, valuable and diverse experiences, and a difference-making
Director for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island (ANZPI)
approach to our critically important ANZPI business.”
as Eveline Albarracin, who commenced on 15 January 2020. With over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and consumer goods, Albarracin succeeds the retired Marc Satterthwaite. Speaking about the appointment Marshall Farrer, Brown-
Brown-Forman said Albarracin will manage and direct the organisation in ANZPI “to achieve optimum profitability and sales targets by responsibly building B-F brands within the markets”. The corporation added: “She will lead strategic projects to
Forman Senior Vice President, Global Travel Retail and
grow the business through portfolio, pricing, route-to-market,
Developed APAC, said: “Eveline’s experience in building
resource allocation, and disciplined decision making.”
brands and leading strategic projects equips her well to guide this important market. “We believe Eveline will bring an outstanding set of leadership
118 | National Liquor News
She will serve on the Global Travel Retail & Developed APAC Regional Leadership Team, providing leadership to brand building strategies and partnership engagement.
Year in Review
December Dan Murphy’s opens first small format store Dan Murphy’s has launched two new store propositions one of which is a smaller format and a first for the traditionally big box liquor retailer. The 400sqm Dan Murphy’s store opened at Elanora Heights in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. It is on the site of a former BWS store that has now been converted. Rory Jacobs, the GM Format Development at Endeavour Group explained that while the ranging would be less, it had been done in an intuitive way to ensure customers can always find what they’re looking for.
All the products ranged in the store have either achieved an online customer rating of four stars or higher, they are top sellers, or are new and trending. And all have been specially curated to suit the local customer base. Dan Murphy’s also opened a new concept large format store in Hawthorn East in Melbourne, which aims to “dial up convenience and customer experience”. “If we can dial up customer experience and still offer the lowest price guaranteed then it’s the perfect marriage.”
Federal Court approves Woolworths restructure The Federal Court approved Woolworths’ proposed restructure meaning the group will now demerge its drinks and hospitality businesses to create Endeavour Group. The approval came after more than 99.5 per cent of Woolworths shareholders voted in favour of the proposal. In a statement to the ASX Woolworths said: “Woolworths Group Limited (Woolworths Group) advises that the Federal
Aldi applies for SA liquor licences
Court today approved the Restructure Scheme to combine
Aldi applied for liquor licences for its six stores in South
Woolworths Group’s drinks and hospitality businesses to
Australia, which would make it the first supermarket to sell
create Endeavour Group.
alcohol in the state.
“Woolworths Group intends to implement the Restructure
The retailer had been unable to stock alcohol in its SA stores
Scheme on 2 February 2020, and to then implement the
since entering the local market in 2016 due to laws around the
ALH Merger to combine Endeavour Group with Bruce
sale of packaged liquor in SA, which state that a licence can’t
Mathieson Group’s interests in ALH on 4 February 2020.”
be granted for “premises ordinarily known as or advertised as a
Woolworths said that the separation will allow it to “benefit from a simplified organisational structure, a greater
supermarket, convenience store or delicatessen”. The applications for liquor licences in the Hawthorn, Adelaide
focus on its core food and everyday needs markets and
Airport, Aldinga, Victor Harbor, Newton and Blackwood stores
opportunities to continue to build out the Woolworths Group
are not packaged liquor licences though. Instead, Aldi applied
for a producers licence. A producers licence is “for businesses that produce their own liquor or sell wholesale liquor,” according to the SA government website. It’s usually granted to allow producers to sell from their cellar door or through their own websites. It’s believed that Aldi applied for this licence as it teams up with local breweries, wineries and distilleries to produce its range, something that has already proved successful in other states. February 2020 | 119
Standout Wines From 2019 We’ve collated some of our highest scoring and most interesting wines from the past 12 months.
The Panel ➤
D aryl Fisher, General Manager, Fisher Fine Wine A ndrew Graham, Online Communications Manager, The Wine Collective Renée Foster, Communications & Marketing Manager, Moppity Vineyards G eoff Bollom, Retailer, Fennell Bay Cellars E lizabeth Schoen, Sales Manager NSW/ACT, Samuel Smith & Son
Bird in Hand
Region: Adelaide Hills
Region: Hunter Valley
VIN: 2018 LUC: $26.88
VIN: 2017 LUC: $25.19
Distributed by: Bird in Hand
Distributed by: Vinous (NSW/ VIC), Pure Wine Co. (QLD/SA),
“Restrained fruit, earthy, creamy texture, good balance, medium body.” – Elizabeth Schoen
Thomas Wines (Rest of Aus)
“A really good wine. Mediumbodied yet displays great length, with earth, spicy and great complexity.” – Andrew Stubbs
T om Lynar, National Sales Manager, DMG Fine Wine B ryn Lucas, Purchasing Manager – Wine & Tobacco, Heinemann Australia A ndrew Stubbs, Manager, Vine Wine
De Bortoli Melba
Saint Petri Shiraz
N igel Burton, CEO, Burton Premium Wines
A my Hayes, Marketing PR Manager, Wine Australia
Region: Yarra Valley
VIN: 2016 LUC: $46.22
VIN: 2015 LUC: $99.65
C hristine Ricketts, Wine Educator, The Wine Quarter
Distributed by: Calabria
Distributed by: De Bortoli
“Truffles and leather aromas develop as earthy black cherry and hazelnut notes on the palate. This wine needs good company and cheese.” – Elizabeth Schoen
“Smoke, oak, nutty chocolate, blackberry and cloves. A smooth mouthfeel with firm tannins and lovely layers and finish.” – Christine Ricketts
M ark Bradstreet, Key Account Manager, Joval Wine Group A ndrew Milne, Brand Manager, SouthTrade International S abine Duval, Senior Wine Buyer, The Wine Collective mma Fogarty, Senior E Brand Manager, SouthTrade International D avid Wright, Key Account Manager, Treasury Wine Estates Michael Park, Wine Merchant, Dan Murphy’s Kingsford
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
120 | National Liquor News
Rogers and Rufus
Taylor Made Pinot
Region: Adelaide Hills
VIN: 2018 LUC: $15.59
VIN: 2018 LUC: $18.28
Distributed by: Samuel Smith
Distributed by: Taylors Wines
“Lovely savoury nose, delicate flavours of wild strawberry. Lively and refined with a pleasant finish.” – Amy Hayes
“Very complex, crunchy, refreshing and well balanced.” – Renée Foster
Allan Scott Estate
Comte de Noiron
DIN: 2017 LUC: $21.50
VIN: 2011 LUC: $41.53
Distributed by: Single
Distributed by: Kollaras & Co
“Sappy, leafy and very generous, beefy too. Has depth of flavour. A very serious wine.” – Andrew Graham
“Toasty aromas and a long finish. A powerful and enticing wine.” – Tom Lynar
La La Land Pinot Gris
Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir Chardonnay
Region: Yarra Valley
VIN: 2019 LUC: $10.54
VIN: 2014 LUC: $24.54
Distributed by: Red + White
“Being on the National Liquor News tasting panel has been a professional highlight; assessing brackets of wines while bouncing thoughts and ideas off some great industry contributors has lifted my own understanding of the trade as a whole and made me a stronger wine professional.” David Wright
Distributed by: Treasury Wine
Key Account Manager, Treasury Wine Estates
“Lovely aromas of lemon curd on toast. The palate is vibrant and long… yum.” – Tom Lynar
“Floral, honey perfumed. Concentrated big finish, marzipan, nutty, amazing.” – Daryl Fisher
Editor’s Picks ➤
Squealing Pig Pinot
Region: Hunter Valley
VIN: 2018 LUC: $20.50
VIN: 2019 LUC: $14.73
Distributed by: Tamburlaine
Distributed by: Treasury Wine
“Lovely nose of lemon and fresh cut hay. Vibrant and delicate palate with good intensity and driving acid.” – Renée Foster
“Forward, zippy acid, good mouthfeel and a lingering finish. A forward and fresh take on the style.” – Mark Bradstreet
2 019 Patritti Merchant Pinot Grigio, Adelaide Hills, LUC: $12.90 (Vinsight Wine; Wine Solutions Australia; Patritti) 2 019 Bird in Hand Pinot Rosé, Adelaide Hills, LUC: $16.56 (Bird in Hand) 2 017 Gundog Estate Marksman’s Shiraz, Canberra District, LUC: $38.32 (ALE; Gundog Estate) 2 018 Driftwood Artifacts Chardonnay, Margaret River, LUC: $18 (Fisher Fine Wines)
February 2020 | 121
Features List Beer, Cider and Seltzer
Contemporary Australian Beer
Cognac & Brandy
World Whisky Day
Independent & Mainstream Craft
Organic, Biodynamic & Vegan Wines
Beer Talks (see package)
Retailing Aperitivo Winter
No and Lowalcohol
Hunter Valley Wine Report
Imported & International Beers
Spirit Talks (see package)
Retail Banner Groups
North American Whiskey
Booking: Friday 6 Dec Creative: Friday 20 Dec
Booking: Friday 7 Feb Creative: Friday 14 Feb
New Release Beers
Booking: Friday 13 Mar Creative: Friday 20 Mar
Wine Talks (see package)
Booking: Friday 10 Apr Creative: Friday 17 Apr
Barossa Report McLaren Vale Report
Booking: Friday 8 May Creative: Friday 15 May
Wine Tasting Review 2020 Annual Leaders Forum
Booking: Friday 12 June Creative: Friday 19 June
Coonawarra Wine Report
New Release Beers
Rhone Valley Styles (Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah) (Italian Style Reds) (Sangiovese, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, Primitivo, Montepulciano
Booking: Friday 10 July Creative: Friday 17 July
The Loire Valley Report
Wines of the Loire Valley
Rum & Spiced Rum
Father’s Day Retailing
Booking: Friday 7 Aug Creative: Friday 14 Aug
The Prosecco Report
Craft & Mainstream Cider
Low Carb & Gluten Free Beer
Wine in Can
Booking: Friday 11 Sept Creative: Friday 18 Sept
Sparkling & Champagne
Sparkling, Prosecco & Champagne
Booking: Friday 9 Oct Creative: Friday 16 Oct
New Zealand Wine Report
Summer Beer & Cider Retailing
Whisk(e)y - Scotch & Irish
Booking: Friday 6 Nov Creative: Friday 13 Nov
Beer Talks (see package)
What’s Hot to Stock this Summer
122 | National Liquor News
Day of the Dead Retailing Tequila & Mezcal
Retailing Aperitivo Summer
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