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AUSTRALIA’S LEADING LIQUOR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE

vol. 40 no. 1 - February 2021

The 2021 Annual Industry Leaders Forum


y r a u n a J e r o t s n I 2021

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Editor’s note

WE ENCOURAGE RESPONSIBLE DRINKING

Editor’s note

Get the facts DrinkWise.org.au

I’m sure you will all agree that it’s an awesome

Completing this issue is a collection of the latest

feeling to say goodbye to the year 2020 for good.

news and product information, as well as a look

In my own new year reflections, some of the most

back at the biggest stories of 2020, including the

fitting terms I’ve thought of to describe the year

standout wines tasted by our panel throughout

include uncertain, challenging, unprecedented

the year.

and, to put it bluntly, downright insane.

All this material combined makes for a bumper

These are all terms that you’ve likely heard more

issue with loads of useful information for your

than enough for one lifetime, but they’re also terms

business in this new (and hopefully brighter) year.

that accurately epitomise the year. These terms are

The only way from here is up, right?

also used by many of the leaders from across the

I am truly honoured to be bringing you one

industry that we have featured in this issue, our

of the biggest Leaders Forums in National Liquor

2021 Annual Industry Leaders Forum.

News history. These annual forums are a proud

But it’s not all doom and gloom from these

tradition for the magazine, and it has been such a

leaders. I am truly heartened to read tales of

ride following in the incredible footsteps of editors

resilience, innovation, determination and unity

past, including the wonderful Deb Jackson.

that this incredible industry has provided in the past 12 months.

I’d like to thank everyone that made this issue possible, both the brands and organisations

In this issue you’ll find commentary from some

themselves, and the team here at Intermedia

of the biggest names from all areas of the industry,

- Alyssa Coundouris, Dan Hughes, Shane T

including retailers, suppliers and associations.

Williams and Paul Wootton, thanks for all the

They not only describe the challenges they

hard work!

faced in 2020, from bushfires to COVID-19, but

Here’s to a prosperous 2021!

also how they approached, interacted with and Cheers,

overcame them. These business insights are presented alongside

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Disclaimer

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12 | National Liquor News

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Contents February 2021

News & Predictions 16 News: The latest liquor industry news for retailers around the country 20 Marketplace: Connecting brands

Research, Insights & Associations 77

78 Shopper Insights: The marketplace

and retailers

genie is out of the alcohol

24 Predictions: Industry leaders predict 2021’s trends 30 Industry legends: Hardy and Michael David

86 DrinkWise

34

Bacardi-Martini Australia

36

Barton & Guestier

37

Brown Family Wine Group

38 Brown-Forman Campari Australia

40 CAPI Carlton & United Breweries

44 Coopers 46

De Bortoli

47 Diageo 48

Empire Liquor

50

Endeavour Drinks Group

51

Feels Botanical

52 Giesen 54

82 Brewers Association of Australia 84

33 Aldi

42

e-commerce bottle 80 Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code

In conversation with Sir James

Retail, Wholesale & Suppliers

39

Alcohol Beverages Australia

Independent Liquor Group

55 Lion

Cider Australia

88 Euromonitor: What’s all that buzz in RTDs? 90 Independent Brewers Association 92 IRI: The year that was and the year that will be 96 Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia 97 New Zealand Wine: From strength to strength 98

Spirits & Cocktails Australia

100 Roy Morgan: After a hard year, spirits (of both kinds) are up 102

Retail Drinks Australia

104 Shopper Intelligence: Tracking shopper behaviour is key to staying ahead in 2021 106 Snooper: No and low alcohol beer 108 StrikeForce: Bring back the excitement 110 Wine Intelligence:

56

Liquor Barons

58

Liquor Legends

60

Liquor Marketing Group

61

McWilliam’s Wines Group

Year in Review

62

Never Never Distilling Co.

114 The key stories that shaped the

64

Nip of Courage Wholesale

66

Pernod Ricard

68

Treasury Wine Estates

70

Vantage Group

72 Visy 73

William Grant & Sons

74

Wine Depot

75 Yalumba

14 | National Liquor News

Predictions for 2021 112

Wine Australia

Australian liquor industry in 2020 126

Standout wines of 2020


www.barton-guestier.com ENJOY OUR WINES RESPONSIBLY


News The latest liquor industry

For retailers around the country

Fermentum eyes major expansion Fermentum, the parent company of Stone & Wood, has set out its plans for growth and expansion with the acquisition of the Two Birds brewery, tap room and brands. The deal will see Two Birds co-founders Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen continue at the helm of Two Birds and drive the brand forward as a distinct business unit within the Fermentum family of businesses. Allen said: “For Two Birds to continue striving towards our vision, we realised we needed to join forces with another business for an injection of broader knowledge and experience, some much needed capital and a spark of energy.” In a statement about the deal, Fermentum said: “The team at

GABS reveals the Hottest 100 beers of 2020 Bentspoke Brewery’s Crankshaft beer has taken

Fermentum has been on the lookout for opportunities with a good brand and a production footprint in the right market that could help us evolve and develop for some time.” Following this acquisition announcement, Fermentum also revealed

out the top spot in the 2020 Hottest 100 Craft

plans to begin work on a new large-scale brewery which will initially be

Beer competition.

able to produce 40 million litres per year, expandable over time to around

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (GABS) released the yearly competition results

80 million litres. The brewer said that production capacity has been constrained by

which saw nearly 40,000 people casting close to

its Murwillumbah brewery and so is developing the new brewery on a

200,000 votes.

34,000sqm block of land it bought four years ago.

Last year’s winner, Stone & Wood Pacific

In a statement Fermentum said: “While COVID-19 had an impact on our

Ale, continued to resonate with Australia’s beer

rate of growth through the first period of lockdowns we have been blown

drinkers and came in second, while Balter showed

away by our resilience and the traction we have gained as we have grown

little beer drinker reaction to the purchase by

out of the shutdown period.

Carlton & United Breweries and placed third. Understandably the ACT-based Bentspoke team were delighted to finally land the top

“Transferring the production of Fixation beers to Spotswood will help us deal with the on-going growth in the short term. “However, looking ahead we know we have to take the next step in

spot, with Head Brewer and Co-owner Richard

building production capacity as brewing in our current location may be

Watkins saying: “We’re blown away that our small

unsustainable in the long term.”

independent brewery from Canberra can take Crankshaft to the number one spot in Australia’s biggest beer poll. “Crankshaft holds a very special place in our hearts as one of our original beers on tap when we first opened in Canberra in 2014. We are thrilled with the support for Crankshaft from Canberra and around Australia.” Co-owner Tracy Margrain added: “We are so thrilled to get this recognition, and if anything, it’s inspired us to bend the rules of beer further than we have before. It’s an incredibly exciting way to start 2021, and of course, we’ll have more exciting new beers coming up this year.”

16 | National Liquor News

Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen


News

Top Newsletter reads ➤

Liquor Barons to start using AI software Liquor Barons has announced that it has

than reactive in our approach to delivering the

selected artificial intelligence (AI) software from

best possible customer service, which includes

Complexica for promotional planning and supplier

our premier liquor loyalty program and consumer-

portal functionality.

driven marketing,” Verney said.

The WA-based group chose Complexica’s

industry, and significant customer base on both the

Complexica’s Decision Cloud software platform,

retail and supplier side, we chose Complexica’s PCM

which is powered by an AI engine and uses

for digitalising our spreadsheet-based approach

internal and external data to provide practical

for promotion planning, range management, and

decision support.

supplier portal access, which in turn will lift the The PCM will support Liquor Barons processes

technology to deliver on overarching goals revolving

by providing ‘mission-critical’ functionality

around exceptional customer experiences.

for planning and analysing retail promotional

mindset and are proud of being proactive rather

G lou brings wine on tap into the retail world M ental health crisis among retail workers emerges T he role of innovation at Constellation Brands G lobal wine trends to watch in 2021

sophistication of our key marketing processes.”

Barons, said the group decided to employ such

“At Liquor Barons we have an entrepreneurial

“Given Complexica’s expertise in the liquor

Promotional Campaign Manager (PCM), part of

Richard Verney, Marketing Manager at Liquor

L iquor businesses giving back to society

campaigns, as well as predicting and optimising

Sign up to our fortnightly Newsletter by going to this URL: www.theshout.com.au/ subscribe-to-nln

their effectiveness.

BDR expands in Western Australia The industry has widely welcomed recent announcements

“It doesn’t matter if you’re heading from the Pilbara to the

about the expansion of the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) in

Kimberley or down to the Goldfields, people will automatically

more parts of Western Australia.

know they will have to show photo ID which will have to be

In early January, the WA Government announced the two year trial of a BDR and Takeaway Alcohol Management System

scanned at the point of sale if they wish to buy alcohol. “There’s no doubt the BDR will bring about change,

in the Kimberley region, commencing in May 2021. This was

in the way we think and act when it comes to buying

followed by a pre-election pledge from the WA Labor Party

take-away alcohol but that can only be a good thing for

to expand the BDR further, to the seat of Kalgoorlie, if re-

the wider community.”

elected. Prior to these announcements, the BDR was already operational in a trial capacity in the Pilbara region. Groups from across the industry have welcomed the

Michael Waters, Retail Drinks CEO, also noted the organisation’s support for such measures and said: “The BDR is an excellent example of a government and industry-led

announcements and planned expansion, especially considering

initiative helping address problematic alcohol consumption

such measures have largely been driven by the industry for years.

through targeting the small number of individuals who fail to

Peter Peck, CEO of the Liquor Stores Association of WA (LSA WA), said: “This is really exciting news for everyone...

drink responsibly rather than blunt, all-of-population measures.” Similarly, Brad Woods, the Australian Hotels Association of

The issues around alcohol fuelled violence have been well

WA CEO, noted his support for the plans and said: “We look

documented and now is the right time for change. I am

forward to working closely with authorities throughout [all

confident our member stores will embrace this.

BDR] trials to ensure they are successful.”

February 2021 | 17


News

Accolade outlines winery sale plans Accolade Wines has outlined plans to sell Krondorf winery and Woodside Estate after conducting a thorough assessment of its wine footprint. The company said that while it has put the two wineries on the market it will be retaining all its South Australian brands and remains committed to the region. Accolade Wines CEO Robert Foye said: “We recently conducted a thorough assessment of our wine footprint to understand the capacity to support the growth of our wine brands and to ensure that each site can run sustainably. As a result, we have made two decisions regarding our sites. and Croser, these brands have reached capacity at Woodside

Wine lovers urged to #chooseaustralianwine

Estate and outgrown the site. Therefore, we have made the

2020 has been a particularly tough year for Australian wine

decision to sell this facility and transfer all winemaking of

producers, and that’s why Australians are being called on to

the Petaluma and Croser portfolio to the spiritual home of

do their bit and show support for the industry, being urged

Accolade Wines and our state-of-the-art facility at Tintara.

to choose Australian wines and celebrate as a community

“In response to the increasing global demand for Petaluma

“Secondly, our assessment also determined that we do not have enough white wine grapes that require processing

on social media using the hashtag: #chooseaustralianwine. “We currently import around 125 million bottles of wine

in the Barossa to maximise the capability and size of the

each year from overseas. If Australian wine lovers decide to

Krondorf winery. Therefore, we are selling this facility so

buy Australian instead, it will go a long way to cushioning

that a potential buyer can more efficiently leverage the

the blow grape and wine businesses have been dealt in

strong white wine making capabilities of this winery. Our

2020,” said Tony Battaglene, Chief Exective of Australian

Grant Burge white wine grapes will be processed at our

Grape and Wine.

Tintara and St Hallett wineries in vintage 2021 onwards. We

“This isn’t about drinking more wine. We want everyone

will retain our Adelaide Hills vineyards in Summertown and

who chooses to enjoy a glass of Australian wine to do so in

Mount Barker.”

moderation, with food, family and friends… It doesn’t matter

Accolade will retain five wineries, six cellar doors, two state of the art facilities and 584 employees in South Australia.

if you choose to buy a glass, a bottle or a case. The choice to buy Australian will flow directly back to Australia’s rural and regional economies and provide a much-needed boost for growers and winemakers.” Battaglene also addressed a social media campaign urging Australians to avoid 41 Australian wineries, after a viral list revealed they were owned or part-owned by Chinese companies. He said this type of campaign fails to recognise that all grape, wine and export businesses contribute to Australian regional investment, jobs and economic growth. “I am outraged and disappointed that this campaign targets Chinese owned businesses,” Battaglene said. “The Australia-Chinese community is an important and valued part of the Australian wine sector. They make great wine, employ local people and generate money into the local and national economy.”

18 | National Liquor News


@IBWINE

G E T L O S T I N T H E YA R R A VA L L E Y W I T H A U S T R A L I A’ S #1 YA R R A VA L L E Y P I N O T N O I R * FO R M O R E I N FO R M ATI O N CO NTAC T YO U R B ROW N FA M I LY W I N E G RO U P R E P R E S E N TAT I V E *#1 in Value, Aztec scan data, MAT 1/11/2020


Marketplace Connecting brands and retailers Snoop Dogg’s 19 Crimes wine is going global After a hugely successful launch in the US, 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Red is officially coming to Australia in mid 2021. Treasury Wine Estates said the result of its 19 Crimes and Snoop Dogg partnership has taken the wine world by storm, exceeding its initial 12 month sales forecast in the first two months of launch. Snoop Cali Red is the first Californian wine in the 19 Crimes portfolio, a unique red blend of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. The line extension casts a modern lens on 19 Crimes, inspired by rule-breakers and real stories of redemption, as brought to life by augmented reality enabled labels. “I’m such a fan of this wine and I’m excited to bring ‘Snoop Cali Red’ to my Australian peeps next year and share the experience with my fans. 19 Crimes is one of the most successful brands in the market, so I’m more than eager to bring this collaboration to the world!” said Snoop Dogg. Angus Lilley, Treasury Wine Estates Chief Marketing Officer says 19 Crimes, like Snoop

New Australian Shiraz Gin launches

Dogg, is defiant by nature, bold in character and

Australian Distilling Co. has added a new addition to its ever-growing

always uncompromising.

gin repertoire with the Shiraz Gin, said to capture the spirit of our

“Snoop Dogg is a culture creator, innovator and a leader in pop culture. Australians love him,

country in a bottle. After its recent launch, the Shiraz Gin has become the 13th on the

and they have been asking for this wine since it

market for Australian Distilling Co, joining an extensive portfolio of

launched in the US back in July. We are truly excited

flavours which reflect and embody an array of regions and cities of

to bring 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Red to Australia.”

Australia and utilise locally sourced ingredients. Australian Distilling Co.’s Master Distiller partnered with local distilleries across the country and explored local ingredients to create flavours that embrace the spirit of the area. “The Australian Distilling Co. Shiraz Gin is unique and unlike anything on the shelf, standing out from its competitors. In every sip, there is something that speaks of the special nature of the spirit’s namesake place,” Michael Hickinbotham, Director Australian Distilling Co said. “Made from award winning gin steeped with premium grapes, the Australian Distilling Co. Shiraz Gin combines notes of pepper, spices and blackcurrant with a sweet yet complex and full-bodied palate finished with hints of raspberry throughout.”

20 | National Liquor News


Marketplace

Belvedere’s new malted rye expression Belvedere’s latest malted rye vodka expression, Heritage 176, uses a centuries-old technique of malting in order to release the rye’s richer taste and character. The process includes steeping, sprouting and heating the rye in kilns up to 176 degrees, hence the name, and is one that has largely faded out of use during the

Lyre’s launches new nonalcoholic RTD range

modernisation of distillation.

Tapping into the growing ‘low-and-no’ trend, award-

unexpected, authentic and nuanced taste.

President and CEO of Belvedere Vodka, Rodney Williams, said: “Belvedere remains committed to showcasing that rye can impart

winning non-alcoholic brand Lyre’s has launched three pre-mixed RTDs.

“In 2018, our release of two different Single Estate Rye vodkas based on the same strain of rye demonstrated that terroir plays a

The range comprises of Classic G&T; Amalfi Spritz;

significant role in shaping rye flavours. We are continuing to display

and Classico, a non-alcoholic prosecco-style sparkling,

rye’s enormous potential for rich and bold flavours, this time by

and will be available for retailers from early 2021.

malting rye to bring out its depth of flavour. Heritage 176 is a new

Mark Livings, Lyre’s Co-founder and CEO, said:

sipping vodka based on old production technique.”

“The Lyre’s core non-alcoholic spirit range has become so widely adopted that our drinkers are looking for more formats for more occasions. The RTD range has been created to give everyone the freedom to enjoy their drink their way, without the booze. “With nearly a quarter of young Australians (21 per cent of 18-24-year-olds and 24 per cent of

Did you know? Up until the 1890s, Polish rye vodka makers for centuries relied on the technique of malting rye to produce vodka with distinct flavour.

25-29-year-olds) choosing not to drink at all, it’s important to have Lyre’s available as a convenient, refreshing option to enjoy at the beach, park, on a boat or wherever the summer adventure takes you.” The RTD range is available as a 4x250mL pack in a carton of 6×4 (24 cans in total) at a cost of $18.99.

De Bortoli launches Prosecco Rosé De Bortoli Wines has combined two of the most

Banksias. We even mixed it with orange gin and

popular wine categories to launch its latest

soda for a festive touch.”

product, Prosecco Rosé. Assistant Winemaker, Kate Webber, said the

De Bortoli said fruit for this wine was harvested in the cool of the night, helping achieve a

innovative Prosecco Rosé is characterised as a

balance of fruit freshness and acidity. The wine

serious bubbly, but is still the life of the party.

is pressed and racked into stainless vats for

“This Prosecco Rosé is quite textural with the

fermentation before the secondary ferment which

pink colour coming from a small addition of Pinot

brings creaminess and texture, as well as bubbles,

Noir and is a great addition to our Prosecco range.

to the wine.

“Over summer it has been a popular wine with

Prosecco continues to grow in popularity as it

friends and family and a great way to kick off

is seen as an affordable and approachable wine

the afternoon with a game of Finska under the

that is suitable to all types of occasions.

February 2021 | 21


Marketplace

Beer Importers and Distributors to relaunch Warsteiner Premium in Australia

The year has started strong for Beer Importers and Distributors with the relaunch of German beer Warsteiner Premium in Australia. National Liquor News caught up with Michael Lonard, Sales Manager at Beer Importers and Distributors, about what to expect from the relaunch.

National Liquor News: Tell me a bit about Warsteiner Premium and when we can expect it to launch. Michael Lonard: The Warsteiner Brewery, from the town of Warstein Germany, is a family owned and operated brewery producing beer since 1753. The Warsteiner Premium product will be re-launching in Australia this month (February) on the Australian market.

NLN: Why have you chosen to relaunch into Australia now? ML: With the growth of craft beer both abroad and domestically, a lot of the market has shifted to local and Australian Craft, but there is definitely still a place in the market for the famous traditional brewers of Europe. Warsteiner is a great illustration of this, producing one of Germany’s finest examples of a German Pilsener. The German beer market and German brewers themselves are amongst the oldest in Europe, and the world for that matter. It is a segment that has room for growth and development within Australia with brands such as Warsteiner, as we look to a new generation of consumers to discover what the segment has to offer.

NLN: What are the top things that retailers should know about Warsteiner Premium? ML: Warsteiner Premium is the only beer brewed and bottled in Warstein, Germany, and is brewed in accordance with German purity law. The brewery only focuses on a handful of beers, so the emphasis is always on quality. All brewing water is sourced from natural springs inside the brewery grounds, making it a very clean, easy drinking, Pilsener-style lager that is considered the premium beer of Germany.

NLN: What are your hopes and goals for Warsteiner Premium and the 2021 relaunch? ML: Build and grow the brand on the Australian market. Consumer education with regards to European beers is important, so we will look at highlighting how the traditional brewers are the reference point and source of inspiration for many of the craft brewers of today, much in the same way that modern winemakers reference points are France, Italy, Spain, Germany and more.

Quick fact

22 | National Liquor News

Beer Importers and Distributors has been importing premium beers from Europe and around the world for nearly 45 years.


this little pig x x market xxxxxx went to

ginny fizz fizz new

Introducing our gin-licious new Ginsecco™, with crisp prosecco, perfectly balanced gin, and spritzed soda

1 standard drink per can

Chills fast

Convenient for on the go

To speak to a local Treasury Wine Estates representative, contact 134 893


2021 Predictions

“Fortified will reinvent itself as the last alcohol frontier that is yet to have done so. Be it in new cocktail trends or the discovery of the velvet impacts of time across a myriad of delicious aged ports following 25 years in barrel. Early days here, however as the leader in this category we are very excited about what the future holds.” – David Pitt, McWilliams

“I expect to see continued growth in lighter style red wines and rosé, as well as interest in premium and super-premium wines including sparkling and Champagne.”

Industry leaders

PREDICT 2021 TRENDS Some of the leaders from within this year’s National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum share their insights about the industry trends to watch in 2021. 24 | National Liquor News

– Bryan Fry, Pernod Ricard Winemakers


2021 Predictions

to the online wine market in 2021 all lining up for their share of the +100 per cent growth the category has enjoyed over the last 12 months. Amongst these will be a range of new players utilising technologies such as augmented reality, near field communication, label scanning, artificial intelligence, messaging and voice recognition to make the buying process even easier.” – Dean Taylor, Wine Depot

Wine

“I expect to see a large number of new entrants wade

“We see the subtle movement to softer styles as the continuing trend in 2021. Rosé and Prosecco

“We expect the rise of rosé to

fit that criteria as do some of the cooler climate

continue and for winemakers to

Pinot Noirs and Gris/Grigios.” – Dean Carroll, Brown Family Wine Group

continue to experiment with wine styles and varieties to create unique expressions of people and places.” – Andreas Clark, Wine Australia

“As long as there is consumer appetite to try new things and winemakers are keen to innovate, there will be a place for hybrid drinks, especially as we see more cross-category innovation working brilliantly in other areas of the drinks trade and FMCG.” – Peter Neilson, Treasury Wine Estates

“2021 will see consumers continuing to seek options that are ‘better for you’. We “The ‘good for me, good for the planet’

see this in the continued rise

category will continue to show strength

of organic and vegan wines

and lead to lower alcohol wines, a

and the low and no alcohol

demand from consumers for sustainable

category, including the

practices, and a decrease in sales volume

predicted growth of seltzers.”

but an increase in average value.”

– Kyle Skene, Giesen Group

– Nick Waterman, Yalumba

February 2021 | 25


2021 Predictions

Spirits

“Consumers will stock their home bars with high quality local spirits, local craft distilleries will take a more ethical approach to production and sustainability and consumers and

“During lockdown, Australians took to mixing their

shoppers will make the conscious

own cocktails at home, and are choosing better

decision to support local craft spirits.”

quality products to do so. I think that will continue…

- Kathleen Davies, Nip of Courage

The popularity of RTDs will continue to grow over summer and beyond - we’re seeing new offerings that reflect the growing sophistication and

“Gin and spiced rum continue

responsibility of Australian drinkers, with low alcohol

to experience double digit

and low sugar products gaining popularity.”

growth, tequila, premium

- Greg Hollands, Spirits and Cocktails Australia

whiskey and bourbon being the other categories to watch for the year ahead. Category

“I predict the rise of rum,

boundaries are being blurred

tequila and mezcal, as well

with different cask finishes,

as more non-liquor options

ingredient experimentation

across multiple formats and

and premium Ready To Serve

no and low sugar mixers

offerings being revitalised.”

and soft drinks.”

– Sarah Nichols, Bacardi-

– Emma Evans, CAPI

Martini Australia

“The premiumisation trend in spirits shows no sign of slowing at the moment.

“The e-commerce opportunity will continue to evolve. Due

Also, consumers are more

to lockdowns, greater numbers of consumers were able to

health conscious than

experience the convenience of e-commerce and gain the

ever, looking for more

confidence to experiment and replicate their favourite cocktails

refreshing drinks with less

at home or try new cocktails based on recipes available online.”

calories. This segment has

– Simon Durrant, Campari Australia

really exploded during the pandemic with lighter, spirit-based options

“There’s some great

becoming increasingly

innovation happening in

popular and available.”

the low-calorie space and

– Eveline Albarracin,

non-alcohol is also just at the

Brown-Forman

beginning of its journey. Even the big brands are bringing out 0.0 per cent ABV versions

“I think gin, tequila and light spirit alternative ‘ginspirations’ will

of their stuff, so it will be

continue to grow. Low alc/no alc will continue its strong growth,

great to see what smaller

which will come from a couple of strong global players as well as

producers can do. Celebrity

a huge NPD flood into the market. My big winner for 2021 will

association with spirits is now

be pre-batch cocktails (outside of Botanical Eau De Vie spirits of

clearly a thing too.”

course) to cater to at home experiences.”

– George Georgiadis,

– Blake Vanderfield-Kramer, Feels Botanical

Never Never Distilling Co.

26 | National Liquor News


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2021 Predictions

“The contemporary category is the one to watch in 2021, with XXXX Dry, Furphy Crisp Lager, Byron Bay Premium Lager and even Tooheys Extra Dry making a comeback. I also look forward to seeing alcohol-free beers grow in popularity. And for something a bit different, Australia has started to really embrace sour beers.” – James Brindley, Lion

“I anticipate a continued and growing interest in an authentic, brewed in the ‘country of origin’ beer category.” – Brenton Quirini, Empire Liquor

BEER

“There will always be popularity ebbs and flows among the categories reflecting style preferences. However in an ever increasingly crowded market, it’s the authentic brands that appear to be resonating with drinkers and I think this will trend will only become stronger in the year ahead.” – Cam Pearce, Coopers

“We find that in times of uncertainty, value emerges as a key driver of consumer purchase decisions, and we expect that to continue into 2021. We’re also expecting a continuation of the moderation trend, with consumers continuing to seek out lower ABV products.” – Peter Bingeman, Carlton & United Breweries 28 | National Liquor News


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NLNFEB2021_2


Industry Profile

L-R: Sir James Hardy and Michael David

Celebrating industry legends

When Sir James Hardy and Michael David first met,

registered the original Liquorland trademark that

the liquor industry looked a lot different to what it

he later sold to Coles, and ahead of his more than

does now.

30 year tenure on the board of the Liquor Stores

Over the years they have witnessed the evolution

Association of NSW.

of the liquor retail landscape from different vantage

It was close to the time they met that the pair both

points - Sir Hardy from the supplier side within the

witnessed one of the biggest shifts in the liquor industry

family business of Hardy’s, and David from the retailer

throughout their careers - the rise of table wine.

side, as owner of stores over the years such as the iconic Elizabeth Bay Cellars.

“Michael David will know this only too well, when I grew up, when I joined the company, and even when

It’s in the cellar underneath this Sydney store that

I landed in Sydney in ‘62, we were still selling over

National Liquor News sat down with Sir Hardy and

90 per cent fortified wines, Brandy, Port and Muscat.

David, to hear about their observations about the

Dry wines, like sparkling wines and table wines, were

development of Australia’s vibrant liquor industry

flat out to be 10 per cent,” Sir Hardy said as David

through both their individual career paths and their

nodded in agreement.

connection as industry peers and ultimately friends.

Hardy’s, which was at the time known as Thomas Hardy & Sons, had always been making table wines,

Industry pioneers

however different from the names they’re known by

Sir Hardy and David first met in the 1960s, because

today and far from the popularity the sector enjoys

Hardy’s office was right around the corner from

today. Sir Hardy described the selection featuring names

David’s first liquor store. This was before David

such as: “Claret, Burgundy, Riesling and Chablis, and

30 | National Liquor News


Industry Profile

all these French names. We called our bottle fermented sparkling wine Champagne.” The shift in the industry started to be

David added: “rosé has just gone ballistic. And men are buying it too now, not just women… it’s just been a killer product.”

noticed when table wines became available

But trends don’t always change behaviour

in upmarket hotels. The integration of table

so drastically, as the continual rise of rosé

wines into everyday Australian life started

has. Some core tenets of the industry endure

to take flight further as people became more

despite the swirling changes around them,

wine-educated, often through the likes of

such as the importance of connection

industry-led activities and information like

between brands and retailers.

wine appreciation courses and clubs.

“A lot of people can make sound wine.

“There was a wine appreciation course

But to get it across to a customer, there has

out at the [Sydney] showground every

to be other elements involved. And there’s

second Monday I think it was, and people

all sorts of elements for people to buy wine,”

would pay a few quid (or dollars after ’66)

Sir Hardy said.

and go out and do the course over, say, three weeks,” David said.

“A lot of people can make sound wine. But to get it across to a customer, there has to be other elements involved.” - Sir James Hardy

He described many of these elements, including what shoppers have read or

Sir James Hardy celebrates his 88th birthday industry friends.

“They’d start with basic wines and then

heard about, what the label of each wine

move up a bit and then a bit more, and that

says and what the price is. The retailer is

got wider interest and showed people how

the valuable connection for the consumer

A legendary birthday

they could just have a wine.”

to understand what all of these elements

In late 2020, Sir Hardy celebrated his

tell them in the context of which product

88th birthday in Sydney surrounded

is right for them.

by people from the industry who have

Understanding the consumer Since Sir Hardy and David met, a lot has

David added that the key to good retail

changed in the international wine industry

like this is knowledge and expertise. He used

A collection of liquor industry

that has also affected the local market in

the example of a recent customer and friend

legends came together at the Royal

Australia - you’ll never find an Australian

of Sir Hardy’s, who called the Elizabeth Bay

Sydney Yacht Squadron on a beautiful

Champagne today, for example.

store to enquire about an Italian wine they

sunny Friday to share wine, food and

had been gifted that was terrible.

stories in honour of the occasion.

And as the industry develops, so too do consumer tastes. Sir Hardy described his

become lifelong friends.

“We tested it and it was too old - it was

“Meeting up on my birthday with

a white wine from some part of Italy that

the guys that have been a real help

“Honestly we tried for years to sell the

someone had given as a gift because it had

to me since I first transferred to

product, whether it’s dark or light or pink or

age on it. So they’re not getting the right

Sydney in 1962, after all this time, it

salmon coloured, Australians just wouldn’t

information about that wine and how to

was terrific. That’s a lifetime, certainly

touch it… I am so pleased that now it’s

take care of it. That happens when you have

for me - I was 30 when I came here

really been accepted, I would say in the last

stores valuing volume and price not quality

and now I’m 88,” Sir Hardy said.

10 years,” he said.

and good information,” David said.

most surprising long term trend - rosé.

The Hardy name across two industries Sir Hardy joined the family wine business right before his 21st

plane crash alongside fellow Barossa wine legends Hugo

birthday in 1953, the company’s centenary year. He said he

Gramp and Sidney Hill-Smith.

was the ‘office boy’ at the Adelaide head office. He also had an interest in yachts, sailing and boat building,

Over the years, Sir Hardy’s sailing has seen him represent Australia in such events as the Olympics and the America’s

much like his late father Tom Mayfield Hardy who was a master

Cup. He was awarded both an OBE and an Australian Sports

yachtsman before his death in 1938 during the tragic Kyeema

Medal for services to sailing, for which he was also knighted.

February 2021 | 31


Suppliers, Retail & Wholesale

We’ve spoken to leaders from right across the industry and have discovered all the answers about how to set your business up for success in 2021 after an incredibly tough 2020.

32 | National Liquor News


Aldi

Aldi continues liquor retail success Aldi is hoping to shift consumer habits to boost its liquor retail results in 2021 off the back of experiencing double digit growth in 2020.

Paul Handley Buying Director for Beer, Cider, Spirits and RTDs Aldi Australia

Aldi has continued to prove itself in the off-premise liquor market by offering customers good value for a wide variety of quality products.

RETAIL

Since setting up shop in Australia nearly 20 years ago, Aldi has experienced consistent growth. Despite a year of disruption to its supply chain due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was still able to perform over and above store growth rates in 2020. Aldi Australia’s Buying Director for Beer, Cider, Spirits and RTDs, Paul Handley has made it his goal in 2021 to focus on continuing this trend. He said the key is providing customers a balance of market leading brands that complement Aldi’s exclusive brand range, ensuring it reflects changing market requirements. “For 2021 key areas of focus will be on refreshment, lighter drinking styles such as seltzers and rosé and areas of innovation such as organic and biodynamic products,” Handley said.

A long list of accolades

“The rise in wellness trends and products that are “better for you” all point

Aldi’s range of own label beer, wine and spirits

to continued growth in the no and low alcohol segment. This will be an area of

have produced a stellar year of awards. In a

focus in coming years.”

range of competitions, Aldi was able to secure

“There has also been a huge shift to spirits which would indicate customers

the following awards:

are entertaining more at home.”

A trophy at the International Cider

The world of spirits has been a growing favourite for Aldi customers, who

Challenge for Storm Cider

are using their time at home to experiment with different cocktails and mixes.

A Masters Award at the 2020 Global Beer

Handley said pairing its well-known and loved products with new

Masters for Cape Cyan Beer

international opportunities in its spirit range was one of the key contributors

A Masters award at the 2020 Vodka

to 2020 successes.

Masters for Tamova Vodka

“The spirits category experienced enormous growth in 2020 driven by

A Category winner at the 2020 World Whisky

Awards for Highland Black 8YO Scotch Whisky

consumers spending more time at home, and perhaps treating themselves to

Max Schubert AM trophy for Most

a favourite cocktail or mixed drink,” Handley added.

Outstanding Red Wine in Show at the

“Gin has continued to be a key driver in the category and shows no signs of

2020 Royal Adelaide Wine Show for

slowing down from the enormous growth of recent years. “Throughout 2020 we were excited to bring a great variety of premium spirits from around the world and to be able to offer them to our customers at great

Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Award in the Supermarket category for the

On the back of double digit growth in 2020, Aldi is hoping to utilise its

eighth time in 10 years

popularity at a national level to drive consumers into breaking their regular

Handley said: “These awards are a welcome

shopping habits to compete with major retail brands.

recognition for the Aldi team and our supplier

“We don’t need to do crazy things to drive customers into our stores converting more of them to do their liquor shopping with Aldi,” Handley said.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 ➤

value prices through our limited time only Special Buys promotions.”

they’re already there - millions of them every week - we just need to focus on

the Blackstone Paddock Margaret River

partners who continue to prove that value and

quality can go hand in hand.”

February 2021 | 33


Bacardi-Martini Australia

SUPPLIER

Bacardi: leveraging consumer trends

Sarah Nichols

Interim Managing Director, Sarah Nichols, describes the positive parts of a challenging year and how the company will navigate through 2021.

One of the best ways to characterise last year is to describe

Interim Managing Director Bacardi-Martini Australia

it as one where the unknown was a constant. To overcome

Founders, Fearless & Family

the disruption caused by such an unprecedented event like a

The culture pillars at Bacardi are Founders, Fearless &

pandemic is a huge achievement, and its one that Bacardi-Martini

Family, and Nichols said the way the team has remained

Australia proudly claims.

true to these concepts has been key to the company’s

Interim Managing Director Sarah Nichols said Bacardi was “all in” throughout the year to deliver several successes. Nichols said a highlight was the continued focus on launching

success last year. She said that the team has been: “‘fearless’ in their thinking, trying new initiatives and ways to support our

an innovation plan and that: “whilst there were many challenges

customers during unprecedented times; being ‘founders’ in

connected with this due to COVID-19, it was a true testament

their mindset and approach and most importantly working

to the team who managed to launch two new Bombay Sapphire

together as a ‘family’ and being there for one another and

RTDs concurrently as well as introducing Bombay Bramble to our

our customers.”

‘Bombay house of gin’. In addition to this, the launch of Bacardi

In 2021, the focus and recognition of the people behind

Spiced delivered well over our expectations and continues to grow

the brands is set to continue, as will the search for a new

in all channels.”

permanent Managing Director after Mauricio Vergara

From these positives, and the five and 10 year global growth

moved from the role in October to become the President

ambitions outlined during the year, Nichols described the

and COO of Patrón. Nichols said the company expects the

immediate focus for Bacardi in the year ahead as revolving

role will be filled from one of the key regional markets, with

around innovation on all levels.

an expected start date of April 2021.

“In addition to product innovation, we are also very much focussed on innovation from our digital transformation strategy right through to processes which will streamline our business and

Consumption shifts

how we better interact with our customers,” Nichols said.

There are several trends in the industry that Bacardi is watching. Some of the areas in which Nichols said the company is well positioned to leverage include the sustainability movement, premiumisation and the rise of RTDs. Speaking about the sustainability initiatives, Nichols said: “Bacardi has developed a world first 100 per cent plant-based spirits bottle that is biodegradable in 18 months. This is a huge step in helping reduce the plastic pollution and we look forward to seeing it hit shelves around the world 2023.” Meanwhile, the excellent results from Bacardi’s premium spirits portfolio shows the company is aligned well with the premiumisation trend. This extends into the progress of the RTD category, as Bacardi contributes to the growing idea that RTDs are no longer cheap, pre-mixed alternatives to glass spirits, outperforming the category with brands like Bombay Sapphire and its now flourishing RTD portfolio.

34 | National Liquor News


LIKE RANGER RED FROM PINJARRA


Barton & Guestier

SUPPLIER

Barton & Guestier pursues quality and sustainability Philippe Marion

Barton & Guestier continues to overwhelm the Australian market after producing a 40 per cent boost in sales last year.

Deputy General Manager Barton & Guestier

It was the year of rosé for French winemaker and distributor Barton & Guestier, introducing two different pink styles that received a great response from the Australian consumer. Among its new releases, the B&G Côtes de Provence and B&G Rosé d’Anjou, as well as an IGP Pays d’Oc, B&G Réserve Rosé wines were big contributing factors to Barton & Guestier’s strong growth in the Australian market in 2020. Barton & Guestier Deputy General Manager, Philippe Marion, is pleased at the positive results that rosé has driven for the company at a difficult time. “2020 was an excellent year for Barton & Guestier in Australia, despite the complicated COVID situation and lockdown of the restaurant business. Sales were up almost 40 per cent versus 2019, especially in major chains where 2020 was the year of introduction of our rosé wines,” Marion said. He also believes that COVID-19 lockdowns throughout Australia shifted the trend towards investing in better quality wines, drinking less or turning to low alcohol or alcohol-free wines. “Therefore, low and no alcoholic drinks along with vegan friendly wine

Pursuit of quality remains

will remain a growing category,” he explained to National Liquor News.

Despite producing quality wine for nearly

“Also with regard to the environment, people will probably become

300 years, Barton & Guestier continues to

more aware of environmental certifications and corporate social responsibility statements.” Barton & Guestier prides itself on being involved in sustainable management for more than 50 years. It’s Château Magnol and company headquarters are active members of the Environmental Management System for Bordeaux Wines, certified ISO 14001 since 2013. Since 2017, Barton & Guestier also obtained the High Environmental Value Level Three certification, attesting that all its actions respect the environment, in areas including air climate, energy, water, soil, biodiversity and landscape. “Our B&G Réserve Rosé will carry the Sustainable Winegrowing certification on the front label,” Marion added. This will prove to be an important element of Barton & Guestier’s success

develop ways of tantalising the tastebuds of its customers. Since its first barrel of wine in 1725 it has held its consumers at the heart of its strategy and always innovated to produce great tasting wine. “Our founder’s pioneering spirit is still inspiring Laurent Prada, Barton & Guestier Head Winemaker, and the entire team,” Deputy General Manager Philippe Marion said. “Barton & Guestier wines were the first French wines to land in Australia in 1837… In 2021 we continue our efforts on the rosé

as the year goes on, especially considering the trend noticed in Australian

wines, but also on other appellations, like those

consumers to search for sustainable wines that are new and exciting, yet

from Bordeaux and Loire Valley, as we are the

convenient to purchase.

only French wine brand offering appellations

Retail is key to helping Barton & Guestier meet these consumer demands and this is why the company has employed a dedicated Australian sales manager, based in Melbourne. Marion said: “Of course, brick and mortar retail will definitely remain a core priority of our strategy.” 36 | National Liquor News

wines from all the winegrowing regions.” In addition, Barton & Guestier also offers a range of sparkling wines and recently launched an alcohol free sparkling wine which it believes will fill some consumer needs in 2021.


Brown Family Wine Group seizes new opportunities It’s full steam ahead into 2021 for Brown Family Wine Group, as CEO Dean Carroll describes the focus of the business for the new year. While some impacts of 2020’s challenges linger, Brown Family

Dean Carroll CEO Brown Family Wine Group

Wine Group (BFWG) has its sights set firmly to the future and is

Highlighting the value of people

ready to seize the opportunities of a new year.

“In most years, we would talk about market share gains,

CEO Dean Carroll said the business is focused on

business growth or NPD successes and yet reflecting on the

opportunities surrounding customer, shopper and consumer

past year every recollection leads me to our people being

interaction, noting that BFWG is already well positioned to

the company’s biggest success in 2020,” Carroll said.

pursue such areas.

The people of Brown Family Wine Group were core to

“Lighter styles are what we are observing across all beverage

the business being able to successfully navigate challenges

categories so we see an opportunity to lead the wine category in

of the year. From the very start of 2020, Carroll noted how

this area. We already produce some of the best selling wines in

teams worked through the bushfire crisis and the pandemic,

this area with varieties like Cienna and we see that expanding in

and were set to tackle anything the new year threw at them.

the year ahead,” Carroll said. Star performers in the BFWG portfolio for 2020 also illustrate this valuable position in the year ahead, especially as Carroll

“Our teams now face into the challenges of the China wine tariffs but they do so optimistically and with an open approach to how we combat the obstacles,” he said.

described: “We have been lucky to experience a year where most of our brand and focus varieties have grown and performed ahead of budgeted expectations. “The Brown Brothers brand continues to grow on the back of Prosecco and a resurgence in our fruity category market leaders

The range highlights our diverse winemaking capabilities with a Tempranillo/Graciano blend, Fiano and a Heathcote Shiraz. “Devil’s Corner continues to perform well, this year enhanced

– Moscato, Sparkling Moscato and Cienna. We are also pleased

by the release of our new Devils Corner Rosé made from Pinot

with the launch of our Brown Brothers Winemaker’s Series

Noir, and invites consumers who appreciate cool climate wines

range, hand crafted in the kindergarten - our micro-winery.

to the precious ever-increasing value of Tasmania as a region. We have seen the investment in the quality of our Pinot Noir at Tamar Ridge start to bear fruit with numerous awards and an endorsement of the Kayena vineyard in Australia’s Top 50 vineyards. Innocent Bystander has experienced double digit growth in 2020 and we expect to see that growth continue throughout 2021.” Brand and customer planning sessions are an immediate focus for BFWG in 2021, as the company seeks to grasp opportunities across this whole portfolio. Further helping in this goal is the development of a new state of the art production facility early this year. 2021 is also entered with an air of caution, as BFWG readies to encounter challenges around the situation in China and staffing shortages. “The shortage of overseas workers who often work in [the vintage and hospitality] fields and the generosity of the JobSeeker program creates a flow on impact that needs to be addressed regionally,” Carroll said.

February 2021 | 37

SUPPLIER

Brown Family Wine Group


Brown-Forman

SUPPLIER

Brown-Forman powers into 2021 After celebrating its 150th anniversary in subdued circumstances, Brown-Forman is ready to launch into the new year hand in hand with its valued customers. For Brown-Forman, 2020 was a year of heartening success in a

Eveline Albarracin Managing Director Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands Brown-Forman

“One thing is certain, there will continue to be change over the

challenging environment, with positives seen in the performance of

coming year, with emerging and accelerated consumer trends and

its portfolio, the focus on people and the support of its customers.

habits to be understood and this will require greater collaboration

Eveline Albarracin, Managing Director Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands at Brown-Forman, said that while weathering

between partners,” Albarracin said. “I believe suppliers and retailers can work better together by

the pandemic hasn’t been easy and impacts of the situation have

sharing category and consumer insights, and investing in strong

been felt, the pleasing results bode well for the future.

planning efforts with a willingness to be agile in the post-COVID

“In 2020 Brown-Forman celebrated our 150th anniversary year, and whilst our celebrations may have been somewhat muted

marketplace… Retailers can assist suppliers to better understand e-commerce and their efforts to strengthen our partnerships.”

due to the COVID pandemic, the year has reaffirmed my long-

held belief that no matter the circumstances, Brown-Forman will be agile and able to find a way to deliver top-tier results,” she said. In terms of what is driving these results, Albarracin added: “We’ve seen continued interest in the drink-at-home occasion and consumers wanting to experiment in not only different convenience options but also trying new flavours. The Jack Daniel’s trademark has performed very well, with strong growth across the Jack Daniel’s full strength family, with a particular highlight, the exceptional growth of Gentleman Jack. “Woodford Reserve has also had an outstanding year, as consumers have explored the bourbon category and traded up to more premium brands. “Within our RTD portfolio, consumers have reached for bolder flavours resulting in our higher ABV brands Double Jack and American Serve performing very well. As consumers search for healthier options we are also experiencing accelerated momentum within our Jack Daniel’s and Double Jack No Sugar

Reviving the industry

Cola RTD brands.”

As restrictions ebb and flow in varying degrees across the

The iconic and high-performing RTD range of Brown-Forman

country, Albarracin said a common challenge that Brown-

was further bolstered in December 2020 when the company

Forman will face revolves around how to navigate into an

acquired Part Time Rangers, a low calorie, light spirit based RTD

uncertain future and support the industry along the way.

which was a targeted investment to help generate further growth

“One major challenge for all liquor companies will be

in such a key category. Diversifying the Brown-Forman offering

determining what a post pandemic environment looks like

and catering to consumers looking for something lighter, its

and planning robustly for that. Understanding the impact

expected to hit the Australian market in 2021.

of the pull back in government subsidies for Australians and

This is just one example of how Brown-Forman will be planning to strengthen the business and the overall industry, aiming to work in collaboration with customers like retailers in new areas. 38 | National Liquor News

businesses and the impact on consumer sentiment as a result will be important,” Albarracin said.


Campari Australia firms up industry support

Simon Durrant

Campari Australia rallied behind its customers last year, and this year will continue providing a range of support to partners on the road to recovery.

Managing Director Campari Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands

Campari Australia was quick to recognise changing industry trends in the consumer market when the COVID-19 pandemic started in earnest last year and has remained firm on its goal to rally support behind the industry ever since. Managing Director of Campari Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands, Simon Durrant, said Campari Australia quickly adjusted its strategy when major on-premise markets and more ‘celebratory’ drinks started to struggle while fan favourites remained in strong growth. “The reality of border closures meant we needed to find new ways to maintain stock levels from local and globally produced products,” Durrant said. “We also saw a return to traditional favourites and the reemergence of RTDs as consumers were forced to spend more time at home.” The acceleration of home cocktail making created a booming demand for content to support the creation of classic recipes such

The trend has continued into 2021 which Campari Australia

as an Old Fashioned using Wild Turkey Bourbon, a Negroni using

has been excited to help fuel by launching its Aperol Spritz Ready

Campari, and a Margarita using Espolòn Tequila.

to Serve in January. Durrant said: “The highly anticipated Aperol Spritz Ready to

Virtual wins Innovation remained as one of the most important aspects of Campari Australia’s year. Below are some of Durrant’s

Serve will enable us to access new consumption occasions such as small at-home gatherings, picnics and other outdoor occasions where it isn’t practical to mix ingredients to make a Spritz. “Consumers have a strong desire to stay local. Products like

favourite initiatives that were virtually reimagined to meet

Aperol Spritz Ready to Serve and Campari Soda are perfect for

consumer needs.

providing engaging moments closer to home.”

Aperol Spritz at 6 - this championed the idea of

Further to its innovation in the new year, Durrant said Campari

disconnecting from the workday and reconnecting with

Australia will focus on helping the industry rebuild by providing

friends and family by sharing a Spritz virtually at 6pm.

the support needed for its customers, as it did in 2020 with the

Wild Turkey With Thanks – this digital iteration of the

immensely successful on-premise campaign, Shaken Not Broken.

With Thanks annual initiative saw Matthew McConaughey

“Maintaining supply and supporting the COVIDSafe

connecting with Australian local legends via video call.

reopening of the on-premise is our primary focus, especially for

He spoke to those with inspirational tales that stood with

venues with outdoor/sit down occasions,” Durrant said.

conviction to support their environment and communities

“The world has fundamentally changed, and we are still facing

throughout 2020, and shared their stories far and wide.

many uncertainties as we wait for the rollout of the vaccine. We

The Glen Grant Arboralis launch - Master Distiller Denis

need to work closely with our partners as they build a sustainable

Malcolm supported a virtual tasting experience for the first

future to understand how we can support them.

lucky 100 purchasers of the new product through Boozebud.

“We enter 2021 with hope for the future and an industry that has shown it can adapt to uncertainty.”

February 2021 | 39

SUPPLIER

Campari Australia


CAPI

SUPPLIER

CAPI hits all the hot trends Local non-alcoholic beverage company CAPI has retailer and consumer needs front of mind for 2021, according to CEO Emma Evans.

In recent years there have been a number of shifts in Australian

Emma Evans CEO CAPI

2021 will see CAPI grow even further than recent positive

consumption habits, with shoppers increasingly looking for more

years to meet the needs of the trade and the consumer, thanks to

natural and lower sugar products while exploring interesting

foundations laid in the past year.

flavours and supporting local producers.

“2020 was a rollercoaster with highs and lows, but overall we are

These are all areas which are set to drive great results for

happy with how we have landed and we really took the time this

Australian beverage company CAPI, with its range of sparkling

year to reflect, pause, look back and think about what is next and

mineral water, mixers and sodas. CEO Emma Evans said CAPI’s

what do the next two to three years look like for us,” Evans said.

immediate focus in 2021 will be to leverage this position to grow

“Challenges from 2020 that still exist surround the global

presence and awareness in the independent liquor retail sphere.

supply chain system, put under so much pressure with zero

“Relationships are everything and we are here to work with

warning. We are lucky that we manufacture locally, yet with an

stores to help them in growing their non-liquor offering, catering

increase in demand for local products across the board this puts

to customer needs and increasing basket size,” Evans said.

pressure on everyone to keep up.

“Especially now, after 2020 when all we had were our

“Early on in 2020 we decided to source and move our

Australian businesses, I really believe there is a place for local

proprietary bottle locally. We are very excited and proud to say

products front and centre. The quality and offering of Australian

that during 2021 we will move to a local supplier for our bottle.

beverages is not sub-par to those imported. In fact, Australia

This further enhances our offering as an Australian beverage

has some of the most exciting and innovative beverage brands

company and aligns to our growing sustainability goals.”

making some of the best drinks in the world.” And while pandemic-related supply chain interruptions have

An additional focus for CAPI in 2021 will be around innovation, to find simple yet delicious solutions for shoppers

impacted businesses worldwide, CAPI’s commitment to strong

who want adult alternatives to common non-alcoholic beverages

relationships and providing the best local products to local

that are ‘better for you.’

retailers has Evans confident this will be continued throughout this year to a high standard. She said: “We have a huge year planned and after 2020 we are ready to take on 2021 with energy and speed.”

Evans told National Liquor News: “We like to keep our finger on the pulse with retailers, trade and consumers around what they want to see from us and being a family business we can bring that to life easily.”

Did you know? CAPI is a family-owned Australian business which also

manufactures in Australia. CAPI Mineral Water is bottled at the source, just an hour

out of Melbourne. This year CAPI celebrates its 10th birthday.

40 | National Liquor News



Carlton United Breweries

SUPPLIER

A United expansion Carlton & United Breweries just got a whole lot stronger as it looks to reinvest in its big brands in 2021, according to General Manager Sales, Peter Bingeman.

Peter Bingeman General Manager Sales Carlton & United Breweries

A year of low on-premise liquor sales throughout 2020 wasn’t enough to stop Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) from taking the next step towards improving its extensive range of products for its customers. The integration of CUB into Asahi Beverages last year sent waves of excitement throughout the company and industry, putting CUB in a stronger position for 2021. Peter Bingeman, General Manager Sales at CUB, said the combination of the businesses was well executed despite the unusual circumstances during the Coronavirus pandemic and it had been pleasing to learn how nimble Asahi was in minimising disruptions to CUB’s customers at such a critical time. “We’re really excited by the combined portfolio we’re now able to offer our customers, but we don’t take anything for granted,” Bingeman said. “I’ve been really impressed with Asahi’s focus on category solutions and their keenness to listen to the customer and to work to enhance growth together. “I think this year provides the combined business with an amazing opportunity across the beverages landscape given Asahi Beverages’ breadth and depth of portfolio.” With a new business layout and a new year comes a stronger resolve and priorities for CUB. Bingeman said one of CUB’s first priorities is to continue investing in its well-known and big brands, offering customers reliable and popular brands in challenging times. “What we are finding is that in times of uncertainty, people return to the brands and products they know, trust and love, and that includes many of our great beers,” Bingeman added. He also noted the importance of flexibility for CUB, as the full impacts of the pandemic are yet to be felt in the market. Bingeman said that a large priority is to: “make sure our business

“What we are finding is that in times of uncertainty, people return to the brands and products they know, trust and love, and that includes many of our great beers.” - Peter Bingeman, General Manager Sales, Carlton & United Breweries Customers spoilt for options CUB is already home to some of Australia’s most famous beers, and now with the inclusion of Asahi Beverages,

is focused on and acting with agility to the changed behaviours that

Bingeman is excited for the opportunities 2021 will hold

have come about as a result of the pandemic.”

for its ever-expanding customer base.

For CUB, its expected challenges for 2021 are the same as its

“Whatever the occasion, from a classic pot of

opportunities. As Bingeman said: “Consumer behaviour has been

Carlton Draught in the pub to craft beer exploration

significantly impacted by the pandemic – whether that’s come about

with Mountain Goat, from easier-drinking contemporary

due to government restrictions, individuals’ health concerns, or

beers like Great Northern to the premium international

because we’ve found new and better ways of doing things.

experience with Asahi, not to mention Pepsi, Schweppes

“Our challenge and opportunity is in determining which changes are permanent, and which are temporary, and how we structure our business to meet these expectations. 42 | National Liquor News

and our amazing ready to drink options like Cruiser, we now truly are a one-stop-shop beverages company.”


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Coopers

SUPPLIER

A strong future ahead for Coopers

Cam Pearce

Director Marketing and Innovation at Coopers, Cam Pearce, describes how the brewery will be building on 2020’s successes for a positive 2021.

When asked to characterise what 2020 was like for Coopers,

Director Marketing and Innovation Coopers

Pearce noted that last year’s launch of the Pacific Pale Ale was a

Cam Pearce, Director Marketing and Innovation, said: “It was a

highlight for Coopers. This involved a rebranding and renaming of

rollercoaster year with significant sales performance swings from

Coopers Session Ale, with the beer itself remaining the same, and

one month to the next. However, Coopers Brewery emerged from

enjoyed similar success to other types of releases throughout the year.

all this in an overall strong position.” The company will build on this strong position in 2021, leveraging positive sales growth, successful launches and exceptional product reviews to capitalise on the opportunities it sees for the business ahead. “We’re continuing to focus on playing to our strength of being

“‘Pacific’ has become the recognised name within the style reflecting refreshment, flavour and fruitiness and our Pacific Pale Ale will be a focus over the 2021 Australian summer,” Pearce said. “We continuously review our portfolio of beer against market trends, consumer demand and retailer feedback. We are always open to introducing new beers where we see opportunity. It’s an

a quality, great value, locally made product. There are various

important part of our strategy to reach new drinkers. But it’s not

marketing campaigns and initiatives planned for 2021 to build on

a decision we make lightly or rush into – it has to add value and

the current momentum and start the year on a strong footing,”

grow the beer category as a whole.

Pearce said. “We recognise that it has been a challenging time for venues, musicians and patrons and we will continue to build on the

“We introduced Hazy IPA as a limited-edition seasonal release in kegs and 375ml cans across Australia in August and it has quickly proven to be popular.”

success of our Live, Loud and Local campaign focusing on live music at venues in 2021.”

Celebrating authenticity Of course, after the turmoil of 2020, Coopers does not anticipate

“We’re continuing to focus on playing to our strength of being a quality, great value, locally made product.” – Cam Pearce, Director Marketing and Innovation, Coopers

that this year will be easy. But Pearce said the business is poised to build from a foundation of success and showcase what sets its brand and products apart. “Authentic brands like Coopers appear to be resonating with drinkers and this will only become stronger in the year ahead,” Pearce said. “As with any brewer, a key challenge is to continue to be distinctive and meaningful in an increasingly competitive drinks industry. There are still opportunities for Coopers to continue to expand its presence, particularly along the eastern seaboard.” “Coopers can portfolio continues to strike a chord amongst a broad consumer demographic. Led by Pale Ale, it’s a format that is popular across our range including XPA, Sparkling Ale, Hazy IPA, Pacific Pale Ale and Mild Ale. “It’s a trend we’ve seen emerging for some time now, fuelled by the craft beer movement. Drinkers appreciate the advantages of cans and we don’t see that changing any time soon. “Finally, our ‘Coopers Forever Original’ marketing campaign will be in full swing in 2021.”

44 | National Liquor News


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De Bortoli

SUPPLIER

De Bortoli looks to the future

Darren De Bortoli

Managing Director Darren De Bortoli describes how De Bortoli has been impacted by the pandemic, and why they won’t let it stop them.

Managing Director De Bortoli

National Liquor News: How was 2020 for De Bortoli and how did COVID-19 impact the business? Darren De Bortoli: 2020 is not a bed of roses for most businesses, but I would like to say we are doing okay. COVID-19’s lockdown and restrictions have greatly impacted our on-premise business in 2020. On top of that, the border closure has a direct impact on international travel which affected in-bound wine tourism, especially for our Yarra Valley and Hunter Valley cellar doors. However, we are very lucky that we have a balanced portfolio from sales channels to a product portfolio perspective that has definitely helped us to cushion the financial impact from the pandemic.

NLN: What do you predict will be the key trends in wine in 2021? DD: The pandemic has no doubt effected our everyday life but

NLN: Have you noticed any shifts in how Australians are consuming wine during the pandemic that retailers should be taking note of?

some of these new norms are predicted to stay. For example, due

DD: Generally, we see a shift towards more affordable and

and going ‘back to basics’.

mainstream choices in the market as consumers are more

to the disruption in the global supply chain system, consumers are turning to support locally produced, trusted brands and products, There’s also lots of research and statistics that show the ‘better

cautious with spending given all the uncertainties presented by

for you’ and ‘nolo’ (no or low alcohol) categories, including organic

the pandemic. COVID-19 is also directly pushing consumers

wines, will keep growing as the consumer trend of ‘moderation in

to explore contactless path-to-purchase options such as

alcohol consumption’ continues in the midst of this pandemic.

buying wines online or with click-and-collect. Other than that, Australians still love wine, especially Australian wines!

Wines that are sustainably produced will continue to gain attention especially from the younger wine consumers, which is one of the most talked-about wine trends recently.

Committed to the best De Bortoli told National Liquor News that the business

NLN: How important do you think it is for drinks producers to be more sustainable?

remains committed to delivering the best for its customers.

DD: In my personal opinion, it’s important. Although we cannot

“Despite the pandemic, we continued to invest in new

change the world, everything counts, no matter how big or small.

innovations, making good wines and we’ve never stopped

Our family strives to do our bit for the environment and we hope

improving our internal processes to drive efficiency. That’s

to leave a legacy for future generations.

our commitment to our customers,” he said. “Apart from 17 TREES and Grenache Wizardry brand

On this note, we have launched a range of sustainably produced wine called 17 TREES in 2020. The 17 TREES wines are

launches last year, we have just launched a King Valley

not only sustainably produced, but we are also working with our

Prosecco Rosé in January 2021 and have also revamped our

suppliers and customers to plant one tree for every six bottles of

website aiming to provide a better consumer experience

17 TREES wines sold. We believe we can make some differences

with our brands and products.”

together as a total ecosystem to rebuild our Australian bushland that has been destroyed by the bush fires.

46 | National Liquor News


Diageo eyes sustainability targets

Diageo is well into the first steps towards goals set out in its Society 2030: Spirit of Progress plan, as Angus McPherson, Managing Director Australia, describes.

In 2020, Diageo as a global company met a range of its goals

Angus McPherson Managing Director Australia Diageo

Carbon has also been an area where the Bundaberg site

in sustainability, spanning across a number of areas from water

has met impressive goals, like using 100 per cent green steam

conservation to carbon emissions to recycling and waste.

sourced from its own sugar mill for distillation. Alongside the

As the company moves into 2021 off the back of this, it

Huntingwood site in Sydney, a range of other measures have been

becomes one year closer to the due date for an ambitious and bold

put in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both in the direct

set of sustainability goals, outlined in Diageo’s ‘Society 2030: Spirit

operations and the total supply chain.

of Progress’ plan. Angus McPherson, Managing Director for Diageo Australia,

Activities that foster a circular economy are pushing Diageo towards some huge goals. The company is aiming to have zero

said the 25 goals were designed to make a positive impact on

waste to landfill while increasing recycled content and making

the world with a ‘Decade of Action’ that aligns with the United

100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or reusable.

Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The global plan

Progress made includes the removal of 460 tonnes of

focuses action in three core areas: promoting positive drinking,

cardboard each year from packaging at the Huntingwood site,

championing inclusion and diversity, and pioneering ‘grain-to-

the reuse of dunder (a by-product of rum production) as crop

glass’ sustainability.

fertiliser and the phasing out of plastic straws and stirrers.

“Building on the legacy of our brand founders to create a positive impact in our business, with our communities and for

society, by helping to create a more inclusive and sustainable

Championing change

world, is at the heart of Diageo,” McPherson said.

The Society 2030 plan also includes goals about embracing

“It gives me immense pride to lead Diageo Australia’s efforts in support of this ambitious global action plan that will challenge us to achieve even more across all areas of sustainability over the critical decade to 2030. “They are industry-leading goals that reflect the holistic way

inclusion and diversity. “Inclusion and diversity is core to our purpose to ‘celebrate life, every day, everywhere,’” McPherson said. “It’s important to keep striving for greater inclusion and diversity across our business through our ambitious

we measure and evaluate our responsibility and sustainability

2030 targets because when we harness the power of our

efforts, focusing on impact, not only within our own operations

individual differences, capabilities and experiences we

but across our supply chain. They also reflect the importance

create an amazing place for our people to work, contribute

of working in partnership to create true scale for our many

and achieve on a personal level as well as drive even

programmes and initiatives around the world.”

greater business outcomes.”

What sustainability looks like Diageo’s sustainability goals in Australia focus on three key areas - water, carbon and the circular economy - and considerable activity has already been noted in each area. Within Bundaberg Rum, several strides have been made around water conservation goals, including the achievement of returning 100 per cent of waste water to the environment, steam condensation turned into water for further use and an increase in cooling water cycling. February 2021 | 47

SUPPLIER

Diageo


Empire Liquor

A home for iconic British brews Empire Liquor is expanding its extensive imported wine and beer portfolio this year, as it continues to mould itself into the home of iconic British ales, porters and stouts.

Having established itself as one of Australia’s best authentic

Brenton Quirini Managing Director Empire Liquor

“I suppose I am more of a ‘traditionalist’, but if you consider

international wholesalers more than 27 years ago, Empire Liquor has

the popular beer styles made by craft brewers – not only from

continually extended its portfolio. Despite the difficulties of 2020,

Australia, but from around the world – many of them are

it has introduced a unique range of British beers earlier this year,

modelled on ales, porters, and stouts from the UK.

adding to an already mouth-watering selection of international beers.

“We have seen a new interest and appreciation for these classic

Empire Liquor’s Managing Director Brenton Quirini said: “The

beer styles over the past 12 months, not just from ‘old time’ British

addition of the highly awarded and respected brands of Greene King,

expats, but from the ‘new brigade’ of craft beer drinkers that have

Old Speckled Hen and Belhaven will increase our ability to provide

discovered these timeless brewing beauties and wish to experience

for enthusiasts of authentic British ales, porters and stouts nationally.”

authentic brewing history for themselves.”

He said these additions are part of Empire Liquor’s focus in

Quirini also told National Liquor News Empire Liquor has just

WHOLESALE

2021, centred on growing the national customer footprint through

secured a mixed container of Spanish wines from four smaller

new brands and new product distribution.

producers and regions, to offer new stocking opportunities of

“Brand stewardship is a core responsibility that I value, and we have enjoyed wonderful relationships with several beer and wine partners: many dating back to our establishment year of 1993.

organic reds and whites as a well as a great value Cava made by the sparkling winemaker for the Royal House of Spain. This is another example of Empire Liquor’s commitment to

Our aim is to be a brand custodian, with long-term partnerships

cross category brand custodianship, as Quirini noted: “This is an

and joint outcomes as key goals… These [new additions] will

authentic business, and it is an honour to represent this brand,

continue our policy of ‘all imported beers must be brewed in the

considering their history, awards, and reputation.”

country of origin and 100 per cent authentic’.” Empire Liquor’s expansion this year isn’t unfamiliar to the business’ history of exceptional selections for customers. Its beer journey started back in 1999, when Quirini seized an opportunity to enhance the portfolio by adding a selection of international beers alongside the existing wine range. “We reached out to several importers who were not actively represented in South Australia, as we already had the existing restaurant customers,” he said. “The addition of beers from Italy, China, Vietnam, Germany, and others was well received, and our portfolio developed from there. This worked extremely well for us, and we built a solid business on providing beer that was relevant to a customer experience.” In 2002 Empire began importing Hofbräu from Munich, Germany, and then in 2013 added Fuller’s from London, making it the first company in Australia to import Fuller’s in kegs. Through Quirini’s passion for offering Australian businesses the best of international brewers, Empire Liquor has become the home of British ales, porters and stouts. 48 | National Liquor News

“If you consider the popular beer styles made by craft brewers – not only from Australia, but from around the world – many of them are modelled on ales, porters, and stouts from the UK.” – Brenton Quirini, Managing Director, Empire Liquor


warehouse is

security

Owning our

membership is

power a growing

together keeps us

stronger working

one big

family

be a part of

Australia’s

largest liquor co-operative

For more information, contact: Pat Kenny 0409 308 341 (NSW/VIC) or Craig Stephenson 0434 575 589 (QLD) or visit www.ilg.com.au


Endeavour Drinks Group

Innovation produces long-term results

Steve Donohue

Successful innovation has helped Endeavour Drinks Group stay ahead of the curve, and the global pandemic, according to Managing Director Steve Donohue.

Managing Director Endeavour Drinks Group

For the off-premise liquor industry, 2020 was a year of challenges and adaptation, however, for Endeavour Drinks Group, it was a

RETAIL

year of revolution, ultimately changing the course of its customer interactions forever. Managing Director Steve Donohue said that when the Coronavirus pandemic hit Aussie shores in March last year, Endeavour Drinks quickly pivoted BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores to COVIDSafe operations. With employees and customers in mind, plexi-glass screens were installed in-store and contactless delivery and pick-up methods were quickly put into development, such as the popular ‘direct-to-boot’ pickup service. At Dan Murphy’s in particular this technology was expanded further as the year went on. Donohue noted one example and said: “In August, we launched an Australia-first at our Dan Murphy’s drive-thru in Manly Vale; a direct-to-boot service which uses number plate recognition technology to make the experience even faster and more seamless for the customer.” Then, four months later, Endeavour Drinks followed this up with the introduction of a ‘Q-tracker’ in Dan Murphy’s stores, allowing customers to see real-time data about how long queues

“As retailers, we have had to adapt and innovate to meet the changing needs of the customer.” - Steve Donohue, Managing Director, Endeavour Drinks Group

were in-store during the busy festive season. “As retailers, we have had to adapt and innovate to meet the changing needs of the customer,” Donohue said. “We are using technology to offer increasing convenience

“We will also be focusing on continuing to grow our local ranges and enabling offer personalisation in response to what customers continue to tell us they want.”

to customers, and COVID-19 has accelerated the demand for innovative e-commerce solutions.” Donohue said while a lot of this innovation began in

Sustainability: a key focus Renewable energy, sustainable packaging, transportation, waste

response to the pandemic, after an outstanding response

and wastewater, community investment and energy are all on the

from customers, the company has decided to make

agenda for Endeavour Drinks’ focus on sustainability in 2021.

permanent changes. Endeavour Drinks is determined not to take their 2020

Donohue said: “We have already made some great progress on energy in 2020, with Dorrien Estate Winery in Tanunda,

innovation success for granted with Donohue explaining the

one of the Barossa’s biggest wine making facilities, and Vinpac

company will continue to implement innovative ways to give

International, the country’s largest contract bottling company,

customers a greater shopping experience throughout 2021.

switching to green energy.

“One focus in 2021 will be format development, so expect to

“In addition, almost 15 percent of Dan Murphy’s stores across

see innovation in format especially when it comes to drive-thru,

the country have solar panels now and we will be accelerating our

pick-up as well as new formats for Dan Murphy’s,” he added.

renewable energy program in 2021.”

50 | National Liquor News


Feels Botanical readies for a stellar first year Co-creator of this new Australian spirit company, Blake Vanderfield-Kramer, said 2021 will be a big year as they launch and build the brand in the market.

Last year was difficult for established Australian

SUPPLIER

Feels Botanical

Blake Vanderfield-Kramer Co-creator Feels Botanical

“We wanted to create a unique flavour profile

liquor brands, but for new entrants into the market,

that was both approachable and identifiable,

it was even more unpredictable.

while still delivering complexity, uniqueness

New local spirit label, Feels Botanical, is one such

and discovery. We worked really hard on the

business that navigated these waters while preparing

development of the shape of flavour and mouthfeel

to officially launch in early 2021. It debuts with four

to be consistent across all products in the range,

varieties, each with an Australian grape Eau De Vie

while still working in harmony with the unique

base, distilled with a unique combination of natural

botanical combination in each product, and this

and sustainably sourced botanicals.

was a key reason we selected Eau De Vie as our

And despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020, Co-creator Blake Vanderfield-Kramer said

base spirit.” These goals were certainly realised, with Feels

there have still been some highlights in 2020, largely

finding multiple points of difference to other spirits

driven by the product itself.

on the market. The four products pay homage to the

“The positive response that we have received from

ancient apothecary tradition of utilising botanical

both consumers and trade during tastings of the range

combinations and alcohol to deliver a unique

is our main highlight,” Vanderfield-Kramer said.

sensorial and flavour profile.

“Feels Botanical was created over lunch between

There’s BASK 43 per cent ABV, with Hemp,

[Co-creator] Steve Pillemer and I. We realised we

Quandong and Kakadu Plum; VIVIFY 43 per cent

were both at a pivotal point in our lives. We decided

ABV, with Turmeric, Coconut and Ginger; ROUSE

to create something real, something that lived and

33 per cent ABV, with Rose, Horny Goat Weed and

‘breathed’ life back into our day-to-day. Something

Davidson Plum; and REVEL 33 per cent ABV, with

that would make us feel and inspire the natural

Ginseng, Coffee and Illawarra Plum.

creativity and connection we had lost.

“Feels is an emotive and sensorial brand. From the shape of flavour, the label texture and

Building a new segment Eau De Vie based spirits like Feels don’t find

the botanicals we have used, to the creative interpretations and executions of our brand.” Vanderfield-Kramer explained.

themselves in a crowded category. Not yet

With the positive feedback so far, 2021 will be

anyway, according to Vanderfield-Kramer.

another big one as the brand builds into the market.

“We believe that there is still tremendous

Vanderfield-Kramer said: “We will be focusing on

growth opportunity for the alcohol segment

building the brand with the right partners in the

and within the spirits segment a huge

right way.

opportunity for light spirit alternatives and

“We are also extremely lucky to be working with

the rum revolution, while driving value for the

some renowned creative partners and venues, and

segment from high quality, transparent and

we are really looking forward to bringing the brand

authentic brands and products,” he said.

to life in 2021 through a number of campaigns and collaborations.”

February 2021 | 51


Giesen Group

SUPPLIER

Strides in innovation for Giesen Group Kyle Skene

Innovation continues to be a focus for Giesen Group as it eyes more ways to improve its carbon footprint in 2021 and continue to be relevant to consumers.

General Manager Giesen Group

It’s no secret why wine consumers are

our team busy, along with innovation in

finding Giesen Group’s Estate range to be

new product development and continued

at the top of their list.

growth in the low and no alcohol category.”

Giesen has been at the forefront of innovation as trends indicate consumers

Sustainability in focus

are searching for healthier and more low

Giesen also takes pride in the

alcohol options.

environmental stability of its 13

According to General Manager Kyle

Marlborough vineyards. Working closely

Skene, recent research conducted in the

with growers, Giesen has continually

Australian market has demonstrated

improved its methods of enhancing its soil

a strong consumer drive towards

and reducing its footprint.

moderation and mindfulness.

Skene said the importance of the

He said this includes 25 per cent of

treatment of the land is not only reflected

consumers seeking organic options; 15 per cent vegan; and 31 per cent opting for choices considered ‘better for you.’ The introduction of Giesen 0% struck a chord with consumers as Skene adds: “The world’s first alcohol-removed Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Giesen 0%, perfectly meets the evolving needs of the conscious consumer, selling out in Australia and New Zealand launches.” It is one of many ways the company has

in the percentage of its vineyards which

“The world’s first alcohol-removed Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Giesen 0%, perfectly meets the evolving needs of the conscious consumer, selling out in Australia and New Zealand launches.” – Kyle Skene, General Manager, Giesen Group

developed strategies to consider its impact on its stakeholders. Giesen was also able to continue its new product launches throughout 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It refreshed its Giesen brand labelling, focusing on its family crest and more modern packaging, and took a similar

& Lime. Skene said he has plans for stock to hit Australian shelves in early 2021. “The next 12 months will continue

vineyards and the close relationships with the growers. Despite this, Skene explained to National Liquor News that there is more work being done throughout the company to continue reducing its impact on the earth. “We are continuing to reduce nonto improve our sustainability,” he said. “Recent changes have included switching to paper stock made from recycled materials including grape marc,

segment with the probability of future

our new Ara Resolute brand uses recycled

lockdowns,” he said.

grape marc paper stock and our new

“We’re supporting this with our own

brand, Kaiser Bros with a fresh new look.

Fine Wine Merchants team in Australia

Giesen Organic Sauvignon Blanc label is made from 30 per cent recycled material.” “We’re also considering how we get our

and ensuring our offerings help entice

product around the world – freighting and

consumers back.

carbon miles are a consideration while still

rolling out low carb seltzer, Tink, in three

“The continued roll-out of our

flavours: Tropical, Berry Rose and Lemon

refreshed Giesen packaging will keep

52 | National Liquor News

sustainability practices with the remaining

to present challenges for the on-premise

team in New Zealand and the Oatley

in the seltzer category in New Zealand,

New Zealand, but also in its organic and

recyclable materials used in our packaging

route in the repositioning of its craft beer Giesen also launched its first product

have been certified organic with BioGro

protecting the provenance of our products and brands.”


P L E A S E D R I N K R E S P O N S I B LY JACK DANIEL’S OLD NO.7 40% ABV ( 80 PROOF ) AND JACK DANIEL’S & COL A 4.8% ( 9.6 PROOF ) . JACK DANIEL’S AND OLD NO.7 BRAND ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS. ©2021 JACK DANIEL’S. DISTILLED AND BOT TLED BY JACK DANIEL DISTILLERY, LYNCHBURG, TENNESSEE. JACKDANIELS.COM


Independent Liquor Group

Growth a priority for ILG Independent Liquor Group has turned it’s focus to acquiring more members following a year of positive financial growth.

Paul Esposito CEO Independent Liquor Group

Independent Liquor Group (ILG) has had a surging year of

“We need to stay relevant for the longevity of our members.

growth despite the wide ranging challenging events of 2020.

Along with sales and membership, other key areas include our

CEO Paul Esposito said from a financial perspective ILG posted a revenue increase of one per cent, up to $328 million, as well as a spike in membership growth, up by 14 per cent. Despite the highly volatile environment caused by COVID-19,

staff, operational systems and infrastructure to ensure ILG is well placed to drive this growth.” With its operations and financial stability on the right track, ILG’s goal in 2021 will be to continue growing its membership

RETAIL & WHOLESALE

ILG continued to hold a strong balance sheet of $23.6m as at

base in NSW, Queensland and Victoria while safeguarding

December, 2020. ILG reported a positive first half year (1H21)

membership retention. Although it’s still early in 2021, Esposito

with sales up 19 per cent to $212m and a pre-tax profit of $4.0m

noted that the year already shows a continued surging trend in

compared to last year sales $178m and pre-tax profit of $0.5m.

sales, profitability and membership.

Solid sales performance was driven by an increase in demand

Esposito said the substantial increase in sales has also

from the pandemic combined with new business. Net profit

led to increased pressure for ILG members to offer an online

improvement was a result of implementing key measures across

shopping experience.

the business to protect the financial stability of the co-operative in the long-term. Esposito said the figures are a direct reflection of ILG staff and member commitment and resilience, showing “co-operation, flexibility, agility and perseverance to endure.

“Take-away alcohol was another pandemic trend with venue capacity restrictions… and is likely to also remain in demand,” he said while noting industry trends. “Drinking in moderation and having healthier options are becoming more and more the norm than an industry trend, proving that Australians are drinking less. We’ve seen increased

“We need to stay relevant for the longevity of our members.” – Paul Esposito, CEO, Independent Liquor Group

initiatives from various suppliers launching new products that are addressing these emerging trends.” He also explained that: “spirits rose to the occasion especially with the shutdown of bars and clubs, as more home cocktail

Back on track

experiments and experiences became trendy.” Despite positive signs for its members, ILG will remain

ILG’s most anticipated project is now back on track after

vigilant, especially as reduced household discretionary incomes

experiencing delays caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

possibly impact alcohol shopping budgets in 2021.

The launch of its new ERP system is set to launch in August

Esposito also described how mergers and acquisitions will

2021 and will offer ILG members benefits from a more

remain an ongoing concern for independent retailers and so will

efficient and streamlined operational environment.

the dominance of major players in the market.

Esposito said the silver lining of its delay meant projects

“This will remain a threat to independent retailers who have

like the ‘Get Digital with ILG’ scheme was launched ahead of

been far-stretched last year, with some unable to recover from the

schedule. It meant members were presented with an online

challenges and who may agree to a takeover,” he said.

shopping solution to offer their respective local communities.

“That said, with liquor enlisted essential, there is a silver lining in all this.”

54 | National Liquor News


Lion: championing sociability With restrictions slowly easing, Lion is hoping its products will help spark life back into its customers’ businesses.

James Brindley Managing Director Lion

Lion has cultivated a reputation for offering many classic beers of choice for Australian consumers. In 2021, it is hoping to use that reputation to help its customers and their businesses navigate the dangerous waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. Managing Director James Brindley said there is a silver lining in the destruction the pandemic has wreaked on the industry. “In many ways I think 2020 has made us more collaborative, resilient and solutions-focused as an industry,” Brindley said. “We will harness the learnings from this period to become a stronger business as we move into 2021, and we will walk the road to recovery alongside our customers, suppliers and valued partners.” Lion itself was able to combat difficulties of 2020 by ramping up production and doing what it could to forecast in an ever-

“We have a number of new community initiatives in the works

changing environment, while always keeping the focus on its

for 2021 as well, which we hope will start conversations around

customers and how to help them navigate their own challenges.

some of the social issues that 2020 has exacerbated, like isolation

This is something that the brewer will continue into 2021 within its holistic approach to aid industry recovery this year, with plans to

and loneliness,” Brindley said. “In addition, there are plenty of exciting new projects coming

boost sociability for both on- and off-premise consumers. Lion plans

up across our portfolio of core beer brands, and look forward

to provide products and launch initiatives that retail customers will

to seeing how our 2020 releases are embraced by beer drinkers

be excited about, generating important discussions, inspiring social

around the country.”

behaviour and encouraging the support of local business.

Meanwhile, Brindley said some strategies for the on-premise industry include: “supporting the local venues across Australia…

A taste of new Lion brought iconic US hard seltzer White Claw to Australia last year, to an unprecedented incredible response. “We are confident the alcoholic seltzer category has enormous potential in Australia…White Claw is the signpost

that play such an important role in bringing us together and keeping us connected”. “A big challenge for Lion and the industry more broadly will be understanding how we can encourage more people out and about again to support local venues,” he said. “A cold beer on tap at a local pub, club or bar is such an

for the category, and after months of anticipation, it has

Australian way of connecting with others, and you simply cannot

flown off shelves right around Australia since its launch in

beat the taste of a Tooheys New, XXXX Gold or Furphy on tap at

October 2020,” he said.

your local.”

“Demand for White Claw has surpassed all our

Lion’s sustainability strategy is another focus for 2021. After

expectations, so much so that we had to bring forward

becoming Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer it has

additional shipments in time for Christmas and the

set the bar high for itself and intends on following through.

Australian summer, and even airfreighted an additional 4,000 cases at the end of November.”

Brindley said: “We have set ourselves a target to use 100 per cent renewable electricity in all our breweries by 2025, as a further mechanism by which to reduce our carbon footprint.”

February 2021 | 55

SUPPLIER

Lion


Liquor Barons

An immersive customer experience

Chris O’Brien

Liquor Barons hopes to continue positive foot traffic trends by developing a multi-dimensional customer service style in 2021. Liquor Barons stores are coming off the

less ‘hard retail’ to more organic and free

back of 12 per cent growth in customer foot traffic, which General Manager

General Manager Liquor Barons

flowing, to tastings of new innovative like COUGAR from MAYLANDS

products, to a high level of customer

RETAIL

Chris O’Brien attributes to an integrated

service where store owners get to know

marketing campaign and the impact of the

a customer’s likes and dislikes and they

Coronavirus pandemic.

become a trusted source of advice.

Being a co-operative, Liquor Barons’

“We are changing things up within

focus is on ensuring each store continues

the West Australian liquor industry,

to be more profitable each year via

creating a more bespoke, friendly,

margin growth.

less one-dimensional style service for

As O’Brien said: “The co-op doesn’t exist

our customers.”

for itself, it exists to benefit its members,

Liquor Barons relaunched its loyalty

that is our overarching purpose so we need

program, Barons Locals, in September

to frequently evaluate and adjust according

2020, which led to an increase in

to market conditions and expectations.” Those evaluations led Liquor Barons

A bold prediction

customer numbers. O’Brien said this, in addition to updated digital marketing

to focus its 2021 around driving more

O’Brien was forthcoming with

strategies, also helped strengthen a

customers into stores on a year-round

his predictions for consumer

diverse customer base.

basis. The business believes this can be

consumption in 2021, heavily

achieved by having front line staff set the

believing in the growing beer sector.

tone for the customer experience.

“We have consciously adopted the strategy of an integrated approach which

“There is a gut feeling that

incorporates traditional channels with

premium wine groups are dead. If

digital marketing along with significant

store traffic and ultimately sales, as this

you’re planning to join a premium

investment into our point of sales system

is the primary driver to making stores

wine group in 2021 you’re 10 years

and a sophisticated digital capability,”

more profitable.

too late,” he stated.

he said.

O’Brien said the goal is to increase

“Our steadfast focus is on our

“Beer continues to change

O’Brien noted that the Western

customers and their experience with the

consumption habits as the range

Australian economy is now on an upward

brand at their local store,” he outlined.

of craft beers on offer ever

swing and said the positive outlook will

increases. The fact that the flavours

lead to further growth for Liquor Barons

capability in our industry leading

incorporated into craft beers

stores and business partnerships.

customer facing technology which will

challenge the norm is a big draw

not only allow for a greater opportunity to

card for many consumers.

“In 2021 we will roll out further

interact with our customers but assist the

“The gin category remains hip

He said: “Our wholesale relationships remain vitally important to the ongoing success of our business.

process of selection, purchase and provide

and happening as it continues to

“Through effective integration and

product information which is more

evolve. A big challenge for many

striving to achieve the most cost-effective

accessible and interactive.

gin distilleries in 2021 will be the

supply chain solution for our members

emergence of seltzers.”

there is a greater opportunity for mutual

“This change in customer experience is multifaceted from shop fitouts being 56 | National Liquor News

growth.”


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Liquor Legends

A legendary year of sales John Carmody

Liquor Legends produced a year of top results company-wide and hopes to continue the trend in 2021 with its improving e-commerce channels.

Managing Director Liquor Legends

RETAIL

Liquor Legends finished off 2020 in style, posting

In 2020, Liquor Legends posted growth in

its largest month of sales on record in December.

several liquor categories. Most notably, its RTD

Managing Director John Carmody attributed

sales increased more than 61 per cent between

the year’s overall success to the company’s ability

March and December, and beer also delivered a

to react and remain nimble throughout the

sales growth of more than 28 per cent. Carmody

COVID-19 pandemic.

further attributes this success to the evolution of

Liquor Legends’ COVID solutions coupled with its loyal rewards members played a key part in

e-commerce in the industry. “Gone is the traditional path to purchase. The

driving a shopping increase of 19 per cent in 2020,

rise of mobile and the ‘always on’ shopper has

compared to 2019.

fractured the traditional consumer journey into

“We have local strategies tailored to suit our customer needs. Our business and support to members from lockdown is stronger than ever with

hundreds of real-time event driven interactions or micro moments,” he said.

- John Carmody, Managing Director, Liquor Legends

“The winning strategy for building a strong

new facets of our business being realised which

brand is to meet today’s connected consumers in

never existed before,” Carmody said.

those micro moments.”

“Liquor Legends is proud to have achieved

“It’s safe to say our new year goals are bigger than ever but with a clear and controlled strategy.”

results ahead of market, delivering more than 27 per cent sales growth to our like-for-like retailers. “May to December delivered sales growth on average of more than 37 per cent, with December 2020 seeing our most sales ever,” he said. Liquor Legends has set ambitious goals in 2021, including delivering return on investment and profitability, supporting local, growing the rewards database, and increasing brand loyalty. “[It’s] safe to say our new year goals are bigger than ever but with a clear and controlled strategy,” Carmody said. “We have pressed our thumbs on the green

Caution ahead

button which means there is no turning back.

Although consumer trends in 2020

trading conditions in the months

Liquor Legends aims to deliver ultimate

have largely boosted sales growth

ahead,” Carmody said.

personalisation which will increase sales and

for off-premise retail, Carmody

re-engagement.”

warns businesses to be ready to

retailers may also be compounded

counter a changing environment.

by further regulatory intervention

Carmody is hoping Liquor Legends can continue to remain in front of its competitors.

“The increased difficulty facing

“As the level of government

as state and territory governments

assistance subsides and consumer

contemplate wholescale changes

he explained. “We love to challenge the status quo

behaviours continue to change,

to their respective Liquor Acts,

and consistently improve our processes.

liquor retailers need to be

including in and around online

adequately prepared for harder

alcohol deliveries.”

“We are not followers; we are forward thinkers,”

“We are the new generation ready to promise industry relevance and set the pace for years to come.” 58 | National Liquor News



Liquor Marketing Group

LMG reaps rewards of maintaining consumer connection

Gavin Saunders CEO Liquor Marketing Group

Liquor Marketing Group successfully maintained and enhanced its consumer connection and marketing throughout 2020, while other retailers reduced their presence, resulting in market leading performance. Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) took a bold chance in 2020,

RETAIL

maintaining its extensive promotional support in both digital and print catalogues which ultimately paid off. The group was able to support its more than 1400 independent liquor stores last year with its extensive campaigning. LMG CEO Gavin Saunders said while other retailers chose to reduce their catalogue and print marketing, LMG continued steady, leading to its eventual success and increased connection and engagement with customers in 2020. “Our efforts in this space boosted in-store traffic and consumer purchases, and the latest Shopper Intelligence Survey also showed that LMG had the highest level of pre-planned purchases compared to other liquor retailers,” he said. “The significant increase in pre-planned purchases (+12 per

Several successful schemes Paying member rebates early for the March Quarter:

This helped to support members’ cash flow at a time when restriction forced closure of on-premise venues. Enhancing established e-commerce platform:

cent) during the COVID-19 period is material and the fact that

Members benefited from the growing consumer demand

Bottlemart / Sip’n Save leads the market in this area is a testament

in online liquor purchasing during the pandemic.

to the benefit of maintaining engagement with your consumers.

Maintaining shopper engagement: This produced

This result provides both a great return for members on what was

extraordinary results, ahead of the market. LMG’s

a most challenging year, but also provides an enduring benefit in

visibility has never been stronger - with print and digital

terms of customer engagement.

catalogues, upweighted social media and online

“We will continue to focus on retaining and growing our customer base for each member in 2021… [while] we strive to

presence, exclusive activations, premium and gifting programs, and targeted promotions.

support our members to achieve retail excellence and sales growth at sustainable gross profits.” In 2021, LMG plans to strengthen and implement more engaging promotions along with leveraging its social, databases and e-commerce platforms. Its goal is to provide targeted marketing and tailored

premium wine, premium spirits and craft beer programs have performed exceptionally.” While 2020 was a strong year for liquor sales, the potential impacts of rising unemployment and tougher economic

promotions for individual customers and support stores within

conditions require retailers to review their operations and

their catchments.

consumer engagement. Saunders believes these conditions make

“We will also focus on harnessing the extraordinary growth we have seen in e-commerce, provide our members with data and

it more important than ever to connect with the customers. He said companies should analyse their operations, drive

insights to deliver greater profits, and we will execute in-store to

actionable insights, and compete for market share growth in

meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,” Saunders said.

each catchment.

“Outside of the strong growth in online purchasing, other trends we have seen has been continued premiumisation. Our 60 | National Liquor News

“LMG is well positioned to support retailers in each of these areas for longer term success,” he told National Liquor News.


McWilliam’s confident in a ‘very bright future’ David Pitt, CEO of McWilliam’s Wines Group, talks to National Liquor News about his view for the future and the resilience of the business.

SUPPLIER

McWilliam’s Wines Group

David Pitt CEO McWilliam’s Wines Group

National Liquor News: How has McWilliam’s navigated the challenges of the year, and what is your outlook for 2021 from here?

we navigate a very different world in COVID times. Some things

David Pitt: We knew when we chose this path it was never

front of mind at all times which is driving the future innovation

going to be an easy one, however we remain committed despite

initiatives we are working hard on bringing to market.

will obviously return to the way they were however not in all cases. We need to be agile in our approach and keep the consumer

some deviations along the way to give McWilliam’s the best nothing short of that after 143+ years of proud contribution to

NLN: Do you have any messages for the trade about supporting McWilliam’s at this time?

our amazing liquor industry. As a company we have remained

DP: Keep supporting us, keep supporting the McWilliam’s

unrelenting in that pursuit which has allowed us to keep moving

Wines Group. I am confident across our 143+ years the trade

forward despite the hits we’ve had to take along the way.

has benefitted from the consumer demand for our wines and

chance of a sustainable future. The brand and the family deserve

I want to acknowledge the team that have stayed the course

that demand continues today and will continue tomorrow if we

here and how they’ve kept showing up every day and kept

are supported during this transition phase of our ownership. I

moving forward despite the elephant in the room regarding the

would also like to think the Australian wine industry is in a much

uncertainty surrounding our future. I am confident a lessor group

healthier place with McWilliam’s Wines continuing to contribute

would have collapsed a long time ago, however we have a very

to it rather than not, given the very proud company history.

special group of people here who believe in what we are doing

We will always be known for the fortified wines we have

and they deserve to see success for their efforts. Strategically we

famously produced since our inception, however I would

know what we need to do, it is understood at all levels and across

encourage our customers to try our table wines if they haven’t

all functions and so we continue step by step on improving the

before, as we will surprise you. From the Hunter Valley with

overall business each day.

our award-winning Mount Pleasant range, to our Tumbarumba

The outlook ahead for 2021 is positive. We remain optimistic of channels and markets reopening and being accessible to again make our wines available following the obvious impacts of COVID.

cool climate MCW collections and of course our historical value ranges, where the quality continues to be superior to the price.

NLN: With the Prcstnt acquisition falling through, what does this mean for McWilliam’s into 2021? DP: For the immediate term it is simply ‘business as unusual’ as we continue to make great wines for our customers and make them available for our consumers to enjoy. In parallel, we are supporting our administrators with the sale process which is well advanced, and we remain cautiously optimistic of a favourable outcome in the very near future.

NLN: What will be the major challenges and opportunities for McWilliam’s over the next 12 months? DP: Under the assumption of a successful sale outcome our challenges are consistent with everyone else within the industry as February 2021 | 61


Never Never Distilling Co.

SUPPLIER

Gintastic year for Never Never Never Never Distilling Co. plans on spreading its passion for gin to as many Australians as possible in 2021.

Never Never Distilling Co. would never have predicted its 2020

George Georgiadis Co-founder and Managing Director Never Never Distilling Co.

Those challenges came thick and fast early for Never Never,

would result in better accolades and business recognition than the

with the brand-new and year highlight opening of the distillery

great 2019 it had.

door dampened by a forced closure after only five weeks of trade.

It won its first global trophy, World’s Best Classic Gin at the World Gin Awards 2019 in May and proceeded to take the global gin industry by storm for the remainder of the year, racking up a number of other awards on the local and international stage. Never Never jumped right into 2020 by launching its first

With the closure of bars, a core part of the Never Never supplier business, it was a difficult situation for the team. Georgiadis said this forced them to draw on their innovative natures and adapt quickly to the circumstances. He said: “Through this time, we quickly realised that rather than retreating to a

travel retail exclusive product, Triple Juniper Gin Export Strength,

defensive position, the best thing to do was to re-focus our time

which would go on to be the first Australian gin to win one of

and efforts on core brand and alternative channels.”

the spirit world’s most coveted gin prizes, Best of Class at the San

Francisco World Spirits Competition. The 2020 campaign also continued back home, with the brand later winning Champion Australian Distillery at the 2020 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards. “We’ve always been cautious and humble when it comes to awards, but at this point we’re confident and proud to say that we make Australia’s most highly awarded gins,” Co-founder and Managing Director George Georgiadis said. “I think this comes from our relentless and fearless pursuit of excellence. We simply don’t want to put something in a bottle unless it’d be our favourite thing to drink in that category.” Georgiadis said the timing for Never Never’s award success was crucial as the country went into lockdown in March 2020, giving the brand an edge throughout the rest of the year and driving success in other new releases. For example, Never Never produced

A holistic growth approach

a world first grenache gin that it named ‘Ginache’, that received an

Georgiadis said this year is all about sharing Never Never’s

even stronger launch than its award-winning Triple Juniper Gin.

passion for gin with as many people as they can.

“I think this is the product everyone needed at the time.

“That means really focusing on getting the word out

It’s absolutely delicious and looks amazing… It was our most

about our gins, liquid on lips and showing people why we

successful launch yet, and this year we will move this product in

make Australia’s most highly awarded gins,” he explained.

to our core range and increase production by about seven times.” Georgiadis said. With the additional launch of the Med Gin late last year,

“To do this we’ll need to grow our team from about 35 to over 50 staff over the next six months, which is really exciting. We’re a gin business first and foremost, but we like to have

which has also performed exceptionally well, Georgiadis noted:

fun, stay creative and give the flavour seekers out there

“We really have to pinch ourselves when we look back on all the

something new to enjoy.”

good things that happened in a year of such challenges.” 62 | National Liquor News


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Nip of Courage Wholesale

Stepping up for Australia’s craft distilleries Nip of Courage Wholesale will make it easier than ever for retailers to range local spirits in-store, without the challenges that usually come with that.

For Nip of Courage Wholesale, 2021 is set to be a busy and exciting year. The extension of Nip of Courage’s existing distributor operations will begin service in just a few months, and is aimed at overcoming industry challenges related to warehousing and logistics while giving the trade greater access to regional brands and distilleries.

Kathleen Davies Founder Nip of Courage Wholesale

“Our goal is to overcome the frustrations and challenges experienced by retailers so they have the confidence to range more local spirits on their shelves.” – Kathleen Davies, Founder, Nip of Courage

Founder Kathleen Davies described the company’s immediate focus for this year and said: “Our priority is to make sure ‘NOC

“There is a major opportunity to raise the profile and create

Wholesale’ is up and running with as many distributor partners

awareness in untapped channels of the market place that currently

and Australian distilleries onboard for the first stage so we can

don’t support local craft spirits. 2020 has shown us that Australian

begin the service by March.

consumers and shoppers want to support local brands, our job

WHOLESALE

“The trade portal that we have created is also an extremely important focus because it will represent hundreds of emerging

is to make sure that they are easily accessible in channels where there is demand or potential,” she said.

Australian craft spirit lines. The new trade portal is user friendly and will make ordering for our wholesale customers much easier

Answering retailer concerns

going forward with a wide range of spirits to choose from.

Nip of Courage has been in operation since 2013, and Davies

“Wholesale customers who want to support local spirit producers

herself has almost 30 years behind her in the industry. From

can do so with just one service provider instead of dealing with

this wealth of experience, she said she has heard the concerns of

multiple suppliers. We are also offering a drop shipping service for

retailers when it comes to local craft spirit producers and so can

small businesses that have an Australian craft spirits focus.”

work on addressing them from the start.

NOC Wholesale will be a one stop shop for both the off- and

“Such challenges include; awareness of these lines’ existence,

on-premise industry to support local craft distilleries. Davies

difficult trading terms, lack of industry knowledge, high shipping

said this is a major opportunity, especially in the current climate

fees, slow delivery, tardy communication, poor service and

of shopping local, and is the first step in a range of activities

product accessibility,” Davies explained.

planned to educate Australians about the vibrant spirits sector on their doorstep.

“Our goal is to overcome these frustrations and challenges experienced by retailers so they have the confidence to range more local spirits on their shelves. Producers big and small will be featured in the portfolio which will make purchasing decisions seamless.” It is also Davies’ goal for retailers to understand that there is great value on both sides of the equation when they work with Australian craft distilleries. “Australian craft spirits fall under the ‘premium spirits’ category. This category is one of the fastest growing spirit segments globally especially among the millennial population,” Davies said. “Approximately 90 per cent of Aussie craft distilleries are based in regional or rural locations. Every cent spent on local craft spirits stays in Australia and helps to stimulate these local economies.”

64 | National Liquor News



Pernod Ricard Winemakers

SUPPLIER

Wine lovers trend towards digital reliance Pernod Ricard Winemakers has spent the last year adapting to adversity and CEO Bryan Fry said its time the company reassess trends in the ‘new normal.’

The year 2020 has been no stretch of the bizarre and unpredictable, but through it all, the people behind Pernod Ricard Winemakers have embraced flexibility and shown great resilience, according to CEO and Chairman, Bryan Fry. He said their performance has helped the company analyse market trends that he believes will lead to notable positive outcomes in 2021. In parallel to the company’s own unwavering support

Bryan Fry CEO Pernod Ricard Winemakers

“We’ve shown great resilience in the face of many challenges and adversity and I hope everyone heads into 2021 feeling proud of all we’ve achieved over the last year as a collective industry.” – Bryan Fry, CEO, Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

internally, its customers have also shown flexibility and resilience as they adapt to the changing environment. “We’ve shown great resilience in the face of many challenges and adversity and I hope everyone heads into 2021 feeling proud of all

will continue to be restrained, which of course impacts things like duty-free, but then we will potentially be moving into a very different climate towards the end of the year.”

we’ve achieved over the last year as a collective industry,” Fry said. Pernod Ricard now turns its focus in 2021 to working closely

Keeping up with consumer trends

with its customers, ensuring it has the right products, at the right

Wine lovers throughout Australia have had to adapt their

time and the right price. To do so, Pernod Ricard had to reassess

methods of consumption due to on-premise venue closures

what new norms have developed in domestic and international

and limited capacity seating since the start of the pandemic. As

perspectives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

a result, consumers are purchasing wine through e-commerce

“[We will assess] with regards to off-premise, on-premise and e-commerce, as well as the experiences consumers want, for example, how they shop and interact with our products,” Fry said. “Flexibility and focus will continue to be important – it’s likely that we will have at least six months where international travel

channels for home consumption purposes, according to Fry. “There’s an opportunity to capitalise on the great strides that the consumer has made this year in relation to the use of digital technology. We need to consider the ways we can build on that, as a company and as an industry,” he said. “The biggest trend for wine in 2020 was definitely home consumption, and we worked closely with our retail and e-commerce partners to capitalise on this trend.” Pernod Ricard also explored the growing popularity of light and fresh wines, in particular, with the growth of rosé and lighter style reds such as Grenache and Pinot Noir. The launch of Pernod Ricard’s Jacob Sparkling, Rosie, Mumm Marlborough and the relaunch of Orlando captured the needs of consumers. He said consumers were also treating themselves more often and in smaller social settings. “Last year more couples were consuming wine, rather than large groups, so there were some opportunities in relation to different formats such as half bottles of Champagne, which we sold out globally for G.H. Mumm in this format.” With the multitude of consumer trends set to continue developing this year, Fry says Pernod Ricard’s customers should be excited for the new products it has in the development pipeline.

66 | National Liquor News


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Treasury Wine Estates

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Treasury Wine Estates embraces a hybrid future Peter Neilson, Managing Director ANZ at Treasury Wine Estates, describes how the company is appealing to a current sense of adventure in consumers.

For Peter Neilson, Managing Director ANZ at

the retailer. Neilson described an emphasis on

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), 2020 was a year in

attracting, retaining and developing exceptional

which consumers really expanded their horizons

people for the team, innovations that will create

and explored new drinks categories and products.

long lasting consumer impressions and loyalty,

“It was undoubtedly the year of the hybrid drinks phenomenon – a concept born out of consumer intrigue and a desire to try new things,” Neilson told National Liquor News. “Because the world of wine can be

and continued investment in programs to help the company meet its full potential. When describing prospects for the year as a whole, Neilson noted: “There are several opportunities that we look forward to exploring

overwhelming, these types of drinks offer

more, such as ways to make in-home consumption

consumers a way to navigate and explore new or

more exciting across key markets globally, tapping

neighbouring categories with more confidence,

into consumers who continue to expand their

whilst also appealing to entirely new consumers

repertoire across varietals at more premium price

along the way.”

points as well as a focused investment on brand

TWE was well positioned to support this type of

building and storytelling – particularly through

consumer exploration in 2020, through such new

digital channels – which continues to transform

products as the Squealing Pig Pinot Noir Gin and the

at pace. The ability to connect virtually through

Lindeman’s Gentleman’s Collection Coffee Shiraz,

these channels means we can reach even more

both of which combine wine with another beverage

consumers, allowing us to engage in a more

category to create interesting and unusual products.

targeted offering.”

Neilson said this alignment with current shopper interests is an ever present component of the TWE

strategy and will be continued into 2021 as the

Brand highlights for 2020

company seeks to stay ahead of market trends.

Neilson said TWE has seen some

“After the shock of 2020, the strength of consumer

Peter Neilson Managing Director ANZ Treasury Wine Estates

Incredible product and campaign

great results last year across its

innovations such as Lindeman’s

sentiment and spending is surprising. We must

diverse portfolio, including:

Gentleman’s Collection Coffee

channel this positive sentiment and the spending

Wolf Blass crowned IWSC’s

that goes with it into rebuilding our industry and the

International Red Wine Producer

services most impacted,” Neilson said.

Of The Year.

“As our wine consumption habits are changing, we

Shiraz and Squealing Pig’s Rosé Gin and Pinot Noir Gin. 19 Crimes taking home two of

19 Crimes grew astronomically

the highly contested trophies at

all have a duty to provide our customers with what

and is currently the number one

the 2020 Shop! Global Awards.

they are seeking, in a responsible way. For example,

brand contributing to growth

millennials are currently leading the conversation

in red wine followed closely by

“We are proud and humbled to

about wine, pushing established brands to create new

Pepperjack at number two.

be recognised by these incredible

Squealing Pig Marlborough

wins, especially as the calibre of

paths of discovery through storytelling.” The immediate focuses for TWE this year show that the company is committed to delivering these best outcomes for the consumer, as well as 68 | National Liquor News

Rosé hails as the number one

our peers is at an all-time high,”

rosé in market.

Neilson said.



Vantage Group

RETAIL

Vantage Group: Executing in the right areas The Tasmanian liquor retail group has taken the challenging opportunity to reset, reassess and innovate in the right areas during 2020.

Sharni Wise Retail Operations Manager Vantage Group

National Liquor News: What have been Vantage Group’s major successes and highlights in 2020?

NLN: What is the immediate focus for the group in 2021?

Sharni Wise: While 2020 has thrown many challenges to

to ensure their continued development as well as tailoring our

everyone in various ways, it has given us as a group the

instore ranging to ensure it has a heavy local presence and is in

opportunity to reset, reassess and forced us to innovate. As a

keeping to the local markets we operate in.

group we have had a strong focus on ensuring that we have ample

SW: We have some immediate focuses relating to our people

2020 has been about resetting so the immediate focus for 2021

resources in place in the right areas to enable us to be more agile

is to ensure there is alignment to our strategic direction and we

in our decision making and overall execution of our strategies.

are all playing a key part in the execution of this strategy. Getting timely data in an appropriate format to the right people

NLN: How would you characterise Vantage Group’s performance in 2020 and into 2021?

is something that we will be heavily focused on to make sure our decision-making moving forward is as educated as possible.

SW: When I reflect back on 2020, the areas I’m most proud of in a pandemic, while most other businesses found themselves

NLN: How has the liquor retail landscape evolved in 2020 and how do you see it evolving in 2021?

in a position of forced closure, put us in a unique set of

SW: We have seen an increase in online platforms and retailers

circumstances. The resilience of our store managers through this

focusing on a strong digital strategy. As we retailers get smarter

period and their ability to lead their teams in such an uncertain

at this and the consumer becomes accustomed to it and more

time was outstanding.

comfortable using it, we will continue to see growth in this channel.

regards to performance is that of our people. Trading through

2020 showed the importance and need to effectively

Bricks and mortar outlets still have a strong position to play in

communicate, show strength and leadership and act quickly – I

the market moving forward, as some customers will continue to

believe in these areas we excelled and that contributes heavily to

seek out the style of customer service only face to face interactions

the overall performance of the group.

can provide.

It is because we have these foundations in our people that I

I believe the next few years in liquor retail will be quite

believe business will continue to fare well through 2021 despite

interesting to watch, we should see some real innovation and

any challenges that are thrown at us, as we continue to deal with

resources being tapped into. It’s a great time to be a part of the

COVID-19 and its repercussions.

industry and I’m excited to see where it can go.

70 | National Liquor News


TIMELESS.

SMOOTH.

GENEROUS.

LIVELY.

PL AYFUL.

Whether you’re new to enjoying wine or a seasoned connoisseur. Whether you prefer white or red or like your wine sweet, dry, light or full bodied - there’s always been a Giesen wine for you. Now with a refreshed look, the Giesen crest remains a tried and true mark of quality. Wherever you see it, you’re sharing in 40 years of passion and craft. So, the next time you choose wine, look for the mark of quality.

W E N H K S E OO R L F


Visy

SUPPLIER

Visy strengthens market-leading offering Mark De Wit, Visy Chief Operating Officer, describes how the company will be leveraging the positive steps taken in 2020 to exceed sustainability goals for its customers.

Mark De Wit Chief Operating Officer Visy

For packaging and resource recovery leader Visy, 2020 was a positive year that

What the future holds

laid a strong foundation for it to meet

De Wit said: “In 2021, and

and exceed sustainability goals in 2021

over the years to follow,

and beyond.

we are planning significant

Mark De Wit, Visy Chief Operating

glass production and cullet

Officer, said one of the highlights in 2020

investment to increase

is also one of the most important elements

recycled glass content in

of this foundation – the acquisition of

our glass bottles and jars. Visy Executive Chairman

the local assets of Owens Illinois and

Anthony Pratt has publically

subsequent creation of Visy Glass.

committed to investing

“In July 2020 we acquired the

$500 million into the Visy

Australian and New Zealand operations

Glass business to reach our

of one of the world’s largest glass bottle

recycled content goals.”

and jar manufacturers, creating Visy Glass. The investment was one of the biggest manufacturing acquisitions by an

has been a huge leap forward in achieving

raw materials and imported goods, it

Australian owned business in Australian

that goal. At the end of the day, it means we

also keeps more waste out of landfill and

business history,” De Wit said.

can offer our customers more choice from

provides more jobs for local communities.

“Glass is a strong addition to our closed loop packaging and recycling solutions

an Australian owned one stop packaging supplier supporting local jobs,” De Wit said.

model … and we have plans for further

“Glass is endlessly recyclable, and a recycled glass container can go from the recycle bin to store shelf in as little as

investment, aimed at increasing the

The importance of sustainability

30 days. The glass remanufacturing loop

average recycled content of glass bottles

De Wit explained that: “Like any

can be repeated over and over, right here

and jars from one third to two thirds.”

responsible industry in operation these

in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

This goal exceeds targets of the

days, the beverage industry needs to

“When you compare that to the

Australian Packaging Covenant and is a

demonstrate a serious and long-term

option of importing virgin glass into the

huge drawcard for customers looking to

commitment to sustainability. Consumers,

country from overseas, it becomes clear

become environmental leaders through

investors and governments are absolutely

that companies still choosing import as

their own brands. For the liquor industry,

demanding it and voting with their feet and

an option are putting at risk local jobs,

it’s one of the most sustainable beverage

their wallets if they don’t like what they see.”

sustainability targets and supply chain risks.

packaging solutions on the market,

In recent years and especially

“Using Visy Glass sends a clear signal to

with the added benefit of not relying on

throughout the pandemic, the value of

consumers that the drinks industry cares

the international supply chain should

a local circular and sustainable loop has

about their footprint. Beyond being a good

unexpected events (like the pandemic) arise.

never been greater. In the context of

citizen, keeping sustainability at the heart

glass, De Wit explained that increasing

of decision-making can increase market

creating sustainable packaging solutions for

“Our vision is to be the global leader in

the recycled content of the packaging

opportunities, cut unnecessary costs and

a better world and the addition of Visy Glass

not only lessens the reliance on valuable

encourage a culture of local innovation.”

72 | National Liquor News


William Grant & Sons maximises opportunities Colin Rochester, General Manager ANZ, describes how agility and creativity will propel the business through 2021.

Colin Rochester General Manager ANZ William Grant & Sons

Reflecting on the year that is now behind us, Colin Rochester,

pandemic, which are predicted to continue. For example, Monkey

General Manager ANZ at William Grant & Sons noted how

Shoulder benefitted from the rise of home cocktails while The

widespread the impact of continued uncertainty was in the liquor

Balvenie surged in response to premium home experiences, and

industry and said: “2020 has been a year that none of us could

Glenfiddich and Hendrick’s also increased market share as leaders

have predicted.”

of two of the fastest growing categories respectively.

However, Rochester said there was a positive element to come

“Within our premium brands we attribute growth to an

out of such turmoil, providing not only a highlight for the year

increase in ‘treat’ and ‘experimentation’ occasions at home,”

but also a strong lesson for the year to come.

Rochester said.

He said: “Success can be measured in many ways, but for us,

“Spirits are so varied that for many they can be intimidating,

ensuring the safety of our team, continuing to operate under ever

and so consumers tend to stick to what they know. COVID has

changing guidelines and staying connected with and supporting

seen a real change in behaviour, with repertories increasing not

our customers were all key areas of achievement for us. I’m

just at brand level, but category level.

very proud of how every member of our team showed so much

“I would anticipate that the first half of 2021 we will see similar

resilience, agility and creativity as well as teamwork – we’ve never

trends to 2020. At home consumption and entertainment will

been more isolated and yet so much more connected!

continue, with international travel still limited, we can expect that

“2020 taught us to be agile, plans had to evolve and so for 2021 we expect we will have to continue with this entrepreneurial approach to maximise opportunities.” One of the major opportunities for William Grant & Sons this year is consistently and creatively pushing the boundaries to maximise awareness and trial for its portfolio. Rochester said this is where the boosted agility mindset will be even more useful, as he believes 2021 will come with its own set of uncertainties. He said that in the short term: “We will work with our retail

domestic sales will continue to see the benefit as a result.”

“2020 taught us to be agile, plans had to evolve and so for 2021 we expect we will have to continue with this entrepreneurial approach to maximise opportunities.” - Colin Rochester, General Manager ANZ, William Grant & Sons

partners to deliver excellent execution in store whilst upweighting resource and investment across the entire omni-channel network to ensure a connected experience for shoppers and consumers. “Omni-channel is an area that, whilst we don’t have all the answers, we have certainly increased our focus, through utilising insights from customers and our local and extensive global teams in order to maximise value for our partners in this exciting space.”

The stars of 2020 In terms of market performance in 2020, there was strong performance across the William Grant & Sons portfolio, reflecting the growth of the spirits segment as a whole. Rochester said that these positive results in the last year were driven by consumer shifts and trends stemming from the February 2021 | 73

SUPPLIER

William Grant & Sons


Wine Depot

Wine Depot skyrockets in 2020 Dean Taylor

In a year that rocked the industry, Wine Depot made a name for itself and plans to offer its full support to struggling customers in 2021.

It is not uncommon to hear about the difficult time felt by businesses

CEO and Founder Wine Depot

throughout the liquor industry in 2020. However, for relatively new

More on the horizon

company Wine Depot, this couldn’t be further from the reality.

Wine Depot experienced a myriad of growth in

In its first full year in business, the COVID-19 pandemic

2020, growing its core staff from just six to 36, while

helped boost Wine Depot’s direct-to-consumer sales channels. The

increasing its customer database to more than 350

compounding effect from a spike of new customers skyrocketed

wineries. It also expand its network of temperature-

Wine Depot’s annual revenue growth in excess of 1000 per cent.

controlled depots across Australia and plans to expand

Wine Depot’s Founder and CEO Dean Taylor said while it was a difficult year for the majority of the industry: “we found ourselves in the right place at the right time”. The first stage of Wine Depot’s online platform had just launched last year, providing producers with an affordable end-to-end fulfillment solution. From there, Wine Depot expanded significantly, hosting craft spirit, cider, beer and non-alcoholic beverage producers. On the back of unprecedented 2020 growth, Wine Depot turns its

into New Zealand this year. Off the back of this, Wine Depot is undoubtedly set to have a busy year ahead. And so on top of the new Direct-to-Trade Marketplace, Wine Depot will also be launching its ‘Insider Trading’ program. “It is an invitation only wine club for those working within the wine and hospitality industries,” Taylor told National Liquor News.

immediate focus this year towards the launch of its Direct-to-Trade

“The key benefit for ‘Insiders’ will be the ability to

Marketplace. Due to launch in March 2021, the platform will allow

purchase directly from producers at ‘industry prices’ but

Wine Depot’s affiliated producers to sell directly to “tens of thousands

also access to range of social media and networking tools

of trade buyers for a fraction of the cost of traditional distribution”.

to keep abreast of what’s happening within the industry.”

“Not only will they be able to own and manage their customer

Other benefits include invitations to trade tastings,

relationships, but also get paid within two to three days of sale,

master classes and other industry only events. Details can be

dramatically shortening their cash cycles. On the other hand, venue

found at the Wine Depot website - www.winedepot.com.

operators such as restaurants and bottle shops will benefit from a much simpler inventory ordering experience, where they can open one account, place one order, get one delivery, receive one invoice, make one payment – all through one consolidated line of credit,” Taylor said. Businesses throughout the wine industry were rocked by the Chinese Government’s tariff on Australian wine exports late last year. However, Wine Depot quickly adjusted its business

Connect

Simplify

Deliver

Fairer for All

functionality, providing registered businesses discounted pricing for larger purchases. Taylor said: “I saw it as a way to provide the hundreds of our affiliated producers another channel to help clear excess inventory stemming from the recent collapse of the Chinese wine export market. There’s no doubt that this is going to place downward pressure on local retail prices as those most exposed look to clear excess inventory.”

74 | National Liquor News


Yalumba: delivering the best After a big year of accolades, Yalumba is looking to boost the strength of its distribution, employee knowledge and e-commerce channels.

SUPPLIER

Yalumba

Nick Waterman Managing Director Yalumba

Yalumba focused on solidifying its internal structures and improving its domestic relationships in 2020, to help it continue to strive towards stronger connections with trade customers and end consumers in 2021. One of the big moments for Yalumba in 2020 was to see the result of an 18+ month long restructure project relating to supply chains. “We restructured our two Australian distribution businesses, Samuel Smith & Son and Negociants Australia, to align to channel rather than the traditional geographical boundaries,” Managing Director Nick Waterman explained. “We delivered to our valued trade customers a more focused sales team with detailed knowledge about wine and an understanding of each customer’s business sector.” Further to this, Waterman said: “We have significantly added to our national account team responsible for supporting our major retail partners, and added a customer marketing function tasked with delivering customised trade activation programs for

it establish a germplasm nursery in the SA Riverland, giving the

the key brands we represent.”

company the fighting edge in the consumer trend towards the

“We were certified as a WSET educator during the year and

‘good for me, good for the planet’ category.

began rolling out education to both our employees and customers. We also formally launched the Yalumba Sustainability Charter

2021 in focus

to consolidate, communicate and enhance our focus on being a

Waterman said his immediate focus into 2021: “is about managing

sustainable company across numerous pillars of our business.”

the unpredictability that we face due to COVID-19.”

Some more good news in line with this sustainability focus

But with some positive steps and accomplishments in the past

was the Yalumba Nursery being awarded a $1million grant from

12 months, 2021 is already shaping up to be another strong year

the SA Government, which was matched by Yalumba, helping

for the company. “We are very much looking forward to opening our new Jansz

Raking in awards

Pontos Hills Winery in southern Tasmania in time to process the 2021 vintage in the second half of March. We have plans

There was no stopping Yalumba in 2020 as it pulled in

to continue to invest in Yalumba’s ‘Embrace the Magnificent

various trophies and medals. The business received four

Unknown’ campaign, an integrated above the line brand-

trophies and 70 medals: including one platinum, 24 gold

marketing program… we will continue to invest in our virtual

and 45 silver.

communications capability like Y-TV and our onsite winery

“On top of this, Yalumba The Caley 2015 was rated 98 points from James Suckling and was also one of only three

experiences for local and domestic consumers,” Waterman said. “As a generational family-owned business, we take a long-term

wines that UK wine writer Matthew Jukes said he would take

view versus one of short-term financial expediency. As such, we

to a desert island,” Waterman said.

will continue to invest in the future be that our vineyards, our brands, our logistics and production or importantly, our people.”

February 2021 | 75


Research & Associations We’ve spoken to shopper experts, industry associations and data analysts from across the country and collected the best insights about what will be hot this year and how you can capitalise on this.

76 | National Liquor News


Alcohol Beverages Australia

A united front to drive economic stability Unity and perseverance within the liquor industry will be important to the recovering national economy, says Alcohol Beverages Australia CEO Andrew Wilsmore.

CEO Alcohol Beverages Australia

Wilsmore said FARE has morphed from a rehabilitation and

trade deals to stimulate economic growth and boost tourism

indigenous program grant provider to a shrewd research and

dollars in Australia in 2021. It believes focusing on building new

campaign machine.

stakeholder relationships and strengthening current ones will boost its chances to enact policy and economic change. ABA focused on improving the reputation of the industry in 2020 and despite the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, CEO Andrew Wilsmore believes ABA has ultimately achieved this. He said in 2021, ABA will continue in this goal and beyond: “driving innovation to move us towards a truly circular economy; traceability and providing consumers with information; and ensuring a fair workplace relations system”. “These are all areas we want to start talking about and being involved in the wider national policy debate.” ABA will start its 2021 policy campaign advocating for

“FARE and their colleagues’ ‘research’ projects are able to attract funding from State and Federal Governments and are then published uncritically in ‘peer review’ journals which their fellow travellers sit as editors and reviewers. “This is then weaponised to justify their tobacco playbook policy positions and swallowed as having legitimacy by policy makers and advisers in departments and parliamentary offices.” Wilsmore also noted that while the year hasn’t been without its difficulties in anti-alcohol activism and the Coronavirus pandemic, the industry’s resilience and collaboration throughout Australia will lead to its long-term stability. “The adage that ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ remains true.

solutions to fix policies that penalise “the vast majority who are

The establishment of ABA was visionary by those industry leaders

drinking responsibly,” including the next steps past the NHMRC

who were able to put past differences aside to create a body to

Drinking Guidelines, Pregnancy Warning labels and a number of

unify,” he said.

State Liquor Act reviews. But to do so, ABA will need to overcome the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s (FARE) stranglehold on Australian policy space.

“We are fortunate that this is very much part of our industry’s DNA. With well-established bodies such as DrinkWise and the ABAC Scheme that collaboration comes instinctively now. “I’ve always believed Australian drinking culture has permanently changed for the better and that even the challenges of COVID-19 and periods of self-isolation or working from home won’t be enough to change that long-term trend. “The one thing we can all do is to share the successes. While we all know the younger generation coming through is the most responsible yet, the perception from most Australians is the opposite. And it is that perception we need to correct.” There has no doubt been a negative domino effect on the on-premise industry since the start of the pandemic. However, Wilsmore believes time in isolation could be the key to boosting the consumers’ choice and looks forward to new challenges in 2021. He said: “Australians have taken the time to cook better meals and explore a wider range of drinks. Consumer and retail sales data suggests we continue to chase higher quality experiences and want our drinks to match.”

February 2021 | 77

ASSOCIATION

Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) is hoping to secure key

Andrew Wilsmore


Shopper Insights

The marketplace genie is out of the alcohol e-commerce bottle Online marketplaces were a key beneficiary of soaring alcohol e-commerce sales in 2020, but in 2021 other online channels may nip at their heels. By Norrelle Goldring.

Author: Norrelle Goldring Director Illuminera

2020 saw e-commerce become a channel of consequence for

these were for red wines, 38 per cent for white wines, two per cent

alcohol, up from its four per cent of total Australian liquor, with

for rosé, and 11 per cent ‘colour not specified.’

online wine retailer Vinomofo, for instance, experiencing a 50 to

This last selection makes sense when you see that many of

75 per cent increase in sales since the beginning of the pandemic.

the top selling listings, according to ShelfTrend eBay data from

But there is evidence of shifts within the e-commerce channel and differing roles for various channel segments. IWSR forecasts the value of alcohol e-commerce to increase

November and December, are for heavily discounted mixed cases. Volume sales of mixed cases tripled from the March to the June quarters in 2020, and increased a little further from mid-year to

by 42 per cent in 2020 versus 11 per cent in 2019, across 10 core

average around 1570 units per week since then. Sales of these

markets including Australia. Across those 10 markets, online

mixed cases are predominantly in the $60-$90 range (although

marketplaces accounted for nearly half of alcohol sales by value.

some rise as high as $180), often discounted by 65 per cent or

However, direct to consumer (D2C) and on-demand channels are

more with ‘original’ asking prices typically between $180 and

expected to gain share.

$240. Mixed cases represent both a shopper need for variety, and

According to IWSR, the value of D2C across the 10 core

potentially given the November/December timing, some of the

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

markets is set to grow by US$3bn, an annual growth rate of 24 per

Christmas entertaining effect (albeit Christmas 2020 saw less

cent, between 2019 and 2024 against a 2020 market value across

entertaining events at home than other years, with fewer guests). It

the core markets of $US24bn.

does indicate that shoppers are buying discounted mixed cases for

Wine is the dominant category in e-commerce in most countries, however RTD is growing and with the introduction of hard seltzers is forecast to achieve 10 per cent of alcohol ecommerce by 2024. Here, we’re going to look at wine, and specifically at the two largest online marketplaces in Australia, eBay and Amazon.

short term consumption, rather than ‘putting down for the future’. According to ShelfTrend, eBay shoppers are searching by category (eg, ‘red wine’), cases (‘red wine x 12’), and variety (‘red wine Shiraz’) rather than by brand, with half of case sales being for a ‘mixed case’ without a brand in the title. Having said that, some of the largest case sellers are Wolf Blass and Yellow Tail

eBay: all about mixed case deals

listings. Some mixed case sales saw additional significant spikes

As of 18 January, there were 8,860 listings for wine (products, not

of up to eight times, from advertising on the eBay home page,

accessories or glassware) listed on eBay Australia - 75 per cent of

although not necessarily with new deals.

78 | National Liquor News


Shopper Insights

Despite the dominance of mixed case sales, along with price and condition the eBay site allows shoppers to search by

About ShelfTrend

Australian wine region, grape variety, individual flavours, vintage

ShelfTrend is an eBay data provider, with data spanning

dating back to 1950, brands ranging from Henschke and Penfolds

more than 20 global markets and tens of thousands of

to Jacob’s Creek, and packaging and volume options as well as

product categories. ShelfTrend’s market intelligence

food pairing suggestions. A search (conducted on 18 January

reports can be used to assess brand, category and product

2021) of Penfolds by oldest vintage yielded a 1980 Penfolds

performance, and to identify innovation trends.

Grange, indicating the role of marketplaces is also for locating premium, niche and collectors’ items. Because of the requirement to hold a valid liquor licence, the majority of the seller competition is between the major retailers and online pure plays. According to ShelfTrend, the top five sellers

However in the listings themselves the number of brands expands somewhat to include brands such as Lindeman’s, Grant Burge, Wynns, Ingoldby and Petaluma. Many prices are listed as a ‘case of six’ price. Searches are

in order are JustWine, Coffee & Wine Co, Vinomofo, BoozeBud,

available by price, ‘fine wines’ versus ‘standard selection’, vintage

and Dan Murphy’s.

(‘before 1990’ being the oldest), sweetness, country of origin but not AU region of origin, package, food pairing, awards, ABV, and

Amazon.com.au: broad range in theory, narrow in practice

seller (most of whom, aside from BoozeBud, are lesser known). A

In June 2020, Amazon.com.au launched a Wine, Beer and Spirits

sort using Price High to Low, after wading past all of the whiskeys

store featuring emerging local brands such as Curatif Cocktails,

that somehow appeared as ‘wine’, yielded a Dom Pérignon 2006

Sofi Spritz and Lawrenny Estate, alongside well-known brands

Vintage Rosé for $572. A sort by vintage 1990 or 1990 and earlier,

including Penfolds, VB, and Johnnie Walker.

again by High to Low price, yielded nothing of the sort and just

A search of ‘wine’ on Amazon.com.au on 18 January yielded ‘over 3,000’ listings, but unlike eBay you can’t see what type of product the majority of the listings are. Only 10 brands are

lots of 19 Crimes and Inno Stage picnic tables, indicating Amazon has some work to do in improving its filters. So whilst in theory Amazon offers premium and niche products, they’re easier to come by in whiskey and Scotch than wine. Marketplaces, as well as providing an outlet for discounted

listed in the left hand navigation panel, some of which are little

mixed cases, theoretically offer consumers niche and specialist

known imports, private labels and sellers such as Portovino,

products they would otherwise be sampling at cellar doors. A

InnoStage and Zmart alongside more well-known brands such as

new premium wine marketplace called Wine Collective Direct is

Penfolds, Pepperjack, Wolf Blass, Jacob’s Creek and Squealing Pig.

planned for launch in NZ in February, to further assist premium winemakers selling products due severely reduced cellar door tourism, particularly by international visitors. A recent Wine Intelligence article predicting online wine sales trends for 2021 suggested that the key offer for 2021 will be more about same-day fulfilment and delivery than range and price. However, given pandemic-hampered delivery mechanisms likely to remain through 2021 and the comparatively limited range on some marketplaces, it feels like there is some way to go in the range offer. While D2C may not offer the variety of a mixed case purchased in a marketplace, it can offer premium and niche brands and products in a way some of the marketplaces are yet to master. Marketplaces, D2C and on-demand thus appear to currently be serving somewhat differing shopper needs.

Sources: 1. IBISWorld Online Beer, Wine & Liquor Sales Report, January 2020 2. w ww.smh.com.au/business/small-business/running-a-million-miles-an-hour-online-alcoholsales-soar-20200407-p54hx3.html 3. ShelfTrend eBay sales data November and December 2020 4. w ww.wineintelligence.com/wine-intelligences-industry-predictions-for-2021

February 2021 | 79

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

I took a look at this new store on the site, and was disappointed by the experience (disclaimer – I am an Amazon Prime member).


Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code

ABAC fields record number of complaints in 2020 The pandemic, social media and a fast moving industry drove complaints and ABAC Panel decisions last year, with some further challenges forecast in 2021.

Harry Jenkins AO Chair ABAC

As the liquor industry reacted to the unique circumstances of

But that doesn’t mean that the ABAC Panel sees no further

2020, the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Panel

challenges or issues in the year to come. Jenkins warned that the

fielded an all time high of 208 complaints and made a record 113

pandemic brought about a set of new areas to consider.

separate ABAC Adjudication Panel decisions. ABAC Chair, Harry Jenkins AO, said this was a significant

He reminds all alcohol companies that the Code does not allow marketing messages that suggest alcohol is needed as

increase on the 128 complaints and 68 Panel determinations

an aid to relaxation, imply alcohol is a prop to cope with the

of the previous year, stretching the regulator to the point of

pandemic or suggest that alcohol can significantly change a

restructuring the way it handles complaints.

mood or environment.

One area that saw a rise in decisions was alcohol packaging

“It is acceptable to reference the pandemic in marketing, like

complaints. Jenkins noted: “With a range of innovative new styles

it’s acceptable to reference other significant background events…

of alcohol beverages and can designs appearing in the market it is

It is however important that good standards of marketing are

particularly important to ensure that it is clear to the reasonable

maintained,” Jenkins said.

person in the community (as opposed to the craft beer afficionado

With businesses coping with new pressures and turning to new

or the alcoholic seltzer drinker) that the product is an alcohol

methods of advertising in the wake of the pandemic, education

beverage and that alcohol cues are not lost within the design

will be a key consideration for ABAC this year.

elements of the product.” Social media posts, particularly Instagram posts on business

Jenkins noted: “In 2021 ABAC will continue to focus on industry education on responsible alcohol marketing standards and continue

accounts, continued to be a point of contention in complaints.

to provide tailored education to sectors with new entrants that may

This is something that regulators approached on a global scale in

not be aware of responsible alcohol marketing standards.”

ASSOCIATION

2020, with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking

partnering with social media platforms to publish a set of instructional videos on how to activate age restriction controls, which are an ABAC requirement for alcohol marketers. It seems that positive and responsible activities like this are being embraced even more by the industry, including the ABAC Pre-vetting Service which saw an increase of 11 per cent in its usage compared to the previous year. “We were pleased to see the upward trend continue despite the practical and financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the alcohol industry… Pre-vetting remains the easiest and most efficient way for marketers to ensure their promotions are responsible before hitting the marketplace,” Jenkins said. Another positive that Jenkins noted was: “To date all 2020

The background of ABAC The ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code, also known

breaches have been promptly remedied on a voluntary basis, with

as ‘the ABAC Code’, sets responsibility standards for alcohol

the exception of an EDM that the producer eventually agreed not

marketing in Australia that reflect community standards.

to reuse after intervention by a State Liquor Licensing authority,

The ABAC Code regulates both the content and placement

and a can design that is currently being investigated by another

of alcohol marketing across all media.

State Liquor Licensing authority.” 80 | National Liquor News


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Brewers Association of Australia

Brewers push for positive change The Brewers Association of Australia has noted several key areas of opportunity in 2021 that will help bring the whole industry back to its feet.

John Preston CEO Brewers Association of Australia

“Beer is a strong and resilient industry but it’s fair to say that the knock-on impact has been significant.” These are the words of the new Brewers Association of Australia CEO John Preston, describing the impact of the pandemic on Australia’s brewers. Officially entering the organisation in 2021, Preston already has a solid understanding of the range of issues that are impacting the sector and has hit the ground running, looking for positive change. One of the recurring factors that is holding the industry back is the excise tax on beer and Preston said this is a focus for the Brewers Association in 2021. “I think the key priority for the Brewers Association at this time is getting the tax and policy settings right for the beer sector so we that we can continue to increase our economic contribution and provide much needed stimulus to the broader hospitality sector,” he said. “As an example, it is critical that we follow other countries who

There are a range of other positive opportunities on the

ASSOCIATION

have frozen or effectively cut their beer tax in response to the

horizon for the Brewers Association this year that Preston is also

COVID-19 pandemic. Australians pay the fourth highest beer tax

considering. For example, he noted the need to engage closely

in the developed world at a level that is automatically increased

with government and FSANZ to get the balance right on labelling

twice a year. We need reform here to deliver support to brewers

and promotion of products.

and publicans and to relieve cost of living pressure for consumers.”

Other opportunities raised surround more industry and supply chain partnerships. Preston called out the great work of Alcohol

The new face of the Brewers Association Preston has only been in the CEO role since January 4 this year – it’s in the initial weeks of the role that he told

Beverages Australia and DrinkWise for promoting and supporting responsible consumption that continues to have a progressive effect on the industry and consumers. “The challenge will be to ensure that this work continues to

National Liquor News how delighted he was to have joined

enjoy support from a broad range of stakeholders and also to

the Brewers Association.

ensure that measures to continue driving improvements in drinking

“What I find exciting about the role is the opportunity to advocate for a sector that makes such a profound

patterns and behaviour remain evidence based,” Preston said. On the supply chain side, he continued: “Another opportunity

contribution to our national economy. The beer industry

for the Brewers Association will be to work more closely with our

underpins $16bn of economic activity a year and employs

partners throughout our supply chain to help drive improvements

100,000 people across our supply chain.

in policy settings for the sector.

“I am looking forward to learning more about the industry

“As an example, more than one million tonnes of malting barley

and our partners and getting out to meet the people who

is produced by Australian farmers each year for brewing in Australia

continue to drive the enormous success story that is the

and overseas. Barley is one of Australia’s top crops and we look

Australian brewing sector.”

forward to building closer relationships with our farmers to ensure people understand what a success story this is for our economy.”

82 | National Liquor News



Cider Australia

Celebrating what makes Australian cider special Cider Australia’s new President, Warwick Billings, discusses how the organisation will keep driving momentum in support of local cider producers.

With little more than a month behind him at the

focussed on is the ‘live local, support local’ vibe.

Billings of LOBO Cider is hitting the ground

We have great cider here in Australia, it suits us,

running for the country’s cider producers.

there is regional production in every apple-growing state, and opportunities to visit and learn through

this year, taking over from Willie Smith’s Sam Reid,

cellar doors and other activities are growing,”

who Billings commended for his hard work and

Billings described.

achievements, noting how it sets the stage for great success in the future. “I’m looking forward to taking this momentum

“Cider is here, and is bigger than before. It is being taken more seriously, and a broader range of people are drinking a broader range of ciders. I think we are

ASSOCIATION

and keeping it rolling. My take will obviously be

moving in all the right directions. We just need to

slightly different, but it’s fair to say that the craft

keep reinforcing the strengths of good 100 per cent

cider community has pretty consistent overall

Australian ciders.”

goals,” Billings said. “It’s an exciting space as there is so much

President Cider Australia

“I think an important area for us to keep

helm of Cider Australia, new President Warwick

Billings officially began the role as of January 1

Warwick Billings

room to bring things along. We are seeing cider

Thoughts of an outgoing president

growing up as a category in Australia, with classic

After spending six and a half years as President of Cider Australia,

ciders, new ciders, and old styles being made more

Sam Reid is excited for the future of the organisation and sector.

contemporary. The market and consumers are appreciating this.” Some of the highlights of 2020 for Cider

Reid has seen the proliferation of trends revolving around authenticity and the ‘better for you’ movement, and believes that the cider sector can effectively meet these changing demands of customers. He knows this

Australia that make Billings confident in the

first-hand, having helped create initiatives such as the 100% Australian

category’s longevity include the successful roll

Grown trust mark and Australian Cider Day.

out of the Cider Australia trust mark, which is

“I feel confident in the direction Cider Australia has helped move the

found on cider products genuinely made with

category and that our members are well set up to provide the types and styles

100 per cent Australian apples. That’s in addition

of beverages that drinkers are increasingly gravitating towards,” Reid said.

to a range of additional promotional materials that educate people about what makes Australian cider unique. 84 | National Liquor News

“The future looks bright for cider and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.”


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DrinkWise

DrinkWise: supported a proactive and responsible industry In these difficult times, it’s more important than ever for the industry to deliver united, proactive support for responsible alcohol consumption, as DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan notes. 2020 has undoubtedly been an incredibly difficult

prompted DrinkWise to take a more holistic

year for all Australians. And it’s in these tough

approach to messaging, with the focus on ensuring

times that consistent support from the industry for

that people were not trying to cope with stress and

responsible consumption is all the more important.

anxiety by consuming alcohol. Encouraging those

The value of such can be seen in the

feeling worried to reach out to support services for

achievements of DrinkWise in the past year and

professional help was a key strategy to reducing

in the impacts of the organisation’s actions. CEO

alcohol misuse.

Simon Strahan described the year that was and the strategies that proved successful for DrinkWise. He said that 2020: “required a rapid strategic shift to deliver our messages in a manner relevant to

“The introduction of five new initiatives during 2020, alongside our regular programs, reflected our ability to be dynamic and respond to community sentiment.”

the COVID-19 environment, cognisant of the new challenges, stresses and anxieties being experienced

COVID-19 moderation messaging

by the community. This shift enabled DrinkWise

One of the successful initiatives from DrinkWise

to deliver new, innovative and targeted alcohol

was the development of COVID-19 moderation

education programs that resonated with the public.

advertisements and Q&A themed social media clips

“By taking this approach, DrinkWise built new

with Ambassador Dr Andrew Rochford.

ASSOCIATION

partnerships with non-traditional stakeholder

Following the release of this activity, NSW

and interest groups, including health support

Police reached out to request a partnership with

services, police and politicians. The potential for

DrinkWise to produce messages related to alcohol

the pandemic to result in increased alcohol-related

consumption and support services to help reduce

harms amongst some within the community

alcohol related harm and domestic violence.

“It is clear that Australians are taking a more considered approach to their consumption, enabling a safer and healthier drinking culture.” Simon Strahan CEO DrinkWise

DrinkWise research: drinking behaviours during COVID-19

73%

consumed the same amount or less.

1

27%

increased consumption - however, most (23%) increase is 'a little'.

2.9

standard drinks consumed on average, per occasion.

8.3

13%

drinking daily, compared to 6% in 2018.

3

73%

took steps to look after their mental health.

86 | National Liquor News

95% said it will return to normal.

of those who increased consumption

standard drinks consumed on average, per week (within government guidelines.)

average number of drinking occasions per week (up from 2 in 2018).

77% or doing more.

maintaining exercise


DrinkWise

“So pleased was NSW Police with the campaign, they contacted their counterparts in other states advocating for them to also take up the initiative,” Strahan said.

The Bounce Back podcast DrinkWise developed and launched the Bounce Back podcast initiative mid-year, featuring well-known Australians’ stories of resilience. Strahan said it showcased: “personal stories of strength, resilience and the benefits of reaching out for support.” “The series illustrated DrinkWise’s proactive approach as an advocate for positive change in attitudes towards both alcohol and mental health – and was widely considered to be an example of rapidly and successfully delivering an initiative that responded to community and government concerns about consumer wellbeing.”

Supporting the next generation

Education around pregnancy and alcohol

After the success of Bounce Back, DrinkWise created the You

Strahan said another big focus of 2020 was recognising the

Got This initiative, with more Australian names providing video

devastating impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

messages of support for Year 12 students.

(FASD) on the community. The campaign helped reinforce the

You Got This was developed off the back of DrinkWise-

importance of not consuming alcohol when pregnant, planning

commissioned research into how Year 12s were coping with 2020.

a pregnancy or breastfeeding. This joined several other initiatives

Key results from this research found that 48 per cent of students

piloted with Indigenous community partners, including school-

didn’t believe they were handling their problems very well, with

based education and supporting a travelling cinema in remote

over 40 per cent concerned about mental health but only four per

communities that integrated DrinkWise messages.

cent reaching out for professional help. Meanwhile, 11 per cent

Looking to the future

The videos and commentary as part of this initiative directed

DrinkWise enters 2021 with a solid foundation built from 2020’s

recipients to www.yougotthis.org.au, where support services like

successful activities. However, Strahan said it is vitally important

headspace, Beyond Blue, ReachOut, Kids Helpline and My Mirror

to keep up the momentum, encouraging positive and responsible

were made easily accessible.

habits in Australia.

“The approach aligns to the wellbeing angle DrinkWise has

“DrinkWise’s ability to develop messages that resonate with

taken during COVID-19 to promote mental health (and avoid

Australians has been recognised by more stakeholders in 2020,

alcohol use as a coping strategy),” Strahan explained.

providing the opportunity for new partnerships and to deliver our moderation messaging through new channels in 2021, further

DrinkWise and Retail Drinks partnership Towards the end of the year, DrinkWise and Retail Drinks Australia announced the launch of a new joint initiative.

extending our reach,” Strahan said. “A proactive approach to integrating and delivering our messages through industry channels will be a continuing focus.

Strahan said: “A new retail-focused moderation message,

It allows DrinkWise to deliver messages that engage consumers

Choose to DrinkWise, has recently launched, enabling retailers

while demonstrating industry’s commitment to ensuring alcohol

nationally to integrate this message across advertising and instore

products are consumed responsibly and in moderation.

collateral in a consistent manner.

“It is clear that Australians are taking a more considered

“The partnership with Retail Drinks Australia illustrates

approach to their consumption, enabling a safer and healthier

the proactive approach major retailers are taking regarding

drinking culture. Reinforcing that cultural shift in 2021 will be

moderation messages and other responsible retailing practices,

important, particularly by highlighting the choices available to

but also highlights to consumers the need to reflect on their

Australians that choose to drink but want to lower their overall

choices when it comes to products and consumption.”

alcohol consumption.”

February 2021 | 87

ASSOCIATION

were drinking or smoking to relieve stress.


Euromonitor

What’s all that buzz in RTDs? The RTD category is being reinvented to meet changing consumer desires and market trends, writes Alejandra Cornelio, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International.

Before the pandemic, the ready to drink (RTD)

trade down from their favourite beers to cheaper

category was slowly starting to experience a change,

brands, others were upgrading to even more

from lower carb options to a focus on reducing

premium options.

sugar levels. This was seen in the dark and light

Industry players were not slow to pick up this

spirit based RTDs such as the introduction of

trend. Within RTDs, we have seen many new

Vodka Cruiser Sugar Free and Canadian Club

brands entering the category as well as the already

Zero. This trend was also being reflected in the

established brands coming up with new packaging

craft industry too, an example is Manly Spirits Co’s

and boosting their presence. For example, Jim

launch a sugar free craft gin RTD.

Beam recently went through a colour scheme

It seems like yesterday that brands were only

enhancement to better stand out amongst the sea

starting to realise this reality and comprehend the

of other colourful RTD cans. Brands are focusing

bad reputation RTDs held, but the pandemic has

on modernising packaging, seeking new visual

influenced consumer preferences and accelerated

identities, and switching up colour palettes to

this category development and expansion even

stand out amongst the sea of new and vibrant

more, seeing brands such as Aperol entering the

looking RTDs.

category already this year.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

This has been further propelled by the game-

The entrance of hard seltzer

changing introduction of hard seltzers to the

It has been over a year now since the launch of

Australian market late last year, forcing categories

the first alcoholic seltzer in Australia, Quincy,

within and outside the RTD category to make strides

distributed by Lion which also brought the best-

and compete against it. There is now a need to

selling US seltzer White Claw to our market.

embrace innovation - people are looking for exciting,

In this time there have been a large number of

sophisticated and aesthetic looking beverages.

new seltzer launches and BWS for example has

Premiumisation has been a key trend in

already more than doubled its range in 2020. At

Australia, however with the temporary closure and

the time of writing there are around 30 domestic

weakening of the on-premise sector, while a portion

and international brands with over 100 different

of Australian drinkers had no other choice but to

subvarieties of flavours and ingredients.

88 | National Liquor News

“The pandemic has influenced consumer preferences and accelerated this category development and expansion even more.” Author: Alejandra Cornelio Research Analyst Euromonitor International


Euromonitor

As to be expected, the hard seltzer market in Australia was dominated by local brands in 2020, however with strong contention from international entrants. Some of the best sellers in key retail channels include Liberty Coast, Good Tides, Hint, Vacay, Fellr, Smirnoff, Rainbird and most recently, White Claw. Among flavours in the main distribution channels, lemon or lime is the most common flavour with a little over one third of the range in the market being this flavour, and this is followed by the second most popular flavours raspberry and watermelon. Other tropical flavours such as passionfruit, mango and grapefruit have good presence as well, while flavours that have not yet been explored as much are apple, cherry and plum. The National Drug Strategy Survey

that younger generations of drinkers

conducted in 2019 shows that the

coming into adulthood are becoming

with interesting new flavours, sources

proportion of Australians over 18 who

more mindful.

found that nearly two thirds of the top

now abstain from alcohol has increased

flavours are in fact assorted and do

from 19.5 per cent to 21 per cent, driven

landing within the category include a

not fall under the most popular ones

by those in the 25 to 39 age range.

likely increase in the number of gluten

trending here in Australia. This could

However, for that age range, mindful

free RTDs (following food trends) and the

mean that there is more variety coming

drinking also does not always mean

expansion of packaging options to include

on the horizon as consumer demand for

abstinence or a preference for low ABV

cans and tetra pack formats. We will also

more choice grows.

products. These demographics are in

see more brands intending to expand

constant exposure to social media which

with wine-based seltzers, however sources

variety of flavours in the seltzer category,

is now saturated with fitness related

do not expect these to compete with

some brands are really focusing on the

content and apps and influencers are

traditional spirit-based seltzers just yet.

naturalness and freshness of the actual taste

increasingly promoting activewear

rather than expanding their flavour range.

and nutritional supplements. This

gaining more attention with products such

Such brands work really hard to make their

demographic seems to be drinking

as Squealing Pig’s Ginsecco cans gaining

products taste like real fruit and not the

the same amount but less often and

popularity. Perhaps it won’t be long until

typical ‘natural flavouring.’

exclusively on special occasions. They

we see the first the first cold brew coffee

also keep in mind their calorie and sugar

Prosecco RTD!

While it is expected to see a much wider

Different types of RTDs On another front, Seedlip has been

intake while doing so.

More trends to watch that will be

Meanwhile, hybrid drinks are also

It is no doubt RTDs will potentially

This is a maturing demographic

be the category with the most innovative

making headlines with their non-alcoholic

and a lot of people in this age range are

launches in 2021 and this can be blamed

RTDs which are trending in the UK. With

now experiencing a transition, such as

on the introduction of the highly

a high price point that almost competes

moving out of home and having new

competitive hard seltzer sector and the

with the new hard seltzers, it will be

responsibilities related to paying bills and

number of Australian drinkers staying

interesting to see where these will fall in

rent which only reduces their disposable

home while still looking for premium and

place within the RTD category.

income. It is interesting to note though

exciting drink options.

February 2021 | 89

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

In the US, where RTD growth is led by those who continue to experiment


Independent Brewers Association

Indie beer industry development ahead

Kylie Lethbridge

Australia’s independent brewers have stayed resilient despite a difficult 2020, and they have great hope for the future.

General Manager Independent Brewers Association

Independent Brewers Association (IBA)

valued staff members left jobless and

has set its sights on paving the way for

sales losses. However, she also noted

change in 2021. As well as improving sales

how IBA was able to quickly adapt to

and recognition of indie beer, it will be

new norms in its activities, working with

developing a long-term plan to support

government to help support independent

women in the industry.

brewers, accessing grants and also

IBA appointed industry leader Kylie

successfully holding the Independent

Lethbridge as General Manager midway

Beer Awards virtually.

through a difficult 2020. Despite starting

While many have started on the path

her new role in adverse conditions amidst

to recovery, IBA will not overlook the

the COVID-19 pandemic, she said

businesses and growers who continue

industry leaders rallied behind her to remain innovative, creative and resilient. Lethbridge described these first eight

Saluting retail support

to face adversity. Major events for 2021 like Good Beer Week and BrewCon, for

ASSOCIATION

Retailers have been a lifeline for

which planning is already well underway,

months in the role as a rollercoaster,

independent breweries during the

will help inject some life into all corners

but that working with everyone in the

pandemic, going above and beyond to

of the industry.

independent beer supply chain has been

work with IBA in support of its members.

incredibly rewarding. One of her focuses

Lethbridge said most took on

“The IBA demonstrated an extraordinary amount of resilience, but we

in 2021 is to develop a plan with IBA to

additional stock, some altered

wouldn’t have been able to achieve half of

support women in the industry.

payment terms to ensure cash flow for

what we have without our members, an

small businesses, many implemented

amazing and dedicated team and the Board

us [women] to play in this space. There

She said: “There is definitely a role for

cooperative marketing campaigns

who have given us the support we needed

are many women in leadership positions

with IBA and were more than happy

to make a difference,” Lethbridge said.

throughout the brewing community

to accept its dedicated point of sale.

“We will continue to advocate to

“Many retailers experienced an

state and federal government to access

which is very positive. “I have had the opportunity to engage

increase in revenue from craft beer

the support we need to return to the

with some extremely dynamic women

which reflects in their commitment

growth trajectory we were on prior to the

brewers, brewery owners and executive

to continue some of these

pandemic. Aussies being who they are, did

members throughout the supply chain. I

arrangements, and to work with the

as much as they could to buy local.

am looking forward to working with them

IBA as partners in the future.

and our own female board members to see

“We are working with our members

“I take my hat off to all those

to ensure that trend continues, and the

what we can achieve in support of women

retailers who have supported us,

innovation shown by brewers provides

in our industry.”

especially those independents who

a fantastic platform for us to continue

have been with us for the long haul.”

to encourage more consumers to

Lethbridge noted some key setbacks for 2020, including cancelled events, 90 | National Liquor News

#askforindiebeer.”


RICH IN HISTORY, BACARDÍ HAS BEEN COMMITTED TO GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITIES, MARKETING RESPONSIBLY, OPERATING SUSTAINABLY, TAKING CARE OF OUR PEOPLE, AND DOING THE RIGHT THING.


IRI

The year that was and the year that will be

IRI reflects on the unique circumstances of 2020 and how they impacted the industry at large, while looking to the future of what will be next, as written by Daniel Bone, Insights Director at IRI.

Part One: 2020 reflections Before contemplating the year ahead it’s

declines, underpinned by a ‘drinking less but better’

important to take stock of a remarkable 2020.

trend that we still see today. Let’s take a look into

Total retail sales surged beyond $20 billion as

what else influenced performance.

Australians purchased an additional 185 million litres via the off-premise and our new liquor panel

Soaring spirits

solution (IRI LiquorLens) recorded a 16 per cent

It was not just consumer confidence that recorded

increase in shop visits.

a surge in 2020 (albeit belatedly). All four major

Three successive quarters of retail liquor dollar

categories recorded double-digit value gains, with

growth reflect a plethora of circumstantial factors

annual glass spirit sales (+20.9 per cent) now edging

underpinned by the pandemic. Many of these

towards $5bn and safely considered the industry’s

market drivers will likely persist for at least the

most significant growth driver. IRI US data reveals

first quarter of 2021 and thus maintain at least

the same trajectory over the last two years.

some of the momentum that has made 2020 such a standout year. We expect that many of the product

Nearly all major glass spirits segments recorded pronounced double-digit growth as lockdowns gave those at home time and inspiration for cocktail

performance trends in retail will endure. After

experimentation. The ongoing gin phenomenon

all, COVID-19 proved to largely be an amplifier

also sustained its growth driving impact (+44 per

of existing preferences rather than an exaggerated

cent) for the category and industry – just as we had

behavioral reset.

predicted in 2019.

Amid an unprecedented migration of spend

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

from the on-premise to off-premise Australians

RTD cruises into 2021

spent an additional +25 per cent on retail liquor

Heading deeper into 2020, RTD emerged as the

in the QTR ending 06/09/20. Even the most recent

fastest growing category following two successive

quarter ended with a +19 per cent uplift in sales

quarters of circa 40 per cent growth. The above 40

as the retail channel continued to benefit from

per cent YOY growth in vodka-based RTDs reflects

more (low-tempo) drinking occasions occurring

a 3.5 percentage share point increase over the last

at-home.

two years as the ubiquitous Cruiser brand nearly

Annual retail liquor dollar growth is currently tracking at +15.2 per cent (MAT to 06/12/20), with

doubled sales in the last year. Beyond vodka-based premixes, the other most

volumes also rising at +10.1 per cent. Dollar sales

notable share gains in the last two years derive from

growth is nearly five times faster than the same

gin-based offerings and seltzers, possibly living up

point last year when we recorded marginal volume

to the hype of the latter segment.

92 | National Liquor News

“Three successive quarters of retail liquor dollar growth reflect a plethora of circumstantial factors underpinned by the pandemic.” Author: Daniel Bone Insights Director IRI


IRI

In conversation with IRI National Liquor News: How was 2020 for IRI as a research organisation and thought leader? Daniel Bone: I think one of the real wins for IRI was the way that we were able to democratise our data and get information out to the marketplace as quickly as possible, certainly from a thought leadership perspective, but also in terms of how we work with our clients as well. What we really noticed in 2020, was a real appetite to access yesterday’s data, today. There was a real need for speed of information for key decision makers. The second thing that was really significant for us was the concentrated focus on the idea that consumer behavior was supposedly so fundamentally different in the pandemic. But having access to the data from our shopper panel and our POS data, we realised that the

At home celebration adds some fizz to retail wine

pandemic actually provided a broader macro backdrop

Wine’s annual growth of +11.4 per cent is nearly 10 times

to further propel and accelerate a lot of existing trends

faster than this time a year ago when both still and sparkling

that we saw.

performance was subdued. A year on and each of the top six dollar growth segments recorded double-digit gains amounting

NLN: How have you been able to use these insights

to a combined +$345 million versus $92 million last year. In

to help businesses develop recovery strategies?

those segments, Champagne and Pinot Noir recorded the most

DB: One of the major things that we’ve been able to do

significant sales acceleration and share change.

is help businesses with some of their ranging and pricing

This boost in Champagne sales reflects Australians bringing

decisions. Obviously Australians have become a little

celebratory occasions into the home, and choosing premium

more nervous and conservative with their spending, so a

options to do so. Global producers note this demand reflects

lot of the research we have conducted throughout COVID

Australia’s economy as being in a better position than others, while

with our shopper panel aims at understanding how

still facing a recession.

consumers are approaching their spending decisions.

NLN: How has IRI developed its liquor offering in the

Beer is a cautionary tale of drawing overly simplistic conclusions

past year, and what does that mean for next year?

from singular data points. Retail liquor’s largest product category

DB: We’ve realised our aspiration to evolve our liquor

commands 35.6 per cent of industry sales and grew by 11.2 per

offering further from being a leader for market read,

cent in value, 6.2 times faster than the previous year. Yet the

providing that consolidated view of what’s happening

category shed -1.3 percentage share points; proof that category,

from a scan perspective… What’s been really exciting

segment and brand performance can only be understood by

about 2020 is the volume of shopper research that

looking more holistically.

we’ve done at a general FMCG level but also with our

Another case in point is the apparent revival of classic beer, a

first liquor specific survey of more than 5000 shoppers.

segment long characterised by the fight against sales declines due

That gives us some real richness in terms of the analytical

to craft and contemporary beer popularity. Annual mid-single

insight that we can now bring to the table. Our new

digit growth is unprecedented in recent times, but an annual

shopper panel and Liquor Lens means that throughout

segment decline of -3.5 percentage share points was the largest

2021, what we will bringing to the industry is a more

across the industry. In other words, don’t get too carried away

detailed overview of shopper behaviour.

(yet) by the hype surrounding the newfound love affair with previously challenged heritage brands. February 2021 | 93

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

Delving into beer data


IRI

Part Two: 2021 expectations With a largely effective virus suppression/elimination strategy

Among the top five growth-driving RTD segments we have

through the year, we will see a gradual unwinding of the outsized

observed above five per cent price per volume growth in gin and

gains that have characterised retail liquor performance in the

rum-based premixes. Newer and more premium products help

three quarters ending 06/12/20 when both in-store and online

propel growth beyond phenomenal sales recorded by Cruiser, and

retail liquor had accelerated at an unprecedented rate.

there is more to come here.

In fact, many will have to effectively convey to investors that

Rosé continues to be a premiumisation theme in the wine

the long-term outcomes of the businesses remain robust despite

fixture as the segment’s growing maturity results in converts

negative sales growth that will begin to be evident in results. It

branching out to enjoy different and better versions of an

will be a year of resetting and readjusting expectations. Let’s look

approachable and versatile style for any occasion. Its longevity

at what to expect.

is also evident in international markets as well as locally, where sparkling rosé delivered nearly +$15million in incremental sales

Pricing challenges as we see ‘trading up’ vs. ‘trading off ’ Generally, we have seen premium tier growth over-index across

in the last year – helped by a double-digit price rise. Beer is, and will remain, an interesting category when it comes

categories as Australians embrace affordable, high quality

to pricing and premiumisation. There is an ongoing trend of

indulgences at home. A rise in smaller in-home celebration

super and ultra-premium craft brands growing at a faster rate

occasions has been a key factor here.

and generating a higher share of growth than offerings owned

Topline evidence of trading up begins with a healthy gap

by larger corporates. Yet craft beer price growth is largely flat

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

between dollar and volume growth (+five percentage points) – a

and looks set to remain so as a range of better quality entry level

gap that became more pronounced in the two latest quarters.

craft beers provide a ‘good enough’ experience for some drinkers

Three key factors underpin this: increased shelf prices, a reduction

to trade down. It is telling that craft lager is the largest growth

in promotion (across all categories) and a basket mix shift as

driving craft beer segment, yet the largest selling style, Pale Ale, is

shoppers trade up to premium segments and brands offering a

22 per cent more expensive on average.

superior sensory experience. Rising prices is something our shopper panelists have been

While pockets of premiumisation were apparent in 2020, we anticipate that price leadership will be the key battleground

acutely aware of in 2020. In three separate waves of COVID-

across product categories. Our shopper panel research reveals that

themed research in 2021, more than three quarters of respondents

drinkers’ ongoing price fixation is a major determinant of choice –

had noted “prices increase because of the Coronavirus,” with data

they want and expect lower prices. We expect shoppers to respond

revealing the most significant jumps in RTDs and wine.

differently to price across categories and brand in 2021.

94 | National Liquor News


IRI

Our view is that industry players must, above all

for emerging categories to be noticed. Effective in-

else, maintain retail price discipline. In other words,

store ranging and supporting activations will be even

avoid a broad brushed approach to cutting price

more important to drive education and interest.

because it will weaken a long-term recovery. Instead,

A key measure for the industry now is to track

segment portfolios by level of elasticity in order

SKU efficiency among different retailer banners.

to determine where to focus pricing investments.

Having the right brands in the right pack sizes at

Previous assumptions about price elasticities may no

the right prices at the appropriate place in store is

longer hold true due to the uniqueness of the current

critical to success.

forces at play – IRI’s Price and Promotion analytics is the perfect solution to efficiently calculate.

Another trend to watch is spiked versions of traditional non-alcoholic beverage staples like lemonade, tea and coffee. Such NPD has gained

Innovation & range

traction in the US market for some time now and

Hard seltzers are arguably the hottest thing in

appears to be blurring boundaries with the seltzer

global retail liquor and with apt levels of retailer

movement. Locally and internationally, brands

and manufacturer support, we believe significant

in this segment are versatile and fast growing,

opportunity exists in Australia too.

and will be able to capitalise on blurred category

hype, with data into early December showing seltzers

boundaries in 2021 and beyond. Finally, its important to have omnichannel

have amassed over $27 million in sales only around

category management that appropriately caters for

one month into the so-called ‘summer of seltzer.’

the ongoing migration towards an online-focused

What’s different versus this time last year is

retail liquor landscape. While recent growth in

the more compelling and eclectic mix of seltzers

online retail liquor has resembled the total online,

available. Global sensation White Claw now sits

the overall liquor market still under indexes with

alongside Smirnoff and a range of locally produced

an estimated sub-seven per cent share.

offerings with promising numbers. A year ago, there

Our view is that it creates considerable room for

was only the Quincy brand, introduced by Lion to

expansion and we strongly encourage stakeholders

move quickly as a category leader in a global trend.

to measure omnichannel purchasing behaviour for

One launch is not enough to generate sufficient

your product categories and ensure it becomes a

awareness and momentum.

focal point of retailer engagement/collaboration.

With a large proportion of liquor purchases planned prior to entering the store, its challenging

Concurrently, ramp up online activations to build stronger e-commerce brand presence.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

Early signs show the segment living up to the

February 2021 | 95


Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia

Hard work pays off for LSA WA

There were some major policy wins for the Liquor Stores Association of WA in 2020, which has seen WA further embrace a measured and targeted approach to liquor industry regulation.

Lou Spagnolo President LSA WA

National Liquor News: What have been LSA WA’s major successes in 2020? Lou Spagnolo: To begin with, 2020 was a success in the sheer fact that as an industry we were able to keep our doors open. While metropolitan members faced some restrictions during March and April, our strong government relations with the State Government enabled us to keep ticking over as a business. We were recognised as an essential service despite the so-called threat of panic buying that quicky faded into oblivion. We also diversified our membership base, taking in small to medium size wineries and a number of distilleries across the state. These two elements of the wider packaged industry have illustrated to the small business sector that we are a strong

WA Premier Mark McGowan, Lou Spagnolo and Paul Papalia at the LSA WA Sundowner event

advocate and champion for the industry. The start of the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) trial on December 1 was a major milestone for the LSA WA. It represented the culmination of years of lobbying and hard work by us alongside the AHA WA to introduce a harm minimisation scheme to alleviate

“The focus will also be on our members, as always, to ensure they are getting the best representation from us.” – Lou Spagnolo, President, LSA WA

the need for blanket liquor restrictions in regional WA. These

ASSOCIATION

road. I want to single out Minister Paul Papalia for taking the bull

NLN: What are the key issues facing independent liquor retailers in WA at the moment?

by the horns and not only honouring his pledge for a BDR in the

LS: Like every year there are numerous challenges in any small

Pilbara but now extending it to the Kimberley and promising to roll

business, however, we have worked hard with both government

it out across WA’s Goldfields should WA Labor retain government.

and industry bodies to continually ease as much pressure

measures are proven not to work and merely kick the can down the

as possible. The biggest challenge in the market today is the

NLN: What will be the immediate focus for LSA WA in 2021?

uncontrolled flow of online, cheap and at times sub-standard

LS: The focus remains on BDR widening its scope across

but because of a lack of RSA on delivery, also poses a major risk to

regional WA. We also will be looking to see what kind of

the community, for example, with under-age purchases.

liquor. This part of the industry undermines not only the market

legislation gets drawn up about the much talked about ‘carriage volume of alcohol in certain areas. This is something that

NLN: What do you see as the main challenges for LSA WA in 2021?

needs a lot of input from the industry and needs to be properly

LS: Misinformation from the health lobby, both State and Federal

considered by all relevant stakeholders

- We are currently looking at building a communications network

limits’ where people will only be allowed to carry a certain

The focus will also be on our members, as always, to

with other industry groups so we can all share data and brainstorm

ensure they are getting the best representation from us to run

approaches. Obviously each state will take the right approach for

their business and not be regulated out of the industry with

them, but the more we can speak as a united voice while lobbying

unnecessary red tape.

our state decision makers, the more influential we can be.

96 | National Liquor News


New Zealand Wine

New Zealand wine: from strength to strength This year is set to be another successful year for the New Zealand wine sector, as it continues to cater to a range of wine trends. Our friends across the Tasman produce

Natalie Grace Founder Perfectly Rieslingable

An enduring consumer demand for

many of our much loved wines. This

2020’s bright spots

lighter wines, whether in flavour profile,

love is set to continue, as the New

Grace described some of the

ABV, calories or sugar, is another reason

Zealand wine industry gears up for

highlights the New Zealand wine

that New Zealand wine is expected to

another incredible year in Australia with

industry has experienced. She

continue flourishing in Australia. Grace

predicted varietal popularity, a strong

said one of the biggest ones was:

noted that the strong ability for the sector

alignment with consumer trends and

“Realising the prediction 10 years

to capitalise on this trend stems from

a focus on sustainability all key to the

ago that New Zealand wine exports

the lighter wines research program of

sector’s success.

would double and reach a record

previous years, which was established

Natalie Grace, Founder of Perfectly

breaking $2bn by 2020 – despite

to understand how best to produce and

Rieslingable and an expert consultant on

some challenging vintages and a

market wines like this.

the New Zealand wine sector, predicts

global pandemic.

that some of the big performers for 2020

“New Zealand’s wine export

She added: “The consumer shift to moderating consumption has been more

will see similar success in Australian retail

growth is bucking a global trend,

rapid than anticipated and due to the

this year.

with lower volume and value export

initiative’s 2014 inception, New Zealand

sales among many of the world’s

has enjoyed a head start. Prior to COVID

no signs of slowing down in the retail

“Sauvignon Blanc certainly shows

major wine-exporting countries.

there was already a strong consumer trend

channel. Between May and October 2020,

While the difficulties facing the on-

towards wellness, which the pandemic has

export shipments for the latest vintage

premise channel have challenged

only accelerated and as a result, we can

Sauvignon Blanc were 50 percent higher

many, New Zealand producers have

expect to see more New Zealand lighter

than the same time the previous year,”

benefitted from increased home

wines on retail shelves.”

Grace told National Liquor News.

wine consumption, driving strong

“The general consensus as to why the

retail demand in key markets.”

approachable variety has done so well is that people tend to return to the products and brands they trust in times of crisis. The numbers reaffirm the strength of

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

‘brand’ New Zealand wine and the quality of its flagship variety. “In other styles, rosé (5.5 mil litres) has overtaken Chardonnay (4.6 mil litres) in terms of export sales and at its current rate of growth will have caught up to Pinot Gris (9.2 mil litres) in no time. And while in the past rosé was sometimes considered a bit of an afterthought, winemakers are now seeking out some of their best fruit for these customer-centric wines.” February 2021 | 97


Spirits & Cocktails Australia

2021: raising spirits, lowering taxes Spirits & Cocktails Australia reflects on the year that was and looks forward to embracing change in 2021. Great things are often borne out of adversity, and so it was for the

Greg Holland Chief Executive Spirits & Cocktails Australia

spirits industry in 2020, according to Spirits & Cocktails Australia

Tax reform to unleash potential

Chief Executive Greg Holland.

Having battled through bushfires and an international

The first wave of COVID-19 triggered a 72 per cent collapse

pandemic, the members of Spirits & Cocktails Australia are

in sales at hotels, pubs and bars, resulting in April 2020 being the

not about to take it easy in 2021. Instead, they are stepping

worst on record for Australian spirits, wine and beer producers. But

up their fight for a more equitable spirits tax regime.

Holland said he was impressed by how quickly those in the spirits

Holland said the plethora of international awards won

industry stepped up to support each other and their communities,

by Australian distillers in recent years was proof that the

citing the many craft distillers who turned their hands to making

industry was already world-class.

hand and surface sanitiser when it was in short supply.

“And there is so much more potential out there, “ Holland

“Our members also launched a number of programs to support venues and hospitality workers,” he added.

enthused. “But right now, distillers in Australia are being held back by a spirits tax that ranks as the third highest in the

“Beyond those efforts, it was a great achievement to keep our supply chains open, internationally and domestically, throughout the pandemic.”

world, behind Iceland and Norway, respectively. “To make matters worse, it’s indexed to increase twice a year. When you can often buy a bottle of Australian spirits

Another important achievement for Spirits & Cocktails Australia was forging closer ties with the Australian Distillers Association,

for less overseas than you can at home, it’s fair to say that’s a tax that is out of control and urgently needs reform.”

ASSOCIATION

fuelling high hopes for what they can achieve together in 2021.

He said Spirits & Cocktails Australia was excited to join

“We really believe that Australia’s spirits industry is on the

forces with the Australian Distillers Association to take that

threshold of international greatness,” Holland said. ”With the

message to the Commonwealth Government, especially at

right support from our policymakers, especially in terms of

a time when the hospitality and tourism sectors had been hit

spirits tax reform, we believe it has the potential to dominate

particularly hard by COVID-19.

internationally in the same way our wine does.”

“The existing spirits tax rate is currently more than nine

To help achieve that goal, Spirits & Cocktails Australia maintained a busy schedule of meetings with policymakers throughout 2020, with Holland regularly updating and

times higher than the United States, “ Holland said. “That’s an unnecessary burden hampering recovery.” “In the lead up to Budget 2021, we’ll be calling for the

rearranging a packed calendar to avoid getting caught in COVID

Federal Government to deliver a much-needed stimulus by

hot spots: “Overall, I’m proud to say that Spirits & Cocktails

pausing the biannual spirits tax indexation for three years

Australia didn’t just maintain our engagement with Federal and

and reducing the spirits rate to the brandy rate.

State Governments, we actually increased contact.”

“This would give a powerful kickstart to the domestic

In 2021, Spirits & Cocktails Australia is also committed

industry’s attempt to grow into a premium agricultural-

to building greater awareness of how Australians’ attitudes to

based export industry, as well as contributing to the

drinking have changed in recent times, with the vast majority now

recovery of our hospitality and tourism sectors.”

making responsible choices about alcohol consumption. “COVID-19 probably boosted everyone’s awareness of

Spirits & Cocktails Australia is also proposing that savings from the tax relief be reinvested to offer local distillers much

their own consumption habits because it stripped away a lot of

needed relief in the form of increasing the craft distiller

distractions. There’s a documented shift towards people drinking

excise refund.

less and choosing better quality products like our own.” 98 | National Liquor News


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Roy Morgan

After a hard year, spirits (of both kinds) are up 2020 was a tough year, but initial data is showing there is hope on the horizon for 2021, as Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, writes.

How do you know what a nation is feeling and

Real data not ‘anecdata’

thinking and doing? You ask. Not every single

In a continuous survey conducted over a 12 month

person, but a great many. Enough to let you see

period, we asked people whether they had drunk

both the big picture and all the small pixels that

any alcohol during the previous four weeks, and if

form it. That way you don’t have to speculate or

so, what kinds of alcohol and how many drinks.

guess; you can feel confident you know what’s actually going on. Take alcohol consumption, for example. Back in

Back in 2006, when we first began collecting this data to produce our Alcohol Report, 73.5 per cent of Australians 18 and over enjoyed a drink in

the early days of the COVD-19 pandemic, panic-

an average four-week period. In the 12 months to

buying in liquor stores and screenshots of Zoom

September 2020 that was down to 66.4 per cent.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

happy hours triggered a flood of opinion pieces

However while overall consumption is down,

and columns warning that Australians’ alcohol

the percentage of Australians drinking spirits is up,

consumption was on the rise, possibly dangerously

rising from 25.3 per cent in 2006 to 30.8 per cent

so. But the data showed something different.

in 2020. In terms of age-breakdowns, 18-24 year

It showed that rather than the pandemic

olds are proportionally the most likely to choose

driving the nation to drink, alcohol consumption

spirits, with 37.5 per cent doing so compared to

was continuing to decline gently during 2020,

28.1 per cent of 50-64 year olds — so much for the

as it has done for the past decade and a half. We

stereotypes of Boomers with a G&T or Scotch on

were able to say this with confidence because the

the rocks in hand (wine is by far the most popular

information came not from a straw poll, but from

choice for the Boomer generation).

a carefully chosen representative sample of more than 25,000 respondents. 100 | National Liquor News

The 18-24 year old group is also most likely to drink liqueurs, challenging lazy stereotypes.

“The data shows us that heading into 2021 Australians are feeling positive and optimistic on the whole.” Author: Michele Levine CEO Roy Morgan


Roy Morgan

Reading the national room This rigorous surveying also allows us to ‘read the national room’ through a number of key indicators, namely Consumer Confidence (released in conjunction with ANZ), Business Confidence and Inflation Expectations. These measures are very useful in normal times but in a year like the one we’ve just experienced they become a vital navigation aid for everyone in business. That’s because these figures give us a reliable insight into how secure and optimistic people are feeling about the state of the economy and their own personal financial situation, and therefore how likely they are to go out and spend money (in the case of Consumer Confidence and Inflation Expectations) or to further invest in their business and hire more people (in the case of Business Confidence). At Roy Morgan, we’ve been taking these measures for decades and 2020 was a recordsetter in all the wrong ways, with the Consumer Confidence, Business Confidence and Inflation Expectations all reaching new record lows. For Consumer Confidence, the trough came early: on March 28/29 the index bottomed out at 65.3 — lower even than during the Global Financial Crisis, and way below the 2019 average of 114.0. As the government’s economic support measures in response to lockdowns, it rose steadily until late June, when a surge of new cases in Melbourne saw it drop to 93.0 and continue falling until it hit a low of 86.5 in mid-August. Consumer Confidence resumed climbing from

Above: ANZ-Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer Confidence Rating Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January 2009 – January 2021. Average weekly sample, n = 1,000. Base: Australians 14+.

Transport, Postal & Warehousing were the only industries with Business Confidence in positive territory (above 100). But by December Business Confidence had climbed to 123.2 – its highest rating for three years and well above the long-term average of 113.4.

mid-August but it wasn’t until late October it

Very significantly, 59.7 per cent of business-owners

climbed past the mid-year high. By mid-December

said the next 12 months is “a good time to invest in

Consumer Confidence had risen to 111.2, a full 3.2

growing the business” — which is the highest this

points higher than the same period in 2019 and it

figure has been since October 2013.

has largely maintained this level over the last month to be at 108.7 in mid-January.

Looking forward If there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020 it’s

Business is optimistic again too

to take nothing for granted. That being said, the

Business Confidence took a little longer to bounce

data shows us that heading into 2021 Australians

back after its all-time low of 76.9 in April (the 2019

are feeling positive and optimistic on the whole.

average was 109.0). It had started to gain ground

The majority of consumers are ready to open their

when renewed COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria

wallets and the majority of businesses are also

and NSW took their toll — throughout July and

looking outward — very good news when it comes

August Public Administration & Defence, and

to speeding up the nation’s economic recovery.

February 2021 | 101

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

kicked in and the infection curve started to flatten


Retail Drinks Australia

The ambitious agenda of Retail Drinks Australia

Michael Waters

Retail Drinks Australia will be building on the great achievements of 2020 to advocate for the industry at critical times in 2021.

CEO Retail Drinks Australia

This advocacy is especially important given the relentless pressure of the anti-alcohol sector for more interventionist alcohol-related policy, which is expected to continue into 2021. Waters said Retail Drinks will be seeking to combat this and support the industry’s interests throughout: “a number of critical policy consultations occurring in 2021 which will have significant ramifications for the industry,” including but not limited to areas like frameworks around alcohol deliveries, Banned Drinker Registers and the review of Minimum Unit Pricing in the NT. “Whilst Retail Drinks is a relatively new organisation having only formed in 2018 (but with a long and proud legacy), there is an excellent opportunity for us to build on this foundation, continuing to lead and setting a fresh narrative for the industry The great achievements of Retail Drinks Australia in 2020 form the foundation for what CEO Michael Waters calls an “ambitious agenda” for 2021. Waters, who recently moved from the interim position of

as a whole,” Waters said. “Over the last two years, we have already seen a significant uplift in support from all parts of the industry and our membership has grown. This continued growth in membership

Acting CEO to a permanent CEO role, said the organisation will be

will enable us to build our resources to then deliver improved

building this year’s activities around four major strategic priorities,

advocacy, services and benefits for members.”

as identified at the last annual general meeting. These are based

ASSOCIATION

around driving momentum while continuing to lead and deliver

value, expanding member services and benefits, enhancing industry

Major successes of 2020

responsibility and sharing industry stories to promote the good.

Over the course of the last year Retail Drinks has had a lot

“Without a doubt, the retail liquor industry has faced and will continue to face significant challenges in responding to what is a constantly changing retailing and consumer landscape,” Waters said. “Liquor retailers can rest assured however that Retail Drinks is always on the front foot in helping to address the various regulatory

to be proud of, including: Advocacy that was a large part of the reason retail liquor

stores remained open as an essential service throughout multiple localised and national lockdowns. Advocacy that also lead to licence fee relief for packaged

and legislative challenges that emerge and ensuring that members

liquor licences across almost all states and territories,

have the most current and up-to-date information at their fingertips.”

saving licence holders over $8 million.

One of the pressing challenges that Retail Drinks anticipates

The launch of several new member services to help licence

includes the eventual winding back of various COVID-19 policy

holders save even more, including the Electricity Health

measures, including licence fee waivers.

Check which has already saved members over $250,000

“Governments will be looking to replace the income that has been lost during the pandemic so there is a need for Retail Drinks

on their energy bills (on average $5,400 per store). A partnership with DrinkWise to launch the Choose to

to be monitoring the activities of all governments to ensure that

DrinkWise initiative - a national, retail-focused message

policy development is underpinned by a balanced and evidence-

reminding consumers of the importance of making smart

based approach, rather than just revenue raising for the sake of it,”

choices when it comes to alcohol.

Waters noted. 102 | National Liquor News


E M B R AC E T H E M AG N I F I C E N T U N K N OW N


Shopper Intelligence

Tracking shopper behaviour is key to staying ahead in 2021 David Shukri, Senior Insight Director at Shopper Intelligence, writes about the importance of knowing your shopper in the year ahead.

Whichever way you look at it, 2020 was a

average 28 per cent higher than the same period a

remarkable year. We’ve experienced things many

year before. Without doubt, a stonking performance!

of us would never have predicted, and as a result,

Author: David Shukri Senior Insight Director Shopper Intelligence

So, it’s clear to see what happened. The question

many aspects of everyday life may have changed

we love to answer at Shopper Intelligence is ‘why?’

for good.

Why did shoppers do what they did in your

So where does that leave off-premise liquor?

category? Why was their behaviour different with

What’s been the impact on shopper behaviour and

one retailer compared to another? Why does this

what does that mean for category strategies?

matter to your strategy?

Nipping out for a drink at the local pub or club

Comparing shopper behaviour in September

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

was one of those ‘take it for granted’ things that

last year with the same period a year earlier reveals

got turned upside down last year. Yet, as was often

several fascinating shifts that could have a material

the case during 2020, the pandemic was both boon

impact on your category strategy.

and bane. Bane for the on-premise sector, all but mothballed for a fair chunk of the year and still

Decisions moving in-store

trying to redefine its position in a post-COVID

There’s more impulse buying in off-premise liquor

world, but a boon for the off-premise.

today than there was 12 months ago. One in four

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

104 | National Liquor News

purchases is now decided upon only once a shopper

backed up phenomenal growth figures posted

is in-store. Things like shelf layout, signage and

by many major retailers. In the three months to

secondary displays all have a bigger role to play

November 2020, sales from liquor stores were on

than in 2019.


Shopper Intelligence

This is in stark contrast with the trend in the grocery channel.

On the value side of the equation, beer categories saw the

Here we saw more pre-store planning as shoppers looked to

greatest threat. On the premium side, cider and RTDs have the

minimise the time they spent in grocery stores.

biggest trade-up opportunity.

Of course, the change was not uniform across all categories

This dynamic will be vital to address in 2021. Beyond beer,

and retailers. The wine department recorded the biggest shift in

segments in other categories will come under pressure. Brands

decision-making while inside the store. At a category level, it was

need to define the role they play and be ready to articulate their

Champagne shoppers whose behaviour changed most year-on-year.

contribution, prepared to review range, space, and pricing to

Most retailers followed the same trend. Thirteen per cent fewer Aldi shoppers are now fixed on their category choice coming into

focus more on value. Where a trade-up opportunity exists, get your shopper

the store and are more likely to be persuaded by in-store activity,

targeting right. Make the link back to those growth occasions and

while Dan Murphy’s shoppers registered an eight per cent shift. By

short-term consumption needs.

contrast, Bottlemart now sees 12 per cent more planning before entering the store. The key action for brands now is to review marketing spend. Getting the balance right between pre-store and in-store activity is crucial and they may need to boost investment at the shelf or in displays to help trigger purchases or dial-up pre-store activity such as advertising or couponing.

Same day occasions on the rise Just as more buying decisions are being made inside the store,

In a world of uncertainty, change is probably the one thing we can rely on the most in 2021. Keeping shoppers at the heart of your decision-making will help you stay ahead of the curve and the changes that are yet to come.

“There’s more impulse buying in off-premise liquor today than there was 12 months ago. One in four purchases is now decided upon only once a shopper is in-store.”

buying to consume the same day has also risen. In other words, we haven’t seen in liquor the same stocking up tendencies that were evident in grocery last year. The shift is significant and most pronounced in spirits and wine. Purchases linked to specific occasions are on the rise as well. This isn’t that surprising given the move away from on-premise consumption, but some of the specifics are interesting. Buying to drink with a meal is the biggest growth occasion and RTD and spirits categories have benefited the most from this change. Indeed, the same two departments are also in growth when it comes to relaxing at-home occasions. So how can you leverage these changes? Well, with more inhome drinking comes more demand for variety and new ideas. There is a big opportunity here to create new associations and new

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

habits by positioning products to meet those immediate needs.

Market separates on price One consequence of the pandemic we saw last year in the grocery channel was a ‘polarisation’ on price. In certain categories, shoppers are more willing to pay a bit more for higher quality. In others, the opposite is true with value products and ranges gaining traction. The same polarisation is evident in liquor. More shoppers are now prepared to consider unfamiliar low-price brands. At the same time, there’s been a smaller but still significant increase in those willing to pay a bit more. February 2021 | 105


Snooper

Where will no-alcohol beer go in 2021? Gathering momentum, ‘nolo’ is a sustainable trend not yet being capitalised on in-store, writes Laurie Wespes, CEO of Snooper.

It’s probably safe to say that no and low (‘nolo’) alcohol products,

Author: Laurie Wespes CEO Snooper

Within beer, in 2018 nolo beer in Australia sat at 0.02 per cent

whilst perhaps leaving infancy and moving into toddlerhood,

share of beer, according to IRI data. By September 2019 no-alcohol

are unlikely to be a fad or flash in the pan given the overarching

beers were up 50 per cent versus 2018. Meanwhile, BWS has

consumer trends they tap into.

seen no-alcohol beer sales increase 60 per cent last summer and

As with any new product category or segment, its instore

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) has been quoted as predicting

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

execution likewise goes through growing pains. Snooper’s

no-alcohol beer to account for two per cent of total beer by 2025.

shoppers recently had a look at how nolo beer is being executed

Globally, no-alcohol beer is projected to have a five per cent share

in-store and found a number of opportunities for improvement,

of total beer by 2027. AB Inbev has gone a step further, looking for

which we’ll discuss in this article. But first, some context.

low and no-alcohol beers to comprise 20 per cent of their volume.

The nolo beer market

Industry response: product proliferation

According to Drinkwise, in 2017 one in five adult Australians

The ability of nolo beers to compete with non-alcoholic sodas and

were avoiding alcohol and this was up from 11 per cent compared

beverages such as kombucha has been driven by the introduction

to seven years prior. This has likely increased further since,

of new products, beginning with variants from the majors. For

given the ‘mindful drinking’ trend linked to increased health

example, CUB’s Carlton Zero in 2018 was followed by Lion’s

consciousness that has only been exacerbated by the COVID

Heineken 0.0 and Peroni Libera in 2019.

pandemic, where an Illuminera study indicated that subsequent

Since then some of the craft brewers have got in on the act, both

to initial overindulgence in both snacking products and

overseas (such as Mikkeller and Brewdog), and domestically (such

alcohol earlier in the pandemic, consumers are looking to both

as Modus’ Nort, Stockade, Mornington). It should be noted that

reduce their consumption and switch to healthier alternatives.

Germany, meanwhile, has long been producing no-alcohol beers,

Accordingly, IRI data from April 2020 showed Heineken 0.0 and

by the likes of Weihenstephaner, Erdinger, Holsten and Clausthaler.

Carlton Zero to be among the top five beer brands in unit growth. Further, alongside an industry push to moderation, consumer abstention events such as Dry July, FebFast and OcSober have

Now we are also seeing the introduction of specialist noalcohol beer brands, such as Nirvana, Upflow and Sobah. The size of the nolo category, across liquor segments, is such

proliferated and represent good occasion based marketing

that there are now nolo specialist retailers such as the online pure

opportunities for no-alcohol beverages.

play company called Sans Drinks.

106 | National Liquor News


Snooper

ranging more than five no-alcohol beer brands). Whilst Heineken 0.0 and Carlton Zero were most prominent, other brands widely observed included Peroni Libera, Great Northern Zero, Nort and Corona Cero. However, share of space in the fridge under indexes at typically less than a shelf, which does not reflect the industry’s growth expectations, with some cases of the major brands observed in cool rooms of national banner stores. Further, POS is lacking versus other categories such as seltzer where category visibility and shopper education is supported by fridge decals and wobblers. Our Snoopers found limited use of branded materials

Execution: where to put nolo beer? New category segments beg the question - where should it be located in-store? With nolo products, a few options are currently being trialed. In the UK some stores are ranging no-alcohol products from all categories together in a dedicated bay, while in the Netherlands, category layout by ABV level is being trialed. Here in Australia locations vary, reflecting the current lack of knowledge about how shoppers navigate the no-alcohol segment (e.g. searching for brand first versus ABV first). In a review of

“We observed a high penetration of no-alcohol beers in the stores we visited, but a low SKU count per store (although some independents were ranging more than five no-alcohol beer brands.”

at fridge for no-alcohol beer, with the exception of alcohol-free wobblers in BWS. From the above it can be deduced that instore execution currently lags behind actual category growth and future growth expectations. Ranging both within category (fridge, coolroom, ambient) and cross category in no-alcohol bays may be required. We also expect share of shelf to improve if manufacturers and retailers want to capitalise on the full potential of this trend. More prominent signage in no-alcohol bays and POS at fridge and on-floor supported by occasion based marketing

no-alcohol beer in-store execution in December

is required to help shoppers navigate this growing

2020 across national and independent banners,

category. If those things occur, 2021 may be the year

our Snooper shoppers identified that a common

no-alcohol beer establishes its rightful place.

strategy was to block no-alcohol beer brands

together but not necessarily next to mid-strength and full-strength products. An ambient display of 13 no-alcohol beer brands was observed in some Dan Murphy’s stores. However, in some IGA and Liquorland stores no-alcohol beer was located adjacent

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

to full-strength, ostensibly to leverage brand recognition and navigation. Other independents were positioning no-alcohol beer next to midstrength, which depending on pricing could also be a premiumisation play. Some Bottlemart stores were taking a leaf out of the UK’s book, placing all no-alcohol categories together with non-alcoholic wines being adjacent to beer. We observed a high penetration of no-alcohol beers in the stores we visited, but a low SKU count per store (although some independents were

Sources: 1. Project Hearth, Illuminera Australia, November 2020 2. w ww.smh.com.au/business/companies/australia-s-no-alcohol-beer-market-froths-up-20191211-p53hp2.html 3. w ww.factmr.com/report/4473/non-alcoholic-beer-market

February 2021 | 107


Strikeforce

Bring back the excitement!

Interesting activations and promotions year round will excite, engage and reward loyal shoppers while increasing patronage, writes Stephen Wilson, Category and Insights Manager at Strikeforce.

Hello 2021. At the time of writing this article,

Catching the shopper’s eye

Australia was in the fortunate position of having

Regular touch points for brands is highly desirable

very few active COVID cases and looking forward

once the shopper has entered the store.

to a significantly brighter retail outlook than for the majority of 2020. Author: Stephen Wilson Category and Insights Manager Strikeforce

Markets and retail channels have opened,

activations, point of sale, sampling and off location displays they will need to follow a clear logical flow

and shoppers are eager to move back to more

from the time the shopper enters the transition

‘normal’ settings.

zone to the time they exit the store.

With the Christmas rush behind us, now is the

Consider in-store activation when a new product

ideal time to take a breath and consider how do

is launched, full of excitement and anticipation,

we reset the retail landscape and present the best

across a large network of corporate and fiercely

possible offering in the most appealing manner in

independent liquor stores. The objective –

each of our stores.

encourage trial and brand loyalty.

While the size of store footprint and volume of

Activation in stores would look something

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

shoppers through the door will heavily influence

like this – a communication campaign including

rates of sale and turnover, the principle to be

catalogue and digital presence alerting shoppers to

applied remains the same.

the brand being available in your store.

We are creatures of habit. We tend to enter the

An A frame (or similar) featuring the NPD

store at the same entry point, verge either left or

clearly visible outside the front of the store alerting

right, follow the same or similar path around the

liquor shoppers that the store is ranging the new

store and exit the store at the same point almost

product upon approach.

every time we do our liquor shopping. We love consistency when it comes to where

108 | National Liquor News

As an example, if there are promotional

A sampling area in or just past the transition zone, with knowledgeable brand ambassadors

we find our beer, wine or spirits but still like to be

encouraging trial as liquor shoppers enter,

surprised on the journey around the store.

spruiking product benefits and attributes that will


Strikeforce

A well thought out and designed category layout and flow is critical in maximising your return on shelf space, so it is worth engaging a space planning expert to interrogate each category and make recommendations to optimise the opportunity. Some sort of enticement for purchasing the new product could be tied into the off-location display and point of sale e.g. win a trip to Port Douglas (or similar). Finally, analyse the hard data to establish whether your sales expectations have been met and take corrective action on the fly if required. Can you imagine the opportunity and incremental revenue that could be generated if this process was applied across categories on selected brands on a rotational basis? Generating the same level of excitement all year round and providing an engaging in-store experience is a sure fire way of keeping your loyal shoppers engaged and rewarded with a better shopping experience while also increasing patronage. Keeping the offer interesting, providing a clean appeal to the target shopper and provide a potential

store environment, engaging in sampling programs,

solution for their shopping mission.

employing a well-constructed communication

An off-location display on the journey around

campaign, rotating promotional offers and making

the store, highly visible, visually appealing, clearly

the best possible use of finite retailing space all

ticketed and even a flyer or sign celebrating the

contribute to higher sales and revenue over time.

features and benefits of the new product (for those

“We love consistency when it comes to where we find our beer, wine or spirits but still like to be surprised on the journey around the store.”

who might avoid the sampling area). Ideally the floor space used for the off-location display has brands regularly rotated on a fortnightly or monthly basis and is located between the sampling area and category location. These displays are most effective when there is an element of entertainment or shopper interaction involved.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

New sources of excitement While there are strict restrictions around marketing liquor products there is still room for some theatre, an element that is sometimes sadly lacking in the often-sterile world of retail sales. There should be a well-defined and marked area of the shelf or fridge clearly identifying the new product, enough facings and most importantly enough stock weight for the sampling program, display stock, shelf stock and some safety stock to avoid lost sales. February 2021 | 109


Wine Intelligence

Wine Intelligence’s predictions for 2021 The organisation’s annual exercise in soothsaying suggests what the next 12 months will bring, writes Ben Luker, Country Manager – Australia and New Zealand.

Country Manager – Australia and New Zealand Wine Intelligence

2020 will be remembered for many things –

base of outlets. In some ways this will be great news

including some unexpected silver linings. In a

for the wine sector, which supplies these industries

world of lockdowns and economic uncertainty,

and tends to sell more value-added product in

consumers took comfort in things they could

hospitality settings. In other ways it will be less

easily access and that felt uplifting – speaking

good: people will have more diverse opportunities

to friends, reading (or re-reading) books,

to spend money than they do right now, and that

cooking, participating in outdoor exercise and

diversion of spending away from food and wine to

buying local. It was also a good year for some

drink at home will take some of the sparkle out of

sectors of the wine industry with producers and

the off-premise wine market.

importers quickly pivoting to selling more direct

On the whole, we see a mixed picture for wine

to consumers and via other online channels, and

in 2021. Economically, there will be hard times

providing them a comforting reason to do so. It

in many consumption markets, as countries take

was also a devastating year for so many businesses

stock of the damage to government finances and

associated with wine – restaurants, hotels, bars,

the wider economy and tax rates rise to start to

catering and tourism.

pay for yawning fiscal deficits. With less money

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

Our view is that changing the calendar to 2021

110 | National Liquor News

Author: Ben Luker

in our pockets, and uncertainty over our future

will not immediately change the narrative, though

employment and wealth prospects, we are unlikely

we think that normal service may start to resume by

to want to splash out. On the other hand, wine has

the middle of the year, as vaccinations become more

become a more central part of many consumers’

widespread and the medical community learns

lives over the past 12 months. For some, it is a

more about how to control the virus. More activities

case of a habit restored; in others, it will be a new

will become possible, including travel and eating

legacy of lockdown. In both cases, we think the

out, and those in the tourism industries and the

habits of both drinking wine and caring about

on-premise with the financial strength and smarts

wine will persist for some time, or at least until

to remain solvent will have a great second half of

our lives become so busy and crowded with other

2021 as pent-up demand is released onto a smaller

interests again.


Wine Intelligence

But what about specific trends? No year is easy to call ahead

their consumer bases. Many players had already been running

of time. However, if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that

e-commerce transaction platforms, but many were not well

fundamental trends in consumer behaviour don’t go away, they are

funded or loved. In 2020, the website and app sales channels

just enhanced or suppressed by circumstances. So, if some of the

became the heroes.

wine market trends below seem familiar, this is entirely deliberate.

Will it be the same in 2021? Perhaps not. The pickings won’t be as easy, as retailers and on-premise become unshackled from

Volume and value

pandemic restrictions. However, the Covid era has provided

The first prediction is that wine volumes will decline and spend

strong momentum to businesses that have invested in their direct

per bottle will rise – though this may be largely due to rising

relationships with consumers – and 2021 offers an opportunity

alcohol taxes.

to consolidate this bridgehead. Meanwhile, in-person cellar door

If 2020 turned out to be an unexpectedly good year for some

visitors will be limited to day-tripper locals for some time to

parts of the wine category, 2021 may see a reversion to the

come, and it will be late next year before we see the re-emergence

traditional picture of declining volumes and price per bottle

of the classic out-of-town tourist trade.

inching up as consumers look to spend their ‘alcohol budget’ in more interesting and rewarding ways. Governments around the

Online retail

world will be actively looking for ways to plug the frightening

The penultimate prediction is that the surge in online retail usage

gaps in their finances built up by the pandemic, and ‘sin taxes’

will continue, and investment and growing competition will

will be an easy target. Rising prices will be mitigated by excess

reshape the online channel and enhance delivery speed.

stock from a number of production countries coming onto market in 2021.

We are learning to spend more time at home, and a day peppered with the arrival of several deliveries has come to seem normal. However, our newfound home-working existence

Packaging and format

does not appear to have curtailed our desire to have what we

The next prediction is that alternative packaging formats will

want immediately. The surge in online wine retail participation

make serious inroads into the traditional glass bottle market.

and sales volumes that was clearly observed in a number of

The glass bottle’s primacy in the wine world is not under threat – for the moment. However, around the edges of its dominance, alternative packaging formats are flourishing to cater

markets will continue in 2021, boosted by significant investment and consolidation. The key offer for 2021 will not be range or pricing so much as

to new needs, and there is a growing chorus of concern about the

immediacy: the traditional e-commerce model of order today,

amount of carbon emitted to produce a glass bottle and ship it

get it sometime next week, will be overtaken by operators who

to market. 2020 was an unexpectedly good year for the bag-in-

can fulfil today’s orders today. There may also be synergies

box format, as bulk purchase lent itself particularly well to the

with adjacent industries, such as high-end or speciality food

zeitgeist of pantry-filling and at-home drinking.

production, to ease the logistical burden and costs of a fast

Paradoxically, it was also a good year for wine in cans, which,

delivery model.

evaporate at a moment’s notice, offered the three Ps: portability,

Wine based hard seltzers

portion control and preservation. In 2021, the momentum in

And the final prediction is: the ‘wine seltzer’ market will take off.

the bag-in-box and can markets will continue, with a spate of

The hard seltzer category was virtually unknown five years ago

new product launches to deliver higher quality as well as more

– today, it is the hottest thing in the alcohol beverage industry. In

functional products.

the US, its home market, it has seen triple-digit percentage growth over the past two years and is predicted to triple again in size by

The winery and consumer relationship The next prediction is that wineries will forge more meaningful

2023, according to analysis from IWSR. This is all the more remarkable given that the product itself

and lasting direct relationships with their consumer bases, but

is simply a mildly flavoured sparkling water….a bit like a wine

wine tourism will take a long time to recover

spritzer, though with more sweetness. Where, then, is the ‘wine

One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that it provided

seltzer’ market? Not far behind, we think. Some products already

the opportunity, and the motivation, for wine producers and

exist in this space, but we predict that 2021 will see a concerted

intermediaries to reach out and connect more strongly with

effort by wine producers to ride the hard seltzer wave.

February 2021 | 111

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

in an ad-hoc 2020 where social plans could materialise and


Wine Australia

Adaptation key for Wine Australia

Being agile when faced with the challenges of 2020 has helped Wine Australia support the local grape and wine sector, according to CEO Andreas Clark. For the Australian wine industry, 2020 was an extremely

Andreas Clark CEO Wine Australia

Elsewhere, another big opportunity that Clark sees for

challenging year on multiple fronts. However, the industry has

Australian wine this year surrounds the value of being digital.

persevered throughout these hard times and is looking forward to

Consumers have embraced the online world more than ever in the

a new year, a new vintage and new opportunities.

past year, and Clark said “wineries have an opportunity to develop

In reflecting on the year that was, Wine Australia has noted some valuable achievements, with CEO Andreas Clark describing silver linings to the clouded year. “I’m really pleased that over this tumultuous year, we have

enduring relationships with consumers in the online environment.” Wine Australia also has this opportunity at the top of its list for this year, planning to launch interactive insights tools for the industry and finding innovative ways to engage with

continued to deliver for the grape and wine sector. We needed

an international audience to communicate the benefits of

to change how we delivered our services and how we supported

Australian wine.

the sector with marketing, research, development and adoption (RD&A) or regulation,” Clark said. This kind of successful adaptation is part of Wine Australia’s strategy heading into 2021, supporting the industry as it continues to tackle the long term impacts of last year and the subsequent

“I’m really pleased that over this tumultuous year, we have continued to deliver for the grape and wine sector.” – Andreas Clark, CEO, Wine Australia

‘new normal.’ Clark noted that: “Our immediate focus is helping the sector to adjust to the changed market conditions.” This will be done through the virtual ‘Far From Ordinary’

A year of two halves

ASSOCIATION

campaign, which will host a series of activities across the globe

Clark described how the events of 2020 impacted Australia’s

as well as an ongoing digital marketplace; an ambitious R&D

wine sector, through results in different areas. In regards to

agenda, which will seek to address major issues including those

exports, he said it “really was a year of two halves” noting:

surrounding climate change; and continued monitoring of the

“For the 12 months to 30 June 2020, exports had declined

situation in China, after anti-dumping investigations and the

by one per cent and the average value increased by nine

introduction of tariffs up to 212.1 per cent on Australian wine.

per cent. The average price per litre for Australian bottled

The latter has been a hot topic in recent months and Clark noted: “The Australian wine sector has fully cooperated with

exports increased by eight per cent. “In the July to September 2020 quarter, the value of

Chinese Ministry of Commerce investigations, including

exports increased by 23 per cent compared to the same

providing comprehensive responses to detailed questionnaires.

period in 2019, which came after declines of four per cent

We are confident that Australian wine is not being dumped in

in the April to June quarter and seven per cent in the

the market and that our growers and producers do not benefit from subsidies. “The Australian wine sector has made a long-term commitment to building the market for Australian wine in China and building close ties with the China wine trade and consumers. Wine Australia will continue to support the efforts of the Australian grape and wine community in developing new markets and growing existing opportunities.” 112 | National Liquor News

January to March quarter. “Exports grew by four per cent for the 12 months to 30

September 2020, with value growth in each of our top five export markets. The decline in volume continued, down 0.4 per cent, while average value grew four per cent. “The growth in exports was dominated by an 18 per cent

increase in the value of exports to the United Kingdom.”


Year in review We take a look back at some of the biggest off-premise stories of 2020.

February 2021 | 113


Year in review

January Administrators looking to recapitalise or sell McWilliams McWilliam’s Wines Group has appointed voluntary administrators to recapitalise the business, or find a buyer for the group. KMPG partners Gayle Dickerson, Tim Mableson and Ryan Eagle were appointed after McWilliams said a number of factors contributed to the decision and to a decline in business performance. 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 its employees while we work hard to

Devastation in the Adelaide Hills will be felt for years

try to preserve one of Australia’s oldest winemakers.”

Adelaide Hills winemakers and producers have begun to assess the damage caused by the devastating Cudlee Creek fire that tore through the region just before Christmas in 2019. Around one-third of the Adelaide Hills’ vineyards stood in the path of the fire including more than 60 grape growers and producers, many of which are small family businesses that had to deal with the shock of

Endeavour Drinks to take Shorty’s national

having lost everything.

Endeavour Drinks Group has acquired a majority interest in Shorty’s Liquor, in a

Kerry Treuel, Executive Officer of Adelaide Hills Wine Region told The Shout the region is likely to be feeling the effects of this disaster for many years to come. “Broadly we know that approximately 30 per cent of the region’s vineyards (1100 – 1200ha) were in the fire area but the damage to all of these is yet to determined. “Unfortunately, some vineyards are completely gone but there are other areas

strategic move to enter the growing business to business channel where they are currently unrepresented. 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 continues to lead the business within the broader Endeavour Group. Endeavour Drinks Managing Director Steve Donohue told National Liquor News the initial focus was on identifying areas where Endeavour can support the entry of Shorty’s into new markets. “From Shorty’s point of view Endeavour has the capacity to provide

where vines are still intact with no fire damage.

resources to grow the business and achieve a national footprint as well as

We are working closely with The Australian Wine

providing broader career and development opportunities for the Shorty’s

Research Institute (AWRI), Vinehealth Australia

team,” he said.

and industry experts to understand the damage and salvage as much as possible.”

“We have a proud track record partnering with innovative players in drinks having successfully integrated the likes of Dan Murphy’s, Cellarmasters and Jimmy Brings into our portfolio.”

114 | National Liquor News


Year in review

February

Michael Clarke

Industry expresses disappointment over FSANZ’s pregnancy labelling decision

Treasury Wine Estates downplays US ‘speed bump’

Leading industry bodies have criticised Food Standards Australia-New

Outgoing Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) CEO

Zealand (FSANZ) over its new mandatory pregnancy labels which have

Michael Clarke has promised to rectify the

been described as short-sighted, flawed and ineffective.

company’s American woes following a FY20

Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) said FSANZ has previously

earnings downgrade this week.

acknowledged there is no evidence that warning labels change behaviour

TWE now expects EBITS growth of between

of ‘at-risk’ groups, but is now imposing mandatory labels, which will be

five and 10 per cent in FY20, which is below the

a major cost for producers and growers already struggling after recent

previously guided 15 to 20 per cent range.

bushfires and floods.

Clarke said the culprit was the

“Our industry has made it very clear to FSANZ that we support making

underperforming Americas division, which

the existing voluntary pregnancy labelling scheme mandatory,” said

reported a 17 per cent decline in EBITS to

Andrew Wilsmore, ABA CEO.

$98.3m and an EBITS margin of 16.1 per cent

“This decision is a bitter disappointment – these new labels will

(down 3.6 percentage points).

impose costs of another $400m, for no significant improvement in health outcomes.”

“A loss of execution momentum, contributed to by unforeseen changes in regional

The industry made close to 100 submissions to FSANZ all arguing

management, was exacerbated by the

against the design proposal. Australian Grape and Wine also said it was

persistence of challenging conditions in the

deeply disappointed by the move and urged the Ministerial Forum on Food

US wine market which accelerated in Q2 post

Regulation to reject it immediately.

vintage,” the company said. TWE reported a six per cent increase in EBITS for the half year to $366.7 million, with net profit after tax up five per cent to $229.2 million. The Australia and New Zealand division reported ten per cent EBITS growth to $85.9 million, while Asia reported 19 per cent EBITS growth to $175.5 million.

Endeavour Group merger complete, plans begin for separation The merger of Endeavour Drinks and ALH

knowledge of the industry and deep

Group came into effect on February 4,

understanding of the business, they’re

creating Australia’s largest integrated drinks

ideally placed to oversee the next phase

and hospitality business, Endeavour Group.

of growth for Endeavour Group, while

Woolworths Group holds 85.4 per cent of the combined Endeavour Group

also sustaining and building on our existing partnership.”

and 14.6 per cent is owned by Bruce

Woolworths Group will now

Mathieson Group, Woolworths’ joint

consider options for the planned

venture partner in ALH.

separation of Endeavour Group, which

Woolworths Group Chairman, Gordon Cairns, said: “With their in-depth

|is hoped to be achieved by the end of the financial year. February 2021 | 115


Year in review

March Australia’s most valuable brands revealed Brand Finance, a leading independent branded business valuation and strategy consultancy, has published its 2020 Australia 100 report, detailing the most valuable and strongest brands in the country. Woolworths come out on top, while Coles also made the top five and XXXX was the

Bottle shops classed as an essential service

most valuable alcohol brand.

As part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Stage One lockdown measures,

Woolworths reclaimed the title after overtaking last year’s number one, Telstra, thanks to a five per cent uplift in brand value to $11.8bn. The 2020 Australian 100, also saw a number of wine brands breaking into the top 100. Brand Finance said: “Six wine brands

bottle shops have been classed as an essential service and permitted to continue trading, including those attached to a pub or club. While this is good news for liquor stores, Retail Drinks Australia is urging its members to be prepared for possible Stage Two measures and encourages them to think about how they could supply for home delivery. Retail Drinks has been working in collaboration and conjunction with

have entered the ranking this year, with five of

Carlton & United Breweries, Lion, Diageo, Spirits & Cocktails Australia,

these owned by Treasury Wine Estates.

Brewers Association, Australian Grape & Wine, Endeavour Drinks, Coles Liquor,

“Following nearly a decade-long wine glut – significant oversupply of product – the sector is now entering a period of growth, largely thanks to the exports business boosting profits across the board.” The six wine brands debuting on the list are

Australian Liquor Marketers, and more, to ensure consistency in messaging. The collaborative position is that liquor retailers, including takeaway, should be allowed to continue to trade. Julie Ryan, CEO of Retail Drinks, told National Liquor News: “We are here to support with training materials etc. all from our Online Code which can help people do delivery safely and responsibly.”

Lindeman’s at 50, Beringer at 56, Wolf Blass at 69, Yellow Tail at 74, Penfolds at 78 and Blossom Hill at 81. XXXX was ranked 32 in the list overall, the

The world’s most powerful wine brands

highest for any alcohol brand and was the

The Wine Intelligence Global Wine

only beer brand to crack the top 100.

Brand Power Index for 2020 has

Other industry-related brands listed in

been released, with Yellow Tail and

the Australian 100 include IGA at 58 and

Casillero del Diablo topping the list

Liquorland at 75.

for the third year in a row. The Index tracked decreasing consumer awareness levels as well as lower purchase levels. It’s the second time that Yellow Tail and Casillero del Diablo have topped the Index. Australian and Chilean brands perform very well in the index relative to the size of wine production in these countries. Jacob’s Creek is ranked fourth in the Index, dropping down from third in 2019, while Lindeman’s has moved up one place from 12th to 11th.

116 | National Liquor News


Year in review

April

Liquor industry unites for review of WA liquor retail limits The industry has urged the government to review the temporary liquor restrictions in WA, adopted in response to panic buying in the state. The Liquor Stores Association WA (LSA WA) and Retail Drinks Australia recommended the restrictions be brought into line with the voluntary national initiative adopted by Retail Drinks on 31 March. In Retail Drinks’ submission to the WA Government, it was highlighted that the WA limits as they are currently imposed are too complicated for both retail team members

Angus McPherson

Diageo Australia names its new Managing Director Diageo’s President Greater China and Asia, Sam Fischer, has

and consumers to calculate, and don’t reflect usual ordering patterns. The submission noted: “The 2.25 litre limit on wines is three standard 750ml bottles. However, cask wine packaging comes in two, three, four or five litre formats, so all retailers in WA are unable to retail cask wines beyond the two litre size. “Further, the restriction on beer, cider and premix is 11.25 litres, which is a carton (24 bottles) of drinks in the 500ml size.” Another factor that both LSA WA and Retail Drinks are urging the WA Government

announced former Managing Director

to consider is that the current restrictions are directly disadvantaging WA businesses

of Treasury Wine Estates, Angus

compared to those that are being taken up in other states and territories.

McPherson will take over from David Smith at Diageo Australia. McPherson will report into Fischer and will lead Diageo’s Australia and New Zealand business. McPherson said: “I’m excited about joining Diageo, a company that globally is one of the best brand builders in our industry. I look forward to working with the team in Australia, building on the platform that David and the entire team have put in place

ACCC will not oppose Asahi’s acquisition of CUB

over the past five years.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it will not

“These are challenging times for many of our customers, and I’m energised around working to find

oppose Asahi’s $16bn acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries after Asahi agreed to divest two of its beer brands and three cider brands. The brands to be sold are Stella Artois and Beck’s as well as Strongbow, Bonamy’s

solutions to support the customers that

and Little Green Cider. The ACCC said it will need to approve the future buyer of the

are such great partners with Diageo.”

brands, but Asahi said it welcomed the decision and had agreed to the divestment.

McPherson will move into the

A spokesperson for Asahi said: “We will now be putting in place steps to

role this month and Smith is moving

establish a standalone, independent business unit to help manage the divestment

to Spain to take up a new role

of these brands.

with Diageo as Managing Director, Southern Europe.

“The deal requires the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Asahi will continue to work with the regulators towards this.”

February 2021 | 117


Year in review

May Greg Holland

Australian alcohol consumption hits 50-year low The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Roy Morgan have released figures highlighting the long- and short-term drinking habits of Australians, and both show consumption is continuing to decrease. The long-term figures from ABS show that Australians are drinking less alcohol overall than any time in the previous 50 years. The data looks at the quantity of pure alcohol available from beer, wine, spirits, ready to drink (RTD) beverages and cider, plus estimates of the total volume of beer and wine available for consumption. “Across all alcoholic beverages, there were 9.7 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption in 2013-14 for every person in Australia aged 15 years and over,” said Louise Gates from the ABS. “This is the lowest level since the early 1960’s.”

Spirits & Cocktails Australia announces new leadership

from 38.2 per cent to 37.6 per cent. Cider dropped from 11.4 per cent to 10.7

Spirits & Cocktails Australia has confirmed

from 6.5 per cent to 5.8 per cent and fortified wine dropped from 4.9 per cent

the appointment of Greg Holland as CEO and

to 4.2 per cent.

Wine drinking decreased from 42.8 per cent to 41.0 per cent, while beer fell per cent and RTD remained unchanged on 10.8 per cent. Finally, liqueurs fell

the election of a new Executive Committee to lead the organisation into the future. Reflecting on his appointment Holland said, “I am honoured and excited to have been

ALM: “As strong if not stronger post-COVID-19”

selected to lead Spirits & Cocktails Australia.

In his first year as CEO of Australian

“2020 has delivered a series of

Liquor Marketers (ALM), Chris Baddock

inconceivable challenges, beginning with the

faced the Black Summer of bushfires

catastrophic bushfire season that affected

and now a global pandemic. But he

so many in our industry and supply chains,

has nothing but praise for the way

and now the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. But the

his team and the wider Metcash

spirits industry is innovative and resilient.

leadership group has handled the crisis

“I look forward to continuing to work with our members to deliver our plan for recovery and to write the pages of a new chapter for Spirits & Cocktails Australia.” Diageo Australia’s newly appointed CEO, Angus McPherson, was selected as Chair of the new Executive Committee, replacing his predecessor David Smith.

and are together working towards being stronger on the other side.

“Metcash has proven their worth culturally in regards to the way that we’ve communicated across the team and how the group leadership team has come together,” Baddock told National Liquor News. Baddock says that the main focus at ALM is first and foremost the safety of their people as well as how quickly and safely the on-premise can reopen. But beyond that, it’s about supply and it’s about making sure that they are “as strong if not stronger post-COVID-19”.

118 | National Liquor News

Chris Baddock speaking at the 2019 IBA conference


Year in review

June Julie Ryan steps down as Retail Drinks CEO Retail Drinks Australia has announced Julie Ryan will be stepping down as CEO, effective 1 July 2020. Michael Waters, former Chief Acting CEO and will be provided

Retailers react to Amazon Australia’s new liquor store

with ongoing support by Ryan in

Amazon Australia’s newly launched alcohol delivery

a consulting capacity.

service has garnered mixed feedback from independent

Operating Officer, will step in as

Retail Drinks had many notable achievements with Ryan at the

liquor retailers – many of which were quick to point

helm, including advocating for retailers in the Northern Territory

out an apparent supply chain issue being faced by the

alcohol reforms and launching the first-ever Code of Conduct

e-commerce giant.

for Online Alcohol Sales and Deliveries. Ryan recognised the significant journey of Retail Drinks and reaffirmed her commitment to supporting its success in the future. “Together with my team we have delivered on the goal to create an industry- leading organisation and team committed to delivering real impact on behalf of our members,” Ryan said. “I look forward to being part of the leadership transition

The general feedback from retailers has been varied: some have raised disappointment in the suppliers that are supporting Amazon Australia while others have questioned the viability of Amazon’s business model in Australia as a whole. Overall there was a sense that independent retailers are stronger than ever and are well prepared to take on the new competition.

before taking on my next challenge.”

Little Creatures and XXXX back online after Lion cyber attack A cyber attack has caused Lion to shut down some of their systems, causing disruption to suppliers and customers. In Lion’s latest update on the situation, it described how operations had been paused at breweries due to the reliance on shutdown IT systems. Although there was some stock on hand, the pause would cause temporary shortages on both packaged and keg products. A statement issued by Lion had earlier said: “While our systems are offline, we have worked very hard to be able to supply a limited number of key products to our customers. We will continue to accept and fulfil orders as best we can, using interim manual processes where we need to.” Lion has now confirmed that both Little Creatures breweries

In a statement, the company said: “We apologise to our

and the XXXX brewery are now back online and have resumed

consumers and customers, especially those who are only

production. It said the team is working around the clock to be

just getting their own venues back up and running following

able to restart production elsewhere safely also, although it’s not

COVID-19 closures. We thank them for their patience as we do

possible to give exact time frames at this stage.

everything we can to get back to normal supply levels.” February 2021 | 119


Year in review

July Michael Waters takes the helm at Retail Drinks Australia Michael Waters has now officially stepped into the role of Acting CEO at Retail Drinks, after founding CEO Julie Ryan announced her departure last month. Prior to the national merger and formation of Retail Drinks in late 2018, Waters held the position of Executive Director and Company Secretary for the Liquor Stores Association NSW and ACT. He was a member of the strategic and structural review team that led to the creation of Retail Drinks, and since its inception, has played a key role in the company’s evolution in his capacity

McWilliam’s creditors vote to secure company’s future

as Chief Operating Officer.

KPMG’s Gayle Dickerson, Tim Mableson and

to lead Retail Drinks and look forward to continuing to build on and shape

Ryan Eagle confirmed McWilliam’s Wines

Retail Drinks’ industry leadership,” said Waters.

Group creditors have voted in favour of the

“It goes without saying that Julie has done an absolutely tremendous job, leaving the organisation in a strong position. I am grateful for the opportunity

“I have been incredibly fortunate to have been with this organisation in

Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA)

its various capacities for over 11 years and remain deeply passionate about

put forward by global capital and asset

the industry.

management firm, Prcstnt Asset Management.

“The past 12 months have been significant and unprecedented, and Retail

Dickerson, Mableson and Eagle were

Drinks has demonstrated that our role has never been more important to the

appointed as Administrators to McWilliam’s

retail liquor industry, with a number of key accomplishments that achieve our

on 8 January 2020. The Administrators

vision of enhancing the freedom to retail responsibly.”

continued to trade the business during the DOCA process with an expectation that Prcstnt will assume full control of McWilliam’s

“Huge cultural shift” in Australia’s drinking habits

by October 2020.

The Australian Institute of Health and

David Pitt, McWilliam’s Wines Group CEO,

Welfare (AIHW) National Drug Strategy

who will continue to lead the business, said:

Household Survey 2019 has been released

“Whilst it has been a challenging journey over

and shows that while there is work to

the past six months from bushfires to voluntary

do in some areas, there are long-term

administration and a pandemic, we are now

improvements across a range Australia’s

very excited to have our future confirmed.

drinking habits.

“The McWilliam’s family for six generations

The survey, which is conducted every

have demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit

three years, found that 83.2 per cent of people are drinking moderately or

required to take on all challenges before

abstaining, which is a 4.2 per cent improvement from 2001.

them, now myself and the broader team are very much looking forward to working with Prcstnt Asset Management as the new custodians of that legacy to ensure

It also found that the average age of first drink has also gone up from 14.7 years old in 2001 to 16.2 years in 2019. Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia, welcomed the survey’s findings that more Australia’s are drinking responsibly.

the McWilliam’s brand lives on for future

“These results signal a huge cultural shift has taken place in Australia,” he said.

generations within Australian wine heritage.”

“We are now more likely to intervene when someone is binge drinking or not in control, whereas a few decades ago, they may have been cheered on.”

120 | National Liquor News


Year in review

August Key industry trends being shaped by COVID-19 Different organisations and analysts have continually been assessing the impact of

Should petrol stations be able to sell alcohol?

COVID-19 on both global and domestic markets,

In recent months, the rejection of a liquor licence for a Caltex petrol

including IWSR, who says it has identified six key

station in Moonah, as well as other rejected and pending applications

macro trends that are driving and shaping the

for general and convenience stores across Tasmania, has resurfaced

industry: Digital and Ecommerce, Sophistication

the question in the state as of late.

and Premiumisation, Evolving Traditions, External

One group in support of these applications is the Australasian

Pressures, Health and Ethical Consumption and

Association of Convenience Stores (AACS). Its CEO, Jeff Rogut, said the

Social Drinking Experiences.

debate on this topic is not new and not confined just to Tasmania either.

IWSR said: “Premium-and-above spirits are forecast to increase their global volume market share to 13 per cent by 2024 as consumers

“AACS would like to see convenience stores nationally being able to sell select ranges of alcohol,” Rogut told National Liquor News. “Convenience store operators are proven responsible retailers. We

continue to favour quality over quantity, including

sell age-restricted products such as tobacco and lottery tickets and,

cocktails and high-end sipping spirits.”

with the appropriate training in place, we can safely and responsibly

Premiumisation has been a key trend in Australia

sell packaged alcohol too, as convenience stores around the world do.”

for many years as consumers spend more but drink less and IWSR said in terms of forecasting ahead to 2024 “the premiumisation trend continues to influence market developments”. IWSR forecasts: “local products and

CUB confirms new executive team Asahi Beverages confirmed the new

experiences – accelerated by travel restrictions

executive team of the alcohol division

and closed borders during the pandemic – will

in Australia, which will operate under

continue to gain popularity as consumers rally

the Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)

behind symbolic and job-sustaining producers.”

name. The two alcohol businesses are

Overall IWSR is projecting confidence in the long-term, saying that despite the current

set to be combined by Q4 2020.

Peter Filipovic, CEO, Carlton & United Breweries

Asahi Beverages Oceania Region will be headed up by Group CEO

unpredictability and the economic outlook of the

Robert Iervasi, and operate three Business Divisions:

ongoing pandemic, the beverage alcohol market

• Asahi Lifestyle Beverages, the non-alcohol Business Division in Australia,

is showing “real pockets of resilience.”

headed up by CEO Stuart Roberts • Asahi Beverages New Zealand, New Zealand’s alcohol and non-alcohol Business Division, led by Andrew Campbell as CEO • Carlton & United Breweries, the alcohol Business Division in Australia, headed-up by CEO Peter Filipovic A spokesperson for CUB said the following appointment are taking place: • Peter Bingeman has been appointed to GM, Sales CUB • Michael Ritoli has been appointed to GM, CUB Premium Beverages • David Stingl has been appointed to GM, Fire & Earth Ventures (formerly known as ZX Ventures • Asha Skyring has been appointed to GM, Strategy & Analytics • Brian Phan will continue as GM, Marketing for CUB February 2021 | 121


Year in review

September Dan Murphy’s rolls out digital screen network Dan Murphy’s has rolled out a network of 228 digital screens at the entry of stores nationwide, which will offer drinks brands an immediate and highly visible channel to engage with shoppers. Woolworths Group’s retail media business, Cartology, has already rolled out 975 of

Leveraging the seltzer opportunity According to Delphine Lambert, Liquor Senior Associate Consultant, IRI, hard seltzers are making a lot of noise in the liquor industry. After becoming the leading growth segment in the US, hard seltzers are now arriving (en masse) to the UK and Australia.

these digital screens at the entrance of Woolworths supermarkets. Mike Tyquin, Cartology’s Managing Director, said that the introduction of the screens at Dan Murphy’s gives drinks brands the opportunity to reach 9.3 million customers.

The common attribute is the ubiquity of ‘better-for-you’ claims: low or

“It’s an exciting opportunity to give drinks

no sugar and artificial sweeteners or preservatives, gluten free, low or zero

brands a direct path to inform and impact our

calories and carbohydrates, as well as being infused with natural flavours.

highly engaged Dan Murphy’s customers, at a

From an Australian perspective, the seltzer market is still very much in a

moment when they’re looking for inspiration.”

nascent phase. Lion was the first mover with Quincy in October last year,

Diageo is one of the first brands to

generating approximately $1.6m in MAT to 03/05/20. Coles Liquor has

promote their drinks on the screens and Chief

launched its private label range Somma and some other brands like Actual,

Marketing Officer Andrew Oughton said they

Hint and Good Tides have entered the market as well.

are excited to “drive shopper impact across

However, the biggest local launch will almost certainly be White Claw. Under a deal with Mark Anthony Brands International, Lion will import, market and exclusively distribute White Claw in Australia from October this year. But what remains to be seen is will the Australian liquor industry capitalise on this huge trend and give its own definition to this booming category?

our brand portfolio”. The new digital screens will be installed at the front of 228 stores over the coming months, with the final rollout to be completed in Victoria as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Australia’s best gins revealed The 2020 Australian Gin Awards have been revealed

– we knew this gin was good however we didn’t

at a small socially distanced and COVID-safe

expect this much success so soon.”

presentation event in Sydney. It was a special night for new kid on the block Ester Spirits, winning Best in Class for the Australian Navy Gin, for its ‘Strong Gin.’ The NSW-based Ester also won the joint Best in Show trophy, sharing the top spot with popular South Australian distillery, Never Never Distilling Co. Ester owners Felix and Corinne Clark were

122 | National Liquor News

The Six Category trophy winners are: • Classic Dry: Never Never Distilling Southern Strength Gin • Contemporary Style Gin: Imperial Measures Distilling Ounce Signature Gin • Matured Gin: The West Winds Sur Lie Gin • Old Tom Gin: Settlers Spirits Old Tom Gin

thrilled with their success, and Felix said: “This is

• Australian Navy Gin: Ester Spirits Strong Gin

truly amazing. Our company is only five months old

• Flavoured Gin: The West Winds Wild Plum Gin


Year in review

October Heineken to acquire Asahi’s sell-off brands Heineken has agreed to a deal with Asahi Beverages

LMG reveals corporate rebranding

to acquire the five brands the Japanese brewer

Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) has revealed a new logo and tagline as

needed to offload as part of its deal to buy Carlton

part of a corporate rebrand that recognises the evolution of the group.

& United Breweries (CUB). In reviewing Asahi’s bid to buy CUB, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The new logo has sleek, one-font, blue and black writing, clearly illustrating the LMG name alongside the new tagline of ‘Retail Excellence Together.’

said it would not oppose the $16bn acquisition

LMG CEO Gavin Saunders told National Liquor News the changes

if Asahi divested two of its beer and three of its

come after 14 consecutive quarters of volume growth and investment in

cider brands.

the tools to help members succeed.

Heineken signed for the ownership of Strongbow,

“Over the past few years, the entire LMG team has worked hard

Little Green and Bonamy’s, plus Stella Artois and

to achieve some very stretched business goals all aimed at providing

Beck’s, subject to regulatory approval.

exceptional support to our members and providing them with the best

The deal sees Strongbow reunited with its owner

tools and opportunities to help them succeed. We have invested heavily

outside of Australia and New Zealand, as Heineken

in innovation and technology, e-commerce and digital marketing, and

owns the brand in the rest of the world.

streamlining our systems for data and insights,” Saunders said.

The move will see the five brands distributed

The rebranding recognises the evolution of LMG, marking the

in Australia by Drinkworks, the Australian sales

next step for the company. The new tagline also symbolises how the

and marketing arm of DB Breweries Limited (DB),

requirements of a retail banner group have changed and shows how

Heineken’s wholly-owned Australasian subsidiary.

LMG has embraced that.

Drinkworks currently distributes a range of Heineken and DB beers and ciders in Australia, including Tiger, Sol, Monteith’s Beer and Cider and

Reflecting on a life in liquor retail

Orchard Thieves Cider.

Shane Tremble played a key role in

Asahi said there will be no manufacturing job losses nor brewery closures associated with this deal.

shaping the Australian retail liquor industry into what it is today. National Liquor News caught up with him as he prepares for retirement from his role as General Manager Group Service at Endeavour Group in 2021. Tremble first joined the liquor industry in the late 70s and occupied many roles throughout his illustrious and respected career. He has had experience in purchasing, category management, running a private label, licensing, acquisition and merchandise management, with a range of titles in different businesses to match. “It’s a wonderful industry and I think that the thing I will miss the most about it is the people. It really is a tremendous industry and I couldn’t imagine having spent a more fulfilling work life doing anything else over the past 40 years,” says Tremble. “It’s been brilliant.” February 2021 | 123


Year in review

Liquor Barons launches ‘Legit Locals’ campaign

November

Liquor Barons has announced the launch of its new ‘Legit Locals’ campaign, a marketing campaign which showcases the group’s local presence in Western Australia. General Manager Chris O’Brien said the

Confusion reigns over China’s wine imports

time, effort and investment the group has

Despite reports that Australian wine imports into China have been banned

taken to make the campaign a success and

or suspended, Australian Grape and Wine CEO Tony Battaglene has told

reflect the values of the Liquor Barons brand.

The Shout that is definitely not the case.

“We’re spending more than half a million

There is confusion over the status of wine imports, with some importers

dollars over the summer on this clever, fully

recommending wine not be sent to China and some shipping companies

integrated campaign. This is a significant

refusing to take wine, but Battaglene said those are commercial decisions and

amount of money and very much in line with

there is no official ban in place.

our strategy to maintain Liquor Barons as the

“Confusion reigns supreme,” Battaglene said. “There are no clear messages. What we do know is that some importers are telling exporters not to send

strongest retail liquor brand in the state,” O’Brien said.

product, but not all. We know that product has arrived in China in the last couple of days and that product is going through enhanced customs procedures.

The campaign features real people from the WA communities in which the group

“There are increased checks and testing being demanded by the Chinese

operates. Many were selected during an

authorities. We haven’t heard of any shipments being blocked or stopped, it’s

online competition that Liquor Barons ran in

just these increased clearance procedures.

line with the simultaneous launch of the new

He added: “At the moment we don’t know the extent of the problem we just

loyalty program, The Barons Locals Club.

know that at the moment there appear to be delays, but there is no official ban.”

Endeavour Group to move site of proposed Darwin Dan Murphy’s Endeavour Group has confirmed its plans to move the proposed

“We have spent a lot of time having meaningful

Darwin Dan Murphy’s store, over four years after the store

conversations with local communities to understand their views,

application was made. It’s been a long running battle since then,

listen to any concerns they may have and to address them.”

after an independent Liquor Commission, rejections, appeals and opposition from a number of community and health groups. The store was set to be the anchor tenant of the proposed Darwin Airport Central retail precinct, and opposition and rejection for this location was driven by its proximity to three Aboriginal communities. The new site is in an already developed area, which would still be part of the Airport Precinct but at a greater distance from said communities. Shane Tremble, General Manager Corporate Service for Endeavour Group, said: “We believe the change will help to alleviate some of the key concerns.

124 | National Liquor News

Endeavour Group also said it has been working with these communities to develop measures to mitigate risk of alcohol related harm, which would see the proposed store as holding the most stringent regulation in the country.


Year in review

December Retail sales offset on-premise decline for Metcash Metcash has reported strong

Asahi Beverages sells BoozeBud back to founders

growth in sales volumes for its first half of the 2021 financial year, with

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)

selling products through retail customers,

group underlying EBIT up 30.4 per

owner Asahi Beverages has sold online

securing visibility for its iconic brands on

cent to $203m.

alcohol retailer BoozeBud back to the

customers’ digital channels and working with

business’ founders.

other customers, including on-premise, to

Group CEO, Jeff Adams said: “It

develop their online presence.

has been a standout first half for

The move followed a review of CUB’s e-commerce strategy by Asahi after it

Alex Gale, Andy Williamson and Mark

Speaking of the overall result,

Metcash, with unprecedented sales

completed the takeover earlier this year.

Woollcott, who founded BoozeBud in 2014 are

growth underpinning a significant

Asahi said it wants to develop a new

now back in charge of the business, which has

lift in earnings and cash generation.

strategy around online retailing

grown to over 250,000 customers in the time

The new strategy aims to see CUB ‘win together’ with its customers. It will focus on

“All pillars have performed

since CUB bought the business, while revenue

exceptionally well, adapting quickly

has grown more than 500 per cent.

to the many challenges associated with COVID-19 while continuing to

Ritchies increases premium liquor footprint Ritchies has expanded its premium offering with the opening of a new Fine Food and Wine Merchants store inside Pentridge Shopping Centre in Coburg, Victoria. Under Ritchies’ Fine Food and Wine Merchants banner,

successfully execute their strategic initiatives and champion the success of our independent retailers.” Describing the liquor business, Metcash noted that sales to the IBA retail banner group increased

the store is described as offering customers a unique and

24.1 per cent with strong growth in

unforgettable ‘shopping experience’, according to Karl

Cellarbrations, The Bottle-O and

Loh, Ritchies General Manager of Liquor.

IGA Liquor.

“Both the Supermarket and Liquor offer will include

Liquor EBIT increased $9.4m

quality fresh food, gourmet lines, local product along

(+30.6 per cent) to $40.1m

with a comprehensive range of wine, beer and spirits,

reflecting the increase in sales

in a building steeped in notorious Victorian history,” Loh

volumes and the effective

told National Liquor News.

management of costs. Liquor

The new Pentridge store joins a range of other Ritchies stores among the 65 strong

segment sales in the first five weeks

liquor division, but is also part of an exclusive handful that have employed the Fine Food

of the year’s second half are up 16.9

and Wine Merchants offering across Victoria and NSW.

per cent with continued elevated demand in the IBA retail network. February 2021 | 125


Wine Tasting Review The Panel ➤

D aryl Fisher, General Manager, Fisher Fine Wine A ndrew Graham, Online Communications Manager, The Wine Collective G eoff Bollom, Retailer, Fennell Bay Cellars T om Lynar, National Sales Manager, DMG Fine Wine A ndrew Stubbs, Manager, Vine Wine

Standout wines from 2020

Here are some of our highest scoring and most interesting wines from the past 12 months.

N igel Burton, CEO, Burton Premium Wines A my Hayes, Freelance Wine Writer C hristine Ricketts, Wine Educator, Endeavour Group 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 E mma Fogarty, Senior Brand Manager, SouthTrade International D avid Wright, National Wholesale Sales Manager, Elderton Wines M ichael Park, Wine Merchant, Dan Murphy’s Kingsford C harlie Simpson, General Manager, Virtuous Vine M ichael McIntosh, Fine Wine Brand Ambassador, Accolade Wines B rian Chase Olson, Director, Blend Public Relations E mmanuel Conde, Ambassador, Cerbaco S alvatore Margiotta, State Sales Manager for NSW & ACT, Delegat Limited K risty Farrell, Wine Ambassador, Pernod Ricard A ndy Dean, Co-founder, The Tasting Glass T om Czerski, Purchasing Manager, NSW Golf Club A ndy Young, Editor, Bars & Clubs and The Shout C raig Hawtin-Butcher, Food and Beverage Media D eb Jackson, Former Editor, National Liquor News D avid Messum, Director, Just The Drop

126 | National Liquor News

Taylors The

Pooles Rock

Champagne Vadin-

Visionary Cabernet

Premiere

Plateau Premier

Sauvignon

Chardonnay

Cru Origine

Region: Clare Valley

Region: Hunter Valley

Region: Champagne, France

VIN: 2014 LUC: $107.50

VIN: 2017 LUC: $25.29

VIN: NV LUC: $44.99

Distributed by: Taylors Wines

Distributed by: Agnew Wines

Distributed by: Decante This

“Rich, generously layered yet elegant and really shows the promise of cellaring for a while longer.” – Christine Ricketts

“Great mouthfeel, very pleasant and layered.” – Christine Ricketts

“Good structure, sublime fruit, balanced. Ticks all the boxes.” – Geoff Bollom


Wine Tasting Review

Shingleback

Shingleback Davey

Unedited Shiraz

Estate Reserve

Region: McLaren Vale

Cabernet Sauvignon

VIN: 2017 LUC: $53.75

Region: McLaren Vale

Distributed by: David Muster

VIN: 2018 LUC: $15.05

(SA); Shingleback (Nationally)

Distributed by: David Muster (SA); Shingleback (Nationally)

“Beautifully made, waves of powerful fruit flavours rolls across the palate building intensity and complexity. Tannins and acid are nicely balanced and do very well controlling this wine.” – Michael Park

“Medium to full body, the palate is initially subtle – some sweet black fruit with deftly applied oak, mouth coating tannins and balanced acidity. Needs time.” – Salvatore Margiotta

“Overall I saw a great turn around with some of our more mainstream styles. I love Chardonnay and the variety of methods being used; Shiraz and Cabernet are really becoming more balanced without losing any of their power;

Rob Dolan White

Bird in Hand

Label Chardonnay

Honeysuckle Riesling

Aussie sparklings are really up there in quality over all price points and

Region: Yarra Valley

Region: Clare Valley

VIN: 2018 LUC: $16.66

VIN: 2020 LUC: $16.98

we should be proud of

Distributed by:

Distributed by: Bird in Hand

that; but rosé, why are

Nelson Wine Company

“Gold in colour with a big buttery nose. Weighty mouthfeel with well-balanced fruit and a medium finish.” – Emma Fogarty

“Surprising with its sweetness, but so balanced – yum!” – Christine Ricketts

Château de

Brockenchack

l’Escarelle Jardin

Mackenzie William

Des Secrets Rosé

1896 Riesling

Region: Provence, France

Region: Eden Valley

VIN: 2018 LUC: $25.80

VIN: 2020 LUC: $14.20

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Déjà Vu Wine Co.

Brockenchack Wines

“Pale salmon colour. Vibrant and citrusy on the palate. Lingering finish.” – Emma Fogarty

“Delicious, grapey sweetness meets sherbert zest. Long, juicy and great potential.” – Michael Park

you so pale?!” – Christine Ricketts

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

February 2021 | 127


Wine Tasting Review

Brokenwood

Carillion Expressions

Pinot Noir

Pinot Rosé

Region: Beechworth

Region: Wrattonbully/Orange

VIN: 2019 LUC: $23.03

VIN: 2020 LUC: $13.90

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Samuel Smith & Son

Free Run Distributors

“A wonderfully structured old world style with dark cherries and a core of beautiful sweetness before the structural grippy yet approachable tannin.” – Andrew Stubbs

“This has that Turkish Delight character on the nose that I love in rosé. Palate is tight and driven.” – Mark Bradstreet

“National Liquor News has had a panel evaluation of wines for many years and I think the continuation of this tradition throughout 2020 in a socially distanced and COVIDSafe way has been a real achievement. Both Deb Jackson and I have been incredibly impressed, as usual, by the 2020 panel’s expertise and insights about a diverse range of wines from across the globe.” – Brydie Allen

Jansz Premium

Ringbolt Cabernet

Rosé

Sauvignon

Region: Tasmania

Region: Margaret River

VIN: NV LUC: $21.50

VIN: 2018 LUC: $18.71

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Samuel Smith & Son

Samuel Smith & Son

“Long finish and delightful red fruits.” – Christine Ricketts

“Varietally typical and very enjoyable with aromas of cassis and gentle eucalyptus supported by juicy tannins.” – Bryn Lucas

Editor’s Picks ➤

2 017 Chateau Yaldara Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, $26.88 2 015 Giesen Limited Edition Organic Pinot Noir, Marlborough, $21.50 2 018 De Bortoli The Estate Vineyard Shiraz, Yarra Valley, LUC: $19.84 2 019 Barton & Guestier Reserve Shiraz Rosé, Pays d’Oc, France, LUC: $9.10 N V Champagne Montaudon Brut, Reims, France, LUC: $60 2 019 Eddystone Point Riesling, Tasmania, LUC: $21.78

128 | National Liquor News

Audrey Wilkinson

Stoneleigh Pinot

The Ridge Semillon

Noir Rosé

Region: Hunter Valley

Region: Marlborough,

VIN: 2011 LUC: $41.93

New Zealand

Distributed by: Agnew Wines

VIN: 2019 LUC: $14.79 Distributed by: Pernod Ricard

“This is just everything you want in a Semillon. It’s fresh, vibrant and youthful beyond its years.” – Mark Bradstreet

“A good food wine with great balance of flavour, fine soft tannin and acid on the lingering finish.” – Christine Ricketts


Wine Tasting Review

Giesen Estate

Château Tanunda

Chardonnay

Grand Barossa

Region: Hawkes Bay

Shiraz

VIN: 2018 LUC: $13.76

Region: Barossa

Distributed by: Oatley Fine

VIN: 2017 LUC: $16.56

Wine Merchants

Distributed by:

Quick stats for 2020 ➤

O ver 400 wines were tasted by the panel T he oldest vintage tasted was from 2009

Château Tanunda

“Creamy, green apple skin, ruby apples, nashi pears and a subtle hint of oak. Lovely firm but elegant finish.” – Andy Milne

“Chunky and generous. Has an assured, almost sausage-y savoury Shiraz character and a warm, generous finish. Good solid commercial wine.” – Andrew Graham

Zilzie Regional

Bleasdale

Collection Pinot Noir

Bremerview Shiraz

9 6 was the highest score obtained 3 0 industry professionals tasted on the panel throughout the year

Region: Adelaide Hills

Region: Langhorne Creek

VIN: 2019 LUC: $11.28

VIN: 2018 LUC: $13.98

Distributed by: Fesq and

Distributed by:

perspective, it’s great to

Company (VIC/NSW/QLD/

Negociants Australia

be able to come together

ACT); Options Wine Merchants (SA/NT); Distinctive Wines & Spirits (WA); Swallow Liquor Merchants (TAS)

“Gently savoury but mouthwateringly juicy at the same time. Don’t stop me at just one glass of this.” – Andy Dean

“Appearance is bright and clear. Nose shows sweetness, like jelly crystals. Palate shows some more warmth, oak is evident but the overall wine has some nice flavours.” – Sabine Duval

“From a retailer

with people from diverse backgrounds and sections of the industry. The panellists are usually very well respected, knowledgeable and down to earth… All of us are just there to evaluate the wines and compare what we each got from them.”

Taltarni

Brancott Estate

Sparkling Shiraz

Letter Series

Region: Victoria

– Geoff Bollom

Pinot Noir

VIN: 2018 LUC: $19.78

Region: Marlborough

Distributed by: Oatley Fine

VIN: 2017 LUC: $18.54

Wine Merchants

Distributed by: Pernod Ricard

“Great colour. Pleasant. Fantastic BBQ wine.” – Geoff Bollom

“Smooth as velvet. Fine structured tannins. Red fruits with a hint of oak. Good long finish.” – Geoff Bollom

Join the 2021 panel! We’re looking for more Sydney based industry professionals to join our wine tasting panel in 2021. Find out more by emailing

ballen@intermedia.com.au

February 2021 | 129


Features List

Features List 2021

Deadlines

Wine

January/ February

Booking: Friday 20 Nov Creative: Friday 11 Dec

March

Booking: Friday 13 Feb Creative: Friday 13 Feb

Organic, Biodynamic & Vegan Wines

April

Booking: Friday 12 Mar Creative: Friday 19 Mar

Western Australia

May

Booking: Friday 09 Apr Creative: Friday 16 Apr

Photo shoot

Wine Tasting Review

Beer, Cider, Seltzer & Mixers

Spirits

Retailing focus

Cognac & Brandy

World Whisk(e)y Day

2021 Annual Leaders Forum Canned Drinks - Beer, Wine, spirits, Seltzer, Spritz

Chardonnay

No & Low Alc Beer

Mother’s Day

Pinot Noir

Independent & Mainstream Craft

RTD

‘Better for you’ drinks/ Health & Wellbeing

Imported Wines

Winter Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon

Premium Mixers

Australian Spirits

Retailing Aperitivo Winter

June

Booking: Friday 14 May Creative: Friday 21 May

South Australian Wine Regions

Dark Spirits Category

Cabernet Dominant Blends

Imported & International Beers

Japanese, Canadian and Indian Whisk(e)y

Retail Banner Groups

July

Booking: Fri 12 June Creative: Fri 19 June

Victorian Wine Regions

New Release Beers

Shiraz

Rum & Spiced Rum

Father’s Day Retailing

August

Booking: Friday 10 July Creative: Friday 17 July

The Prosecco Report

Light Spirit Category

Shiraz Dominant Blends

No & Low Alc, Carb & Gluten Free Beer

North American Whiskey

Drinks Innovation - blurring category, packaging & more

September

Booking: Friday 7 Aug Creative: Friday 14 Aug

The Rosé Report

Craft & Mainstream Cider

Rosé

Alcoholic Seltzer

Premium Gin

Retailing Aperitivo Summer

October

Booking: Friday 18 Sept Creative: Friday 25 Sept

Sparkling & Champagne

Rosé & Pink Drinks

Sparkling, Prosecco & Champagne

Natural Flavoured Drinks Ginger, Mango, Apple, etc

RTD

Retailing for BYO Occasions

November

Booking: Friday 9 Oct Creative: Friday 16 Oct

New Zealand Wine Report

Alcoholic Seltzer

Riesling/ Semillon

Summer Beer & Cider Retailing

Whisk(e)y - Scotch & Irish

Christmas Occasions

December

Booking: Friday 6 Nov Creative: Friday 13 Nov

Australian Made/ Australia Day

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

What to Stock for 2022

Vodka

ALIA

130 | National Liquor News


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