National Liquor News June 2021

Page 1


vol. 40 no. 5 - June 2021

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Editor’s note

Editor’s note Welcome to the June issue of National Liquor News.

Alongside all of this we have the results from

Here we are, coming to the end of another

our first dedicated tasting of Cabernet dominant

financial year and halfway through another

blends, as well as all the latest news, insights

calendar one. It’s hard to believe how much has

and analysis, with valuable input from regular

changed in the past year alone!

contributors Retail Drinks Australia, Alcohol

Reflecting on the learnings of 2020 and what they mean for the future was a key point I asked

Beverages Australia, BrightSide, Strikeforce, Perfectly Rieslingable and Wine Australia.

about in this year’s banner group feature. The

Meanwhile, we’ve just launched our brand

leaders of Independent Liquor Retailers, Liquor

new microsite, full of all the latest industry

Legends, Independent Liquor Group, Liquor

news as it happens. Check it out here:

Marketing Group, Liquor Barons and Paramount

Liquor all shared some great insights on this topic (and more) from page 37.

Good luck with the end of this financial year, we’ll be here throughout the next one as

Something that hasn’t changed in the past year

usual, delivering insights to help you better your

is the momentum of the ‘better for you’ trend,

business. If you have any feedback on what you’d

which continues to spread its influence across

like to see in our pages, please reach out – my

the beverage industry. Dan Hughes investigates

inbox is always open!

the trend and what it means right now for retail Elsewhere in this issue, our friends at IRI have looked into another growing segment in Brydie Allen, Editor

the flourishing demand from the past year on

02 8586 6156

page 26-27.

26 Rising spirits

29 Better for you beverages

37 The annual banner group feature

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6 | National Liquor News

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Contents June 2021


Retail Focused

10 News: The latest liquor

21 Recruitment: What’s

industry news for retailers around Australia 12 Events: An exclusive peek at the industry events of the past month 14 Marketplace: Brand news and promotions 20 Alcohol Beverages Australia: A glass of good news 22 Wine Insights: NZ Vintage analysis 24 Wine Australia: Cabernet leads the way 46 Wine Tasting Review: Cabernet dominant blends

8 | National Liquor News

important to candidates? 26 IRI: Rising spirits 28 Retailer Profile: Mane Liquor, Belmont, WA 29 ‘Better For You’ Beverages: Why you should get on the ‘better’ train 36 Retail Drinks: Reflecting on an unprecedented 12 months 37 Banner Groups: Flying flags for independent retail 50 Strikeforce: A forecasting dilemma


For more information, please contact your Pernod Ricard Account Manager.

News The latest liquor industry

For retailers around the country

Lark certified as Australia’s first carbon neutral distillery Tasmania’s first distillery, Lark Distilling Co, has become the first Australian distillery to be certified as carbon neutral under the Federal Government’s Climate Active Program. Lark Distilling Co. Managing Director Geoff Bainbridge said: “The achievement of this milestone truly represents the best of Lark in terms of our pioneering spirit, the brand values and community contribution. “We are committed to improving our work practices to ensure

Lyre’s to continue global expansion after $179m valuation Leading independent non-alcoholic spirits brand, Lyre’s, is set to continue its global expansion after a seed-plus funding round valued the brand at $179million. The funding makes Lyre’s the most valuable independent brand to date in the booming no and low

we take as little from the earth as we possibly can during a time of unprecedented concern for the future of our planet and I would urgently encourage all participants in the alcohol industry to participate and become certified Climate Active.” Climate Active certification is only awarded to businesses and organisations that have credibly reached a state of achieving zero net emissions. Achieving this certification requires an independent audit by a

alcohol spirits category. Despite launching just under

registered auditor and the Australian Government, and all eligible

two years ago, Lyre’s is available in 43 countries,

businesses must meet the requirements of the Climate Active Carbon

generating double-digit monthly revenue growth with

Neutral Standard by:

annualised sales on course to exceed $62m by the

• Calculating the greenhouse gas emissions generated by their activity,

fourth quarter of this year.

• Reducing these emissions as much as possible by investing in new

“It’s truly exciting to travel through the $179m valuation milestone within two years of trading,” said

technology or changing the way they operate, and • Offsetting any remaining emissions by purchasing carbon offset units.

Mark Livings, Lyre’s Co-founder and CEO. “The demand for non-alcoholic drinks and growth in mindful drinking is exploding. The no and low alcohol category already accounts for three per cent of the total beverage market and is projected to grow by 31 per cent by 2024. The latest round of funding is the third for Lyre’s since its inception and sees a number of major institutional investors come on-board, in addition to existing investors that have followed on or increased positions this round. Lyre’s has a portfolio of 13 premium non-alcoholic spirits, meaning it is capable of creating 90 per cent of the world’s best-selling cocktails. In addition to this, the company’s proprietary production method

means it can scale and roll-out at pace, making it an attractive proposition for investors. Funds raised will be used to help the brand’s accelerated growth targets, increase existing product research and development capabilities and help with further international expansion.

10 | National Liquor News

Top Newsletter reads

W oolworths reveals updated details of Endeavour Group demerger plans B runswick Aces combines on- and off-premise offering D an Murphy’s Darwin plans scrapped

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Bae juice expands with Woolworths partnership Australian company Bae Juice has reached an exciting milestone, thanks to a recently announced partnership with Woolworths. Bae Juice pitches itself as a hangover cure, intended to be consumed before drinking alcohol. The small drink sachets

LSA WA set for positive future

are filled with 100 per cent Nashi pear juice, sourced from South Korea where

After an unprecedented 2020, snap lockdowns and the continued rollout of Banned

it is common practice in the country to

Drinkers Register (BDR) trials across Western Australia, National Liquor News caught up

drink pear juice before alcohol, and where

with Peter Peck, CEO of the Liquor Stores Association of WA (LSA WA).

inspiration for the brand came from. Last month Bae Juice moved into all

BDR trials

241 Dan Murphy’s stores and 400 BWS

In the Kimberley, the soft roll out of the BDR has begun and is on schedule. Meanwhile in

stores nationwide, expanding from its

the Pilbara, Peck said: “It’s getting close to the six month point where the independent

presence in Woolworths supermarkets

[researchers] from the University of WA will do their first report. I think that report will be

since 2020. This partnership is predicted

full of a lot of positives and encouraging signs that this is having an impact.”

to give the company its first seven figure year since its launch just two years ago.

Innovating and adapting

Bae Juice is now distributed in over

LSA WA strives to keep WA retailers up to date with information that may impact

1700 stores across Australia, including

their business. A recent innovation in this goal has been the podcast ‘Packaged’,

independent liquor stores, which

developed during the pandemic to keep time-poor members engaged.

Co-founders Tim O’Sullivan and Liam

The podcast trial saw higher engagement than LSA WA could have imagined, with popularity driving what is now an 80 per cent click rate. Peck said: “People are able to listen at their leisure without having to sit and

Gostencnik dubbed a great milestone. “Being sold at Dan Murphy’s has been a dream of ours since 2018. When we

concentrate on reading. People are listening in their cars on the way to work… it just

first launched Bae Juice and created the

gives us a broader platform to get information into people’s heads and educate them

concept this was one of major targets,

in the easiest form.

so it’s been really rewarding for our small

“We’re already talking about what we are going to be doing over the next two years because we want to stay ahead of the curve. We don’t want to follow what

team to get these results,” said O’Sullivan. Gostencnik added: “It’s crazy to think

other people do, we’d rather people follow us. Podcasts are now the norm, so we’re

we were in 60 stores this time last year

now looking at the next innovation that we can bring into this industry to make

and now we are in over 1700, it’s been a

communication with our members even easier for them.”

busy 12 months.”

Relationship with government From a lobbying standpoint, Peck said: “It’s been phenomenal… They are listening, they are taking on board everything we’re saying. Sometimes they don’t agree with us, and that’s fine. We’ll just continually keep pushing the point until they either make a decision or come across. We’re not going to get everything we want, we’re realistic, but most of the stuff we’re dealing with is common sense, and they can see that. This government doesn’t seem to be frightened of trying something new and different.” Read the full story at:

June 2021 | 11

The latest liquor industry

Events The Sydney GABS event

GABS makes triumphant return After nearly two years, the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (GABS) returned, with events in Sydney and Melbourne in May. Thousands of people descended on Sydney Olympic Park and the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre for a wide range of beverages, live music, food and beer pairing sessions, live comedy sets, and even haircuts. Despite temporary COVID restrictions being introduced just a day before the Sydney event, GABS organisers were able to quickly adapt and welcome more than 11,000 guests over the weekend, with beer taps flowing at a rate of 387 ml per second. The next stop for GABS is in

Grainshaker finally celebrates launch

Brisbane on June 12. L-R: James Reyne and Josh Owen

Australian vodka label Grainshaker has finally been able to celebrate its 2020 launch with a party at the Ivy Penthouse in Sydney. Guests tasted a range of cocktails curated by Brand Ambassador Jenna Hemsworth, which showcased the different qualities of Grainshaker’s three vodka expressions: corn, wheat and rye. Also on offer was the recently released RTD range which has three flavours: lime and soda, lemon myrtle and pink grapefruit. Attendees rubbed shoulders with the creators of Grainshaker, including Master Distiller Sebastian Reaburn and Drew Fairchild, Co-founder and CEO of Grainshaker’s parent company Top Shelf International.

Coopers launches Australian IPA Independent Australian brewery Coopers has celebrated the launch of its latest seasonal release, Australian IPA, with a series of events across the country. Kicking off with industry events in Sydney and Melbourne in May, the brewery teamed up with singer songwriter James Reyne for the launch. Cam Pearce, Coopers Marketing and Innovation Director, said: “Guests enjoyed tasting the new Australian IPA and listening to one of Australia’s most iconic rock voices.” The events followed Coopers’ Live, Loud and Local series, which the brewer started last year in support of venues and musicians

L-R: Top Shelf International Executive Chairman Adem Karafili with Co-founder and CEO Drew Fairchild.

12 | National Liquor News

recovering from COVID-19 lockdowns. Similar events are planned for Perth and Brisbane.

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Marketplace Brand news and promotions Beam Suntory launches new RTD in Australia

Jacob’s Creek meets growing demand for mindful beverages

Australian retailers will soon see a favourite

Jacob’s Creek Better By Half range is a collection of light and crisp wines

Japanese RTD on the shelf, with the release of

with half the alcohol and calories of regular wine. Designed to meet the

-196 Double Lemon from Beam Suntory.

growing demand for beverages that fit into more mindful and moderated

The shochu based RTD uses specialised technology from Beam Suntory to freeze lemons at -196 degrees before they are crushed and soaked

lifestyles, the three varietals of the range have been seeing great success since their launch in 2020. Better By Half is available in Pinot Grigio, Rosé and Brut Cuvée varieties

in alcohol. The resulting 330ml cans combine

which has the alcohol gently separated through a specialised process

shochu, vodka, soda and lemon, coming in at six

by winemakers in the Barossa. The end result retains the mouthfeel and

per cent ABV, with just 0.3 grams of sugar and 122

flavours of the original wine, just lighter on alcohol.

calories per can. Beam Suntory Director of Innovation, Kay Oh

Jacob’s Creek Winemakers Trina Smith said: “Jacob’s Creek Better by Half offers people wines of true varietal character – whilst also achieving lower

said its one of the biggest and fastest-growing

alcohol and calories – getting to a true ‘half the alcohol, half the calories’ wine.

RTD brands in Japan, reaching a cult-like status

“The varieties we chose are sessionable, on trend and highly desired.

that will engage new and existing fans. “We want Aussies to feel like they’re enjoying the real deal straight from the fridge of a convenience store in Tokyo. The product is

The rosé revolution is still growing strong and Pinot Grigio is the fastest growing wine variety globally. The Brut Cuvée is perfect for celebratory social occasions where consumers want to join in and cheers the moment.”

unmistakably Japanese, and we have no doubt

Forty Spotted releases Pinot Noir Gin

that it will make waves for young Aussies looking

Tasmanian gin distillery Forty Spotted

for a high ABV drink that delivers next-level

has teamed up with Frogmore Creek

refreshment,” Oh said.

Winery to release a limited edition

The -196 RTD is the latest expansion in Beam

Pinot Noir Gin, an endeavour that

Suntory’s Japanese portfolio, which also includes

brings together two producers from

the Koyomi Shochu Highball RTD, launched in 2019

the Hobart area and its surrounds.

and followed by the early 2021 release of the Koyomi Shochu full size 700ml bottle.

The new gin combines juniper notes with pepperberry from the wine to create a taste that is described as ‘a harmony of sweetness and tang’. Forty Spotted Head Distiller, Rick Hoedjes, said: “Working with a delightful Pinot Noir to create this limited release has been a very exciting highlight for the Forty Spotted Gin team. As special as this release is to me, I personally am more excited to see how many beautiful moments this gin will create in homes.” The Pinot Noir Gin is the latest to be put into the striking new bottle design from Forty Spotted, brought to life by Australian brand agency, Boldinc. The design sees the upright bottle facing south, paying homage to Forty Spotted’s home at the bottom of the world in Tasmania.

14 | National Liquor News


Wilde Beer releases new core product Gluten free brewer Wilde Beer has introduced a new product to its core line, releasing the Wilde Crisp Lager just in time for International Coeliac Day. The natural vegan beer is endorsed by Coeliac Australia, and is made with pure sorghum to ensure

Yellowglen celebrates 50th anniversary

it is 100 per cent gluten free. Wilde noted the launch comes at the perfect time, with the GF beer market continuing to expand rapidly in Australia and further

In 1971, Australian businessman Ian Home utilised his love

robust growth predicted. It also builds on the hugely successful

for Champagne, vision for innovation and desire to create

first release for the Wilde team, which is based out of Tribe

something truly Australian, and created Yellowglen.

Breweries in Goulburn.

Now, 50 years on, Yellowglen is celebrating its history

“Our brewers have been working around the clock to create

and half-century milestone with the launch of a limited

the recipe and find a unique way of processing the sorghum in

edition Brut Cuvée alongside a partnership with Australian

the beer, in order to

entertainment icon Dannii Minogue, who is also celebrating

improve its mouthfeel,

her 50th birthday this year.

maintain head retention

Yellowglen describes the limited release as a crisp and

and yet still keep a crisp

refreshing style of sparkling wine with dry, refined flavours. It

and refreshing taste.

will be available in Yellow and Pink varieties through Treasury

Carefully selected kettle

Wine Estates.

hops improve the flavour,

Minogue said: “Yellowglen is an icon of Australian celebration,

so you are left with a

a brand that stands for joy and has inspired generations of

clean and refreshing

Australians with its approachable, fun-loving style.”

drop that tastes just as

Treasury Wine Estates Marketing and Category Director,

good as its gluten-based

Ben Culligan added: “Throughout its 50 years, Yellowglen has

counterparts,” said

long been the social butterfly of Australian wine. Its fun-

Roland Thiemann, Head

loving approach paired with sparkling expertise is what has

of Innovation at

made it so popular.”

Tribe Breweries.

Rosabel arrives in Australia thanks to AVL and Barton & Guestier Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) has partnered

from the South of France (Syrah and Grenache

with Barton & Guestier (B&G) to bring Rosabel

blend), Rosabel has already received incredible

wine to Australia.

feedback. We are very excited for this launch and

The dry rosé wine from the Languedoc Roussillon region in the South of France is distributed

this new partnership with AVL.” Jeff Howlett, AVL General Manager ANZ said

exclusively by AVL to independent retailers as well

the company is thrilled to partner with B&G to

as the on-premise industry. It’s a blend of Syrah and

add a French rosé to its portfolio.

Grenache, with tasting notes hinting at its ability to suit Australian lifestyle occasions. Guillaume Bladocha, Export Director at B&G,

“Light and fresh rosés are the number one trend in terms of wine style in Australia right now, accounting for 86 per cent of the category with a

said: “We are absolutely delighted to team up

growth rate of +22 per cent. Its popularity shows no

with Australian Vintage for the distribution of

sign of slowing. We were very impressed with B&G’s

Rosabel in Australia. With its charming pale

Rosabel and we’re excited to expand its footprint

pink colour and a very aromatic profile coming

here in Australia,” he said.

June 2021 | 15


Ampersand Projects celebrates innovation in all areas It’s been an innovative few years for Ampersand Projects. After originally launching into market in 2018 with just one eye catching SKU, the company now boasts nine products and counting, using a market-leading innovative strategy to expand its range and reach. The brand’s incredible speed to market saw it recently become Australia’s first producer of RTDs in aluminium bottles, as well as launch the first no sugar pink gin RTD on the market- two game changing movements that are indicative of a wider commitment to innovation behind the brand. Alex Bottomley, Ampersand Projects Co-founder, said: “We recently released the first no-sugar pink gin RTD; Pink Gin Soda &. Locally distilled gin paired with soda water and a hint of wild berries, it’s a subtle and balanced combination. Perfect for gin drinkers or those new to the category and looking to try something new.” Meanwhile, he noted that the new aluminium bottle: “offers the convenience of a resealable bottle and the ability to add whatever you want. Being aluminium, the bottle stays colder for longer and is also fully recyclable, which is important as consumers seek out eco-friendly products. “All of our products are sugar free and low calorie, known for their simplicity adopting a ‘less is more’ approach. This is important as consumers continue to seek out better for you options and focus on health and wellbeing.” With sleek minimal branding and the iconic ‘&’ symbol front and centre, these unique innovations are available now from Ampersand Projects for the Australian market.

Wild Turkey reveals bold new look RTD The Wild Turkey RTD range is set to get

premix range proudly and prominently

a refresh, with the brand announcing

features our iconic turkey, taking

an updated and ‘bold new look’ hitting

design inspiration from our bourbon

shelves from June.

glass range. It reflects the core values

While the liquid will remain unchanged,

and credentials of the brand and will

the packaging has been redesigned to

help build on the successful growth of

modernise the range, as well as improve

the brand over the past 12 months,”

shopability and range navigation. One of

said Wild Turkey Bourbon’s Marketing

the key drivers for change was to stand

Director, Paolo Marinoni.

out at the shelf and make it easier for

The new design is being rolled out

consumers to find their favourite Wild

across Wild Turkey’s can and bottle

Turkey product.

RTDs. Accompanying the rollout is a

Introduction of the extensively

POS suite prominently featuring the

researched new packaging is set to drive

new packaging. Both are available for

further premiumisation and growth for the

retailers through their local Campari

Wild Turkey brand.


“The new look packaging across our

16 | National Liquor News


Twenty Third Street Distillery releases new Australian whisky Twenty Third Street Distillery has released its latest Australian Single Malt Whisky expression, which will be the first from its ‘XXIII connoisseurs’ range’. The Batch No.1 Australian Single Malt Whisky is a limited release, available while stocks last from Vok Beverages, and is the second Australian Whisky for the brand, the first being launched in 2019. Gabrielle Millane, Brand Manager, said: “Australian Whisky has always been in our brand vision since opening, in keeping with our range the celebration of Australian spirits, and importantly South Australian spirits is important to us.” Group Distiller Steve Magarry added: “The liquid delivers a classic single-

Brown-Forman introduces Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple

malt golden hue, nuances of both sweet and aromatic spice, honey, and

The first new flavour extension from Jack Daniel’s

towering, historic copper pots offer a delicate and elegant spirit, the perfect

in over four years has been revealed with the

canvas for the palate to explore.”

dessert pastries. True to our Riverland region – Orange, Lime, Tangerine and Lemon Citrus notes offer a sublime touch to the American Oak maturation. Our

release of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple. Affectionately known as Jack Apple, the new flavour follows from the success of the last flavour extension, Jack Honey & Fire, and combines the

Hawkesbury Brewing Co expands Prohibition Range

unique characters of Jack Daniel’s whiskey with

Hawkesbury Brewing Co has expanded its

crisp green apple liqueur.

fully fermented non-alcoholic craft beer

At 35 per cent ABV, the new product is described as ‘bold, refreshing, and ripe for sipping’, with tasting notes indicating a rich and

range with the release of Prohibition Pacific Ale, at 0.2 per cent ABV. Like the Prohibition Pale Ale, the new

smooth combination of caramel, toffee, oak

beer is created with Hawkesbury Brewing

and the classic spice of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7

Co’s specialised technology that retains the

Tennessee Whiskey.

full flavoured authentic beer experience, without the alcohol.

Grant Shearon, Jack Daniel’s Advocacy and Development Manager Australia, said: “Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple gives you a great

Paul Weaving, Business Development Manager at Hawkesbury Brewing Co, said it’s an exciting time for the brewery. “Hot on the heels of winning the Bronze award at the 2021 AIBA awards

opportunity to explore and enter into Tennessee

for Prohibition Pale Ale, Hawkesbury Brewing Co are expanding the

Whiskey through this unique and wonderful

Prohibition range with the launch of Prohibition Pacific Ale,” Weaving said.

new flavour. “It can be enjoyed with a range of light mixers

“In the first quarter of this year, we literally could not keep up with demand for Prohibition, with pallets going out the door as quickly as we

such as Soda or Tonic, or in a variety of amazing

could fill them. Thankfully, our new brewery site is now fully operational,

cocktails - the Apple Fizz is my current favourite.

which means that we can not only meet demand but expand our range.”

The taste of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple won’t disappoint - it’s Apple-licious!” Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple is available to

Launching this month from Drink Craft, the Prohibition Pacific Ale release also coincides with the expansion of the Prohibition range into all formats – tap, 330ml bottles, 375ml cans and 650ml long neck bottles.

order now from Brown-Forman. June 2021 | 17

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Alcohol Beverages Australia

A glass of good news Research without an agenda tells a different story to the anti-alcohol lobby, writes Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia.

In the continuing community debate over the

However, ABA has identified a number of other global

consumption of alcohol, little is said about the other

MR studies which have found no evidence of a causal

side of the equation – the protective benefits that can

link between alcohol consumption and various cancers

be generated by the moderate consumption of a beer,

including breast, ovarian, gastric, colorectal and prostate.

wine or spirit.

No mention was made of these, but the section from

It has long been understood that there is a connection between moderate drinking and lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men and women. Anti-alcohol activists don’t like admitting it, but it is even there to be seen in the Sheffield University research that was used to justify the recently announced NHMRC drinking guideline advice of 10 standard drinks a week. That’s the same research that shows an average Aussie can drink 28 drinks a week and not have a higher risk of total (all-cause) mortality than a lifetime abstainer. They chose not to inform Australians about that key piece of health and risk information!

the NHMRC on the ‘growing evidence’ around cancer

“ABA will continue to challenge the orthodoxy of antialcohol activists and identify research that contradicts their agenda.”

risks received a significant amount of attention in this

Andrew Wilsmore

from chronic conditions such as ischaemic heart disease

CEO Alcohol Beverages Australia

While the links to CVD benefits are clear, this was

most recent review. We asked the NHMRC why MR studies which contradict observational studies around cardioprotective effect have been given weight in the guidelines and positive ones ignored. Their reply was: “a range of evidence sources were considered to inform the guidelines.” Also missing from the NHMRC guidelines is evidence showing moderate alcohol consumption actually saves more than 3500 Australians lives a year and acute myocardial infarction. ABA will continue to challenge the orthodoxy of anti-

recently challenged through a relatively new research method called

alcohol activists and identify research that contradicts their agenda.

Mendelian Randomisation (MR).

Time and again we need to remind policy makers that Australians are

This is some technical language so bear with me. Mendelian

drinking at 50 year lows and moderation is the new norm. Under this

Randomisation uses genetic proxies to test if certain behaviours,

long-term trend, it is implausible to suggest harms have been increasing.

such as alcohol consumption, are linked to health outcomes such as

And an interesting statistic I noticed just recently. On a world

cardiovascular disease and cancer. Its proponents suggest that this

comparison of the probability of dying prematurely between the

research technique may avoid some of the challenges of observational

ages of 30 and 70 from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or

research methods, including confounding bias and reporting errors

chronic respiratory disease, Australia is ranked the sixth lowest ... a

in consumption.

much better outcome than nations like New Zealand, the UK and

Two MR studies were included in the Sheffield University research modelling but neither were conclusive and questioned the link with CVD benefits. 20 | National Liquor News

the United States. By and large we are a sensible, careful nation. Let’s not let those who push agenda get ahead of the stats.


Career drivers for candidates

A recent survey ranks some of the top considerations for candidates, writes Amber King and Sue Lauritz, Directors at Brightside. The challenge to attract great candidates in our industry is ongoing. Employers are competing for talent in a tight market and there is a general reluctance for candidates to move from existing roles into the ‘unknown.’ Fortunately, we are seeing a

The most important factors when

The resources candidates

looking for a new job were:

used when looking for


a new job were:


2. Career development



3. Financial rewards

2. Seek 3. Networking and recruiters

shift in confidence as the year progresses and the industry continues to forge ahead.

What type of flexibility

We recently conducted a survey with our

is most important to

candidates to ask them specifically what is


important to them when making a decision


to start a new role, and also what motivates

2. Split of working from

What does a good

Start and finish times

them to leave a business. They shared some

recruitment process look like?

home and in the office

great insights which we discussed at the


3. Relaxed dress policy

(very clearly number

Retail Drinks Liquor Retail Summit in May. There were few surprises in these

What does a good onboarding process look like?

results. What is interesting is that flexibility


ranked as number four on what candidates

2. Made to feel welcome

look for when searching for a new job. This

3. Strong induction program including meeting

highlights a few things: that it’s not at the

Clear communication

Email, IT support (etc) ready

one priority) 2. Regular feedback 3. Clear job brief amd remuneration details

with key stakeholders/broader team

top of the list as we all thought, or perhaps it is now considered a given so candidates

How do candidates rate

rank it lower down the list. Less than five

effective leadership?

per cent of respondents elected for full time in the office or full time at home, showing how important the mix is. Also top of the

What are the main reasons for candidates leaving their last role?


Open and clear communication

2. Considerate to work / life balance 3. Collaborative nature

list in terms of flexibility are start and finish



2. Lack of career development

What makes candidates

3. Line manager or team

go above and beyond

There was a common theme in why


people join organisations and why

at work?

they leave them - culture and career


development – and we’ll cover this more

2. Good manager

in future columns.

Enjoy what you do

3. Work ethic

Top line results from our research are listed here with the top three factors in order.

Reach out if you’d like to discuss any of our findings.

June 2021 | 21

Aotearoa NZ Fine Wine Estates

Wine Insights

Small and perfect, but what about supply? Vintage 2021 has now been completed in New Zealand, with excellent quality but low yields, writes Natalie Grace, Founder of Perfectly Rieslingable.

Producers across New Zealand completed their vintage in May and what a difference

The specific conditions across three different key regions are explored below.

a year makes. In 2020, the country was thrown into


COVID-19 Alert Level Four just as vintage

New Zealand’s largest winegrowing region

began. After lobbying by New Zealand

experienced slightly early budburst and

Winegrowers, the industry was reclassified

some light frosts through September causing

as an essential business and allowed to

crop reduction and minor bud damage

complete grape harvest and process the fruit

reducing bunch numbers. Some cool nights

under strict conditions and skeleton staff.

during December flowering reduced berry

“All reports indicate the quality of the harvest is exceptional with near perfect levels of concentration, intensity and purity of flavour.” Natalie Grace Founder Perfectly Rieslingable

This year, the pandemic pressure was

numbers and growers experienced berry size

lifted but light crop loads bring a new set

variation within bunches in all varieties. Dry

significantly below the ideal parameters

of challenges as export demand increases

conditions during December to March kept

for Bordeaux varieties. It was a drier than

alongside an already low supply heading into

disease pressure low.

average season, but the moderate summer

vintage 2021. New Zealand Winegrowers

The small yields necessitated an early

meant no excessive vine stress was evident.

has reported seeing supply and demand

start to harvest and most producers had

Harvest weather was reasonably stable and

tension at this very early stage and expects

closed their receival doors by the end of

favourable with reports of a very good to

that many wineries will be facing tough

March. Estimates have the Sauvignon Blanc

exceptional Hawke’s Bay vintage, especially

decisions about who they can supply in their

yield at least 30 per cent down however it’s

for Chardonnay and well-crafted Syrah.

key markets over the next year.

not all doom and gloom - wineries report concentration in the Pinot Noir, great

Central Otago

Low yields, but high quality

balance in the Chardonnay, and intensity

A cold initiation period resulting in smaller

Favourable summer weather throughout

and balance in the Sauvignon Blanc.

bunches and unsettled weather during

most of New Zealand almost guaranteed

flowering saw variable yields between sub-

the quality of the 2021 vintage, however a

Hawke’s Bay

regions. Early to mid-summer was cool and

cool spring, late frosts and poor flowering

Hawke’s Bay had its fourth consecutive

wet but by February the region experienced

contributed to the decreased size of the crop.

warmer-than-average vintage in 2021.

a period of warmer temperatures which

All reports indicate the quality of the harvest

Flowering was five to 10 days early and normal

extended through March. Fruit has been

is exceptional with near perfect levels of

temperatures were experienced until the end

heralded as in excellent condition with great

concentration, intensity and purity of flavour.

of January, but maximum temperatures were

concentration and tannin structure.

22 | National Liquor News


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Wine Australia

Cabernet leads the way Cabernet Sauvignon is a huge hit with consumers, and sales of the wine have been steadily increasing in Australian retail, writes Sandy Hathaway, Senior Analyst at Wine Australia.

Sandy Hathaway Senior Analyst Wine Australia

Don’t miss our

Cabernet blends tasting from page 46!

Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most popular wine,

two-thirds was single variety Cabernet Sauvignon,

with an estimated 151 million (9-litre equivalent) cases

with under a quarter Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

of the variety consumed around the world in 2019, 11 per

blends (Cabernet being the dominant component)

cent of which is estimated to be produced in Australia.

while close to 15 per cent was ‘Other’ Cabernet blends.

According to Wine Australia’s National Vintage Report

Cabernet Shiraz had the highest average value per

2020, Cabernet Sauvignon is the third largest variety

750ml bottle at $31.48, but declined by 13 per cent in

crushed in Australia, behind Shiraz and Chardonnay.

total value, while straight Cabernet Sauvignon had an

Australia’s Cabernet Sauvignon crush peaked

average value of $12.71 per bottle and grew by 14 per

at just over 288,000 tonnes in the record national

cent in value. Cabernet Merlot had the lowest average

vintage of 2017. Like the overall vintage, the Cabernet

value at $6.81 per bottle and grew by five per cent in

Sauvignon crush has been below this peak in the past

the year ended 3 January 2021.

three vintages. But, in 2020, it was still higher than it

In the on-premise, according to Wine Business

was five years ago, despite the below-average vintage.

Solutions, Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for 12.5

Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in most of Australia’s

per cent of red wine listings in 2020, up from 12.1 per

65 wine regions but 93 per cent of the crush was from

cent in 2019. Most Cabernet Sauvignon by-the-bottle

10 key regions in 2020.

listings were from Coonawarra (28 per cent), followed

Sales in the domestic off-trade market in Australia

by Margaret River (21 per cent) and McLaren Vale (12

have been growing solidly. According to IRI

per cent). Clare Valley accounted for seven per cent of

MarketEdge, the value of Cabernet Sauvignon sales in

listings but grew by 71 per cent in 2020 and overtook

the off-trade increased by 14 per cent to $562 million

Barossa Valley in share of listings.

in the 12 months ended 3 January 2021. Just under Top 10 regions for Cabernet Sauvignon by crush, 2020. Source: Wine Australia

According to IWSR, New Zealanders consumed 300,000 nine litre equivalent cases of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2019. While this is not a large amount by global standards, it is an increase of 74 per cent compared with the year before. Consumption for each of the previous four years was around 180,000 cases. New Zealand produces very little of its own Cabernet Sauvignon, with just 219 hectares planted in 2020 according to the NZ Wine 2020 Annual Report. The area planted has been declining since 2011, with competing pressure for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir to meet export demand. Australia’s exports of Cabernet Sauvignon to New Zealand grew by 15 per cent in 2020, but further growth will depend on continued increases in demand for the variety in market.

24 | National Liquor News

Liquor news straight to your inbox For the latest liquor retail news, subscribe to the National Liquor News e-newsletter


Rising spirits Daniel Bone, Insights Director at IRI, unpacks the growth of glass spirits.

Australian households have upped their purchases of glass spirits to create cocktails that they would previously have enjoyed in a pub or bar. Flourishing demand for glass spirits, which was already evident before the pandemic, is apparent once again in 2020-21 sales data. The category gained +1.3 percentage points in value share over the last 12 months following the +25.1 per cent sales increase (and a 22 per cent volume lift). The outcome: an additional $1 billion in incremental spend on the category, and that compares to an industry leading +$351 million gain in 2019-20. An international lens reveals Australia is not unique in recording this surge. Aggregated POS category reads in other markets also reveal pronounced doubledigit sales growth. Glass spirit value sales in both the US and the UK have soared beyond 20 per cent amid the pandemic, reflecting a preference shift we are seeing locally whereby drinkers are reallocating dollars away from beer and wine. Headline metrics derived from IRI’s new ‘LiquorLens’ shopper panel solution reveal a total household purchase penetration gain of 4.6 percentage points (MAT to 29/03/21) for the category, with the average shopper spending an additional $25 extra on glass spirits versus the prior year. Liqueurs, vodka, blended scotch, and gin, all which figure in the top performing segments from a sales perspective, were the four segments to reveal the most significant gain in penetration. Categorywide, the most notable increase in propensity to buy came from frequent buyers (those buying the category more than three times). 26 | National Liquor News


Familiar enduring themes

5. Spiced rum: Touted by many to be the ‘next gin’,

A focus on the highest performing category segments

spiced rum recorded the most significant increase in

reveals some familiar and enduring growth themes.

household spend according to our LiquorLens read,

1. Gin: With a growing number of at-home

although household penetration remans less than half the

occasions, gin sales surpassed the eye-watering

level evident in gin. From a sales perspective, spiced rum’s

growth recorded in the prior year when Australians

sales zinged with absolute growth in the latest 52 weeks

spent an additional 31 per cent on the segment in

(+$53 million) amounting to a near sixfold increase versus

what amounted to +$94 million in growth. The

last year. Top performing brands reflect a combination of

pandemic-led boon to retail liquor meant that

NPD, and an enduring (and accelerated) growth trajectory.

gin sales soared by 44 per cent in 2020-21, adding

Looking forward, there remains opportunity for more

nearly +$174 million in absolute sales growth.

upscale (and potentially local) premium rum brands to

Over the last two years, the gin segment has accounted

spice up the range further.

“Flourishing demand for glass spirits, which was already evident before the pandemic, is apparent once again in 2020-21 sales data.”

for nearly a fifth of glass spirits growth and accumulated

6. Dark rum: Meanwhile, traditional dark rum sales

+3.1 percentage points in category value share. With

growth amounted to a near twelvefold increase versus the

flavoured gin product development still relatively

marginal growth recorded last year. A household penetration

limited in Australia compared to the UK, there is still

gap between traditional dark rum and spiced rum

opportunity for gin to gain share for at least the next two

accounts for the former still outselling the latter; household

years. But preferences may become more ephemeral as

penetration of dark rum is 1.6 times higher than spiced rum,

Daniel Bone

only marginally higher than the dollar sales differential.

Insights Director IRI

drinkers migrate to the newest sensory delight. 2. Bourbon: Over the last 12 months, the bourbon

The pandemic has accelerated the manner in which

segment has provided the most significant dollar

Australians have embraced at-home mixology, making

contribution to category growth. The 25.5 per cent

at-home occasions set to remain significant for the

annual dollar growth of all bourbon reflects the wider

foreseeable future.

category performance at large; this is also apparent

The above-mentioned shopper penetration metrics

with bourbon’s percentage contribution to category

highlight an ongoing opportunity to recruit drinkers

growth (17.8 per cent) almost precisely aligned to

into the category. We anticipate plenty of NPD activity,

its share of sales (17.6 per cent). This narrative was

for example with Haig Club’s new Mediterranean Orange

also somewhat apparent from our LiquorLens data

spirit recently launched in the UK. The new 35 per cent

whereby gains in bourbon penetration have been

ABV spirit drink uses specific wording to appeal to ‘non-

marginal relative to the segments.

whisky drinkers’, tapping into the seltzer trend with its

3. Vodka: Again a leading category growth contributor in absolute terms, vodka bears resemblance

broad array of enticing and accessible flavours to provide an approachable option for novice dark spirit drinkers.

to bourbon. The segment grew at an impressive 18 per

A similar theme will be the way contemporary flavour

cent, with strong performance from brands across the

forward brands like Squealing Pig and Kopparberg use

price spectrum. But vodka’s percentage contribution to

NPD to optimise cross-category sales opportunities.

glass sprits’ overall growth (12.0 per cent) under-indexed

It will likely be another year in which intra-category

relative to its share of sales (15.4 per cent). So that suggests

competition will intensify as purveyors find more

that other segments (beyond gin) have disproportionately

interesting ways to entice novelty-seeking buyers into

impacted the vibrant performance of spirits overall.

traditionally complex segments.

This article is a snapshot of themes covered in

4. Single malt Scotch: When we cast the net wider,

Finally, sustainable packaging looks set to be a major

single malt Scotch and spiced rum stand out as the

theme to impact the category on a global scale. Given the

most significant segments over-indexing in dollar

iconic nature of many bottles and associated brand codes,

Rising Spirits:

growth contribution. The former has long been a

the glass spirits category is suited to make an impact with

Unpicking the Growth

beacon of premiumisation in the category (i.e. pre-

packaging-themed NPD activity. Watch out for an array

COVID too), but the +46.7 per cent annual increase

of new bottle prototypes and limited editions that are

in sales is clearly influenced by the migration of spend

anchored around the 4R’s of Removing, Reducing, Reusing,

from travel retail especially.

and Recycling.

more detail in IRI’s upcoming report

of Glass Spirits. Contact au for more details.

June 2021 | 27

Retailer Profile

A crafty

experience Josh Daley, Owner Operator of Mane Liquor in Belmont WA, shares his desire for the growing craft beer movement.

With a passion to help the

“Outside of regular tastings

industry succeed and a love for

each week, we run a large

beer himself, Owner Operator of

car park party each year that

Mane Liquor, Josh Daley, is living

showcases some of WA’s best

the dream with Australia’s ever-

local producers.

increasing craft beer options. His small unique store tucked

to watch craft beer grow over the

away in the heart of Perth gives

years and it makes us appreciate

local and national brewers the

the amazing customers we have

chance to showcase their beer

who turn out every year to

among an incredible 1000 different

support us.”

SKUs, which also includes a range

Being an independent retailer

of natural wines and local spirits.

isn’t always tastings and parties for

“Dedication to craft beer is our

Daley though. He is often faced

passion. At Mane Liquor we’re

with the huge challenge of how

here to help celebrate the craft

to compete with big box retailers

beer revolution in as many ways as

on price.

possible. The first step is drinking

“These guys undercut what

what you preach. I love beer, I love

little profits there already is in

wine, I love gin. The list goes on,”

alcohol sales to take away sales

Daley said.

from independents. This is slowly

“Our focus is on delivering

dwindling away all the small, local

the good news and good taste of

operators out there as they can’t

craft beer to friends, family and

compete with the buying power

the public as best we can. And we

that these enormous companies

don’t stop at beer.

have,” he said.

“Natural wine has been a

However, Daley said he

big mover in recent years and

is hopeful for the future. He

supporting the enormous local

said while it has been difficult

base of talent we have in Australia

adjusting to the pandemic

is something that helps drive us.”

restrictions, overall trends

For Daley, running a liquor

indicate a positive movement for

store has allowed him to witness

28 | National Liquor News

“It has truly been a pleasure

his store in 2021.

the growth of Australia’s craft

“Dealing with COVID and

beer industry. To celebrate

lockdown, just like any business

brewers each year he puts on a

these days, has had its ups and

‘brew party’, (which attracts more

downs. Luckily for retail, it has

than 1000 people throughout the

generally had a positive effect as

day), and also runs smaller regular

far as business and sales goes,”

events too.

he said.

He said: “We like to think we’ve

“There’s certainly been a stark

got one of the largest collections

increase in people’s drinking habits

of beer in the country. It can be

for the better which is great to see.

overwhelming for people, so the

Whether that means supporting

best way to break down those

more local brands in these trying

barriers is to open great booze

times, or generally drinking better

and share it with those interested.

quality booze.”

‘Better For You’ Beverages Feature

Lighten Up this winter with the new Tempus Two lower alcohol and reduced calories wine.

‘Better For You’ Beverages

Jump on the

‘better’ train

The ‘better for you’ movement is no longer just a growing trend. Dan Hughes investigates what this means for retailers.

In recent years, consumers have built

the expansion of the ‘better for you’

what was once a small trend into a


powerful movement in the beverage

“It’s a movement that shows no

industry. The resulting ‘better for

signs of wavering. Future purchase

you’ beverage space has emerged,

consideration is at 40 per cent for

giving consumers a wide range of

lower alcohol wine and the category

products for mindful drinking.

has a strong affinity at 37 per cent

The reach of this space stretches

which shows it is moving in a positive

from calories to carbs, sugar to

trajectory and will continue to do so,”

alcohol content. With the movement

Turner said.

present in all categories of the market,

Market data further solidifies the

it’s become crucial for retailers to

fact that this is not a flash in the pan

recognise the importance of the

fad, as IRI Consultant, Delphine

‘better for you’ market accordingly.

Lambert notes.

Ben Turner, Global Marketing

“Better for you’ products within

Director of Australian Vintage

the glass spirits and ready to drink

Limited (AVL), producer of no and

categories have been increasingly

low alcohol wines Tempus Two

popular in the last MAT, now

Lighten Up and McGuigan Zero,

representing a total of $303.7 million

said consumer demand is driving

in sales,” Lambert said.



‘Better For You’ Beverages

“The ‘better for you’ trend is here to stay and we believe it will even be reinforced in the future. The pandemic has highlighted how much our health is important, and conscious and healthier drinking does play a big role.”

In the spirit One of the biggest components to the ‘better for you’ movement is the no and low alcohol sector. According to data from Endeavour Group, sales of non-alcoholic drinks have more than doubled in the last year and it’s becoming one of the fastest growing categories. Bree Coleman, Head of Merchandise Transformation of Endeavour Group said: “The rise of non-alcoholic drinks reflects a broader trend where consumers are choosing to drink less, but drink better. We expect this trend to continue.” Non-alcoholic spirits producers are noticing the mindset about drinking less but better is growing, as

A leader in the no alcohol spirit space is Lyre’s, which was recently valued at $179M, showing the sheer

people become more mindful in general. Tim Triggs, Founder of no alcohol spirit brand

demand for new beverages in the space. According to

ALTD, said: “I think going forward, consumers

Lyre’s Co-founder and CEO Mark Livings, retailers

will be more conscious and critical of the fine print.

have been key to opening up this demand and showing

When they read things like natural flavourings, they’ll

consumers the possibilities of what is out there. “Where we find that retailers do particularly well

question, ‘what actually is that?’” Samantha Manning, Founder of no alcohol RTD

is blocking the adult beverage alternatives that are

brand Monday Distillery, said targeted marketing

alcohol free together - that’s the ‘Aha’ moment for a lot

occasions are helping build this mindset and drive

of consumers who come in looking for an alternative,”

category growth.

Livings said.

people who are choosing not drink if they’re driving

Beer and wine a popular choice

or to cut back on alcohol in general,” she said.

Fighting for a spot on the shelf alongside ‘better for

“Because of the movements for Ocsober, febfast,

you’ spirit categories are beer and wine, which are both seeing great growth.

that take place, we’ve been able to leverage and kind

In the wine space, for example, demand drove

of keep innovating and introducing other beverages

further innovation of the AVL portfolio, which was

into the range.”

recently expanded to include Tempus Two Lighten Up


Ben Turner Global Marketing Director Australian Vintage Limited

“There is a few more options on the market for

Dry July, and all of those key marketing initiatives

“Giving the ‘better for you’ category space and more visibility puts the customer first and ultimately helps to drive sales.”





*Less when compared to the Tempus Two Varietal series. *4 standard drinks per bottle.

‘Better For You’ Beverages

(alongside existing McGuigan Zero).

Heineken at its Australian distributor

Turner said this demand came from

Lion, said after launching Heineken

people not wanting to miss out on the

0.0 in 2019, increasing demand

experience behind wine.

pushed more off-premise distribution.

“Consumers still want to feel part of

“This surge in popularity has seen

the occasion, however they are looking

Heineken 0.0 launch in the supermarket

to balance the social and physiological

and convenience channel, where it is

desires to consume alcohol, without

also available in cans now. Consumers

sabotaging their health goals and

are looking for products that fit with

commitments. They want to enjoy

their increasingly busy lifestyles and

a glass of well-crafted wine with the

countless responsibilities,” Pulsford said.

same great taste just minus the alcohol.

Paul Weaving, Business Development

They want to indulge without worrying

Director of Hawkesbury Brewing Co,

about the extra calories that come

distributed by Drink Craft, said the

with full-strength wine and without

value of the ‘better for you’ segment in

Alex Bottomley

sacrificing flavour (or clinking a wine

beer and other categories is still being

glass to say ‘cheers’),” he said.

discovered by consumers.

Director Ampersand Projects

Casella Family Brands has also

“It is easy to think that everyone

recently expanded its range for a

knows about non-alcoholic drinks and

similar reason, with a lighter Yellow

the amazing innovation and quality

Tail iteration called Pure Bright.

which is available in beer, wine and

“In particular, younger consumers are looking to moderate their overall

spirits. But in reality, we have only scratched the surface,” Weaving said.

alcohol consumption, whilst others are

“Discovery is growing fast and we

looking to reduce their calorie intake

know that when people taste Prohibition,

while not compromising on taste or

they love the full craft flavour. I really

quality,” said Anna Czarnocka, Global

don’t see a cap on the potential as people

Marketing Manager for Yellow Tail.

come to see Prohibition and other non-

Pernod Ricard, which produces lower alcohol and calorie range Jacob’s

alcoholic beers as a staple which they always have in their fridge.”

Creek Better By Half, agrees on the importance of meeting expectations.

Full of flavour

“For wines, what has been key is that

The ‘better for you’ market has also

these new offerings don’t compromise

supported the growth of low sugar,

on taste, particularly when it comes to

low calorie and low carb beverages,

still enjoying a glass of wine with food,”

with a range of different flavours and

said Emma Baldwin, Head of Wine

iterations across multiple categories.

Delivery at Pernod Ricard.

Simon Hill, Co-founder of Local

“[Consumers] are looking for

Beverages which produces low calorie

products that deliver on the moderation

alcoholic iced tea RTDs, said the

requirement, whether that be alcohol

consumer is transforming the ‘better

or calories, but also delivers on flavour.”

for you’ market, looking for several

The no and low alcohol beer sector

different things at once.

has also experienced the impact of

“As the category is still emerging it’s

great growth pushed by the ‘better for

important to have an element of what

you’ movement.

consumers know and love. The Iced Tea

Sam Pulsford, Brand Manager for 32 | National Liquor News

aspect brings an old familiar favourite

“This is not a trend or a fad. The ‘better for you’ movement will just continue to become the new normal.”









Pinot Noir

4 standard drinks per bottle* 75 calories per 150ml serve*

4 standard drinks per bottle* 75 calories per 150ml serve*

4 standard drinks per bottle* 80 calories per 150ml serve*

DON’T COMPROMISE ON TASTE FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL AVL SALES REPRESENTATIVE OR CALL +61 (0)2 8345 6377 *Less when compared to the Tempus Two Varietal series. *4 standard drinks per bottle.

‘Better For You’ Beverages

out of hibernation, whilst still ticking

about marketing occasions, and also

the consumer wants and needs boxes

noted how awareness can be built in store.

with a new twist,” Hill said.

“We know from consumer research

Nick Cogger, Founder of Torquay

that the target demographic are

Beverage Company which encompasses

convenience shoppers looking for

NoSh Hard Seltzer, K.Booch Hard

immediate consumption, so it is key

Kombucha and Spruce Hard Cold

that the Prosecco and rosé are at eye

Brew, agreed that the key to attracting

level and in the fridge so they’re ready

‘better for you’ consumers is offering a

to drink,” Turner said.

range of different flavours.

Czarnocka had a similar sentiment

“I think consumers are still

and said: “Fridge placements on

exploring and learning about ‘better

sparkling, whites and lighter style

for you’. As brand owners we need to

reds are a great way to encourage trial

make it easy for consumers to find us,

and capitalise on the fact that most

What the research shows

and have clear call outs of ‘low sugar,

purchases are made with immediate

In a rapid-pace survey commissioned by

low carb’ etc,” Cogger said.

consumption in mind.

National Liquor News through research company

“Consumers aren’t loyal to brands

A tip from Weaving about this was

yet and variety is key. From a brand

to: “Bring non-alc products together

owner perspective, the better products

to create a dedicated space in store…

will cut through.”

Tell people about the category in your

Alex Bottomley, Director of

conversations with customers and in

Ampersand Projects, added that

your print, social and digital content.”

consumers are actively seeking ‘better

The need for clear signposting

for you’ products based on taste.

was also echoed by Baldwin, who

Glow, the reasons that consumers were choosing ‘better for you’ options became clear. “The data gathered showed health reasons and popularity with friends were considerations but not the lead driver for selecting low /no alcohol, low sugar or low carb drinks,” said Derek Brown, Managing Director APAC of Glow. “Glow’s study showed consumers found the

“Taste is the most important factor…

noted: “When it comes to wine, it

fresh is best for ‘better for you’ drinkers

can be an overwhelming experience

and the addition of a fresh garnish

for consumers, so clear labelling

data clarified potential assumptions such as

[to our wide-brim RTDs] delivers a

and making the distinction between

‘being the designated driver’ may have been

far superior taste when compared to

no alcohol and low alcohol is key to

the lead consideration.”

the artificially flavoured products out


there that have a tendency to have an

Livings said that by making

undesirable aftertaste,” Bottomley said.

products easily accessible and

“This is not a trend or a fad. The

navigatable, retailers can boost business

‘better for you’ movement will just


continue to become the new normal. If

“One in four adult Australians don’t

brands can continue to give consumers

drink at all, so they have no reason

products that help support a healthier

whatsoever to come into a bottle shop,”

and more balanced lifestyle then they

Livings added.

will succeed.”

“By promoting products like this you give them a reason to and

Take full advantage

[retailers] can potentially increase

There are some things that retailers can

their foot traffic by 20 to 25 per cent,

do to best capitalise on ‘better for you’

if they can attract people into the store

products in different sectors.

to find things that suit how they want

Turner built on Manning’s comment

34 | National Liquor News

to consume.”

flavour of the offerings in this category as a key motivator for consumption. Gathering the


Retail Drinks

Reflecting on an unprecedented 12 months for Retail Drinks and liquor retail As the financial year comes to a close, Retail Drinks CEO Michael Waters reflects on how the organisation and industry has navigated the pandemic and subsequent ‘new normal.’

Michael Waters CEO Retail Drinks Australia

As an advocate for the retail liquor industry for over 12 years, I’ve

message that we can call our own. Rolled out nationally late last year, it

witnessed my fair share of industry challenges, all of which were eclipsed

was met with applause from politicians and regulators alike.

by the COVID-19 pandemic. But I’m proud to say that despite the panic

As the entire world appeared to pivot towards e-commerce, our

and uncertainty, Retail Drinks has punched well above its weight in

Online Alcohol Sale & Delivery Code of Conduct as a proactive

ensuring that we all still have the freedom to retail responsibly.

guide for retailing responsibly online became the cornerstone for all

The liquor retail industry was very nearly shut down during the

regulators legislating in this new space. Beyond regulators, we were

first lockdown as governments considered whether to adopt a New

also contacted by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking

Zealand-style model which closed bottle shops. The fact we were

(IARD) who recognised our industry-first, world-leading Code, and

able to remain open and operate in a safe and responsible manner

used it as a blueprint for their first global standards launched in May.

was no fluke. Retail Drinks successfully spearheaded efforts in every jurisdiction to keep doors open. To calm initial concerns from decision-makers and regulators

Another online activity was last month’s 2021 Retail Drinks Liquor Retail Summit and Industry Awards, held entirely online with over 1000 members and industry stakeholders tuned in.

about the effect of lockdowns on panic-buying, Retail Drinks

On the member services front, the team worked overtime

launched an unprecedented National Voluntary Purchase Limits

expanding our service offering to help members run their businesses

campaign. This initiative was applauded widely and kept your doors

more efficiently and effectively. We launched our Electricity Health

open during the first wave. Thankfully, our initiative was followed

Check in partnership with energy experts Make It Cheaper, which

by a return to sensible purchasing and set the tone for pragmatic

has saved members an average of around $5,400 per store on their

discussions with the Government about liquor retail in the ‘new

energy bills. Our exclusive member only Business Insurance Program

normal’. We followed this with extensive lobbying during each

continues to grow and is ‘best-in-field’, with enhanced coverage and

localised lockdown to ensure our industry remained operating. As

average premium savings of around $1,400. Last but not least, we

part of this effort, we also secured over $8M in licence fee waivers

were thrilled to recently launch our new Mental Health & Wellbeing

and discounts across most jurisdictions.

service in partnership with Luemo, providing ongoing resources to

We also developed our Social Distancing Guidelines for Retail Liquor

help business be wellbeing workplaces.

Stores, which set out how to minimise transmission risks in a liquor

As another financial year comes to a close, I see a versatile and

retail environment, and was particularly critical to ensuring retailers

resilient industry equipped for whatever a post-COVID world will

remained open during lockdowns in VIC, QLD and WA. Then we

throw at us. And whilst we can’t control the future, rest assured that

partnered with DrinkWise to launch our latest industry responsibility

Retail Drinks is committed to ensuring that we are enhancing your

initiative Choose to Drinkwise – the first retail-focussed moderation

freedom to retail responsibly.

36 | National Liquor News

Banner Group

The trends I’m watching right now are: “Zero alcohol products, and a move to clear and white spirit RTDs. But probably the biggest trend we’re seeing is consumers returning to the ‘High Street’, to smaller strip shops and local locations, and really seeking out smaller independent operators in liquor.” – Chris O’Brien, Liquor Barons. The trends we’re seeing in store surround ‘Beverages for a Balanced Lifestyle’: “Our organic wine range has more than tripled in sales over the past 12 months and have seen tremendous growth in RTD brands with low and zero sugar.” – Gavin Saunders, Liquor Marketing Group. I’ve got my eye on: “The ‘healthier for you’ trend, in particular seltzer and non-alcoholic. Trying to predict where this is heading,

Flying flags for independent retail In the coming pages, we speak to some of Australia’s leading banner groups about the current liquor retail landscape, and how they are supporting their independent members after a tumultuous year.

how big it will be and what is the right range.” – Corey Leeson, Independent Liquor Retailers. Along with product trends: “The other major trend we are watching is suppliers’ direct to consumer offerings and the impact it will have on traditional bricks and mortar retail stores.” – Paul Esposito, Independent Liquor Group.

June 2021 | 37

Liquor Marketing Group

Gavin Saunders, CEO of Liquor Marketing Group (LMG), discusses the group’s unwavering focus and how it contributes to success and opportunities for 2021 and beyond.

Q How has LMG been faring in 2021 so far?

performance during the COVID-19 period.

catalogues, social media activity and geo-

LMG has continued its market-leading

Bottlemart enjoyed the highest percentage of

targeting to reach local customers that are

performance of 2020 into calendar year

planned purchases through our marketing

unique to our members’ stores.

2021, including posting growth for both

and promotions with a +10 per cent increase

March and April 2021, being the first two

in customer count and 13 per cent growth in

Q What are the key things you’re

months of COVID impact in the prior year.

spend per customer providing like-for-like

working on to support your members?

LMG has recorded +24.3 per cent growth

scan sales growth of +24.3 per cent for the

We will continue to invest heavily in

12 months to April 2021.

innovation, technology, e-commerce, digital

in the 12 months to April 2021, continuing the momentum of the previous four years;

marketing and enhancing our current systems

we have now posted 16 consecutive quarters

Q What is the focus at LMG at the moment?

to help our members make better decisions

of growth for our retailers. Critical to driving

LMG’s focus never changes. We exist to

with access to more actionable data and

this performance has been our consistent

provide exceptional support to our members

insights. Additionally, LMG’s retailer store

focus on understanding our shoppers

and provide them with the best tools

refresh was initiated in May 2021, providing

and growing our customer base. Through

and opportunities to help them succeed.

our retailers with the opportunity to enhance

our strong marketing and promotional

Effectively meeting shoppers’ needs must

their in-store environment.

programs, we have managed to maintain

be at the heart of this focus – and lifting the

our existing buyers while significantly

quality of planning and collaboration between

Q What are the biggest strengths of LMG

increasing the number of new shoppers to

our teams, suppliers and our retailers is the

right now?

our Bottlemart, Sip’n Save, Harry Brown and

key to alignment, and ultimately, success.

LMG’s strength comes from our strong

Thirsty Camel WA stores.

We want to give our shoppers a reason

retailers and committed LMG team. Being

to ‘keep coming back’. We are continuously

a membership-owned and governed group,

Q Reflecting on 2020, is there one thing

finding ways to disrupt price by working with

structure is also a strength, which allowed

that stands out for you?

our supplier partners to implement multi-

us to make decisions and invest for member

Our greatest lesson from 2020 was to never

faceted and integrated marketing plans that

benefit during the uncertainties over the past

lose contact with your customers. Along

reach and resonate with our shoppers.

year. Examples include investing in additional

with supporting retailers, staff and supplier

marketing when other retailers pulled back,

partners, LMG recognised the importance of

Q What are the biggest opportunities for

paying member rebates six weeks early in

maintaining and enhancing our marketing

LMG for the rest of 2021?

March 2020 to support members’ cash flow and

to maintain offers to our existing customers

Enhancing our digital marketing and

the commitment of the LMG team throughout

and attract new shoppers.

e-commerce platforms. Our members will

the most challenging periods of restrictions to

benefit from our strong investment in digital

find all ways possible to support members.

The impact of this was evident in our 38 | National Liquor News

Independent Liquor Group

Paul Esposito, CEO of Independent Liquor Group (ILG) talks about overcoming challenges to support the group’s member family. Q How has ILG been faring in 2021 so far? The year 2020 challenged ILG in every aspect. The pandemic impacted 40 per cent of our membership which operates in the on-premise environment. To add to the pandemic, ILG also experienced a cyber attack which shutdown our systems. Luckily, due to the quick work from my team, we were able to minimise downtime to only a few days. Even with all this adversity, it has been a successful year for ILG, and suffice to say, we are on track for a record year in sales revenue, profit, and membership growth.

members. This was successfully ratified

The other issue is supplier engagement

at the EGM, allowing ILG to purchase a

with online platforms or directly offering

Q Reflecting on 2020, is there one thing

warehouse in South East QLD to better

exclusives to consumers, bypassing the

that stands out to you?

service our growing membership. Along

traditional retail stores.

The warm and resilient nature of our

with the ownership of Erskine Park and

members and ILG staff. We reference

Townsville warehouses, this provides

Q What are the key things that you are

the co-operative as a family and we do

security and efficiencies to all our members.

working on to support your members?

our best to support each other. This was

The board and executive have also been

There are three areas we continue to focus

evident during the uncertainty around

working together on delivering strategies

on. One: We regularly review our offering

the pandemic and the cyber-attack. It was

for growth and how we can further add

and look for efficiencies to pass on to our

inspiring to witness members sending treats

value to our membership.

members. Two: freight costs continue to

and goodies to the staff who were working

be a major issue especially for our regional Q What are the biggest opportunities

and QLD members. And three: the health

There were also members offering to help

for ILG for the rest of this year?

and wellbeing of our members and staff. It

with delivery backlogs; such a genuine

We will continue to support our members

is important to reignite our social events

display of wholeness that we are indeed in

in driving traffic to their stores and/or their

to bring back normality.

this together. I am particularly proud of

e-commerce platforms, by also providing

the support ILG provided our membership

them with tools and flexibility to retail for

Q Anything else to add?

during 2020, giving them every opportunity

their local communities.

I would like to thank the ILG membership

around the clock during the cyber-attack.

to survive and safeguard their future.

for their ongoing support, and this also Q What are the key challenges that ILG

includes our supplier members. We are

Q What is the focus at ILG at the moment?

is facing?

committed to ensure the success and

We recently conducted an Exceptional

The challenges independents are facing is

longevity of independents in the liquor

General Meeting (EGM); where we asked

the dominance of the supermarket chains

industry, empowering you with the strength

the membership to consider special

as they chase market share. Unfortunately

and benefits of belonging to Australia’s

resolutions that are significant in the

due to acquisitions we have lost some of

largest member owned liquor cooperative.

seamless operation of the business to help

our long serving regional members in NSW

I invite you to join us as our members are

future proof the co-operative and our

and a similar trend is occurring in QLD.

the key to our success.

June 2021 | 39

Liquor Legends

John Carmody, Managing Director of Liquor Legends, talks about overcoming challenges of the pandemic and capitalising on the group’s strengths.

Q How has Liquor Legends been faring

to spend more for what they wanted during

that is bringing new consumers to our website

in 2021 so far?

COVID, despite the potential for savings.

and stores which we never had before.

continued growth month-on-month into

Q What is the focus at Liquor Legends at

the product offering was right for what the

the first quarter of 2021. Considering we

the moment?

consumers wanted at the right periods. In

are lapping such huge growth during 2020,

Getting our digital marketing and

the early days of the pandemic we were

continuing to grow is a massive feat. If we

e-commerce firing the same way our instore

not sure how the market would react and

look at our performance in the first quarter of

trade is. We are still relatively new to this

had to react daily. As time went on we

2021 compared to 2020, we are 27 per cent up.

space and have made incredible progress

were able to understand where customer

here, yet we have a lot left untapped.

shopping behaviour was trending, however

Liquor Legends is extremely proud to show

We are seeing many of the trends

The biggest challenges were in ensuring

continue, with a reduction in basket size

We are excited to continue to change the

as restrictions lifted, we weren’t certain

being the only key performance indicator

way we trade as a business and refresh our

whether customers would revert to old

in the red and this was expected. We are

ongoing strategy to fit to our consumers’

habits, or maintain their new way of life.

projecting that our strong performance will

needs and deliver the best in class service

continue throughout this year where we

we are known for in an omni-channel arena.

believe we will exceed last year’s numbers

Q What would you say are the biggest strengths of Liquor Legends right now?

Q What have been some the biggest

Our fully integrated ecosystem across the

opportunities and challenges for Liquor

entire business. Everything is working

Q Reflecting on 2020, is there one

Legends recently?

harmoniously across all of our customer

particular learning that stands out for you?

The biggest opportunities laid in our

facing touchpoints. We are able to turn

Consumers are lazy! The industry, and

e-commerce and digital marketing

anything on in a short period of time. We

Liquor Legends specifically, saw an

channels. We were already in the final stage

are able to focus on the future and react to

unbelievable increase in RTD sales. Full

of development, however we had to launch

the market easily. We are in the strongest

bottle spirits came along for the ride but not

slightly early when COVID took full effect.

position we have ever been in and we still

to the same level. Customers weren’t afraid

This is a brand new channel for our business

haven’t reached our ceiling yet.

month on month.

40 | National Liquor News

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Independent Liquor Retailers

Corey Leeson, General Manager of Independent Liquor Retailers (ILR) describes the group’s focus in 2021 and its commitment to members.

Q How has ILR been faring in 2021 so far?

with the change in shopper behaviour and

people wanting to stay local and support

In a word, exceptional. The planets have

providing additional cost saving services for

local business. We are seeing growth in these

aligned for our business as our retail

our members.

regional towns due to people moving to

liquor sales are exceeding our expectations

country areas, holidaying in country towns

and actually trending above industry

Q What are the biggest opportunities for

and the breaking of the drought is finally

averages. Being a retail liquor group with

ILR this year?

putting money into our farmers’ pockets. All

most members situated in regional NSW

Growing our digital presence to get our great

these factors are providing new customers,

and QLD, we have seen growth across all

deals in front of more consumers and tailoring

increased spending and increased volume.

categories. This is due to our members’

our stores’ offers based on geographical

exceptional customer service, range and

location and localised drink choices. We want

Q What do you think the industry can

relationships. They continued to execute our

to put the local back in local liquor.

do to better support banner groups?

promotions and not take their customers

Come up with products and offers that

for granted which is seeing new customers

Q What are the key things you’re

provide a point of difference and better

come through the door and upselling of our

working on to support members?

category margin opportunities. Allow

existing customer base.

On top of expanding our online presence

independents to be independent and serve

through e-commerce and digital advertising

their community the way they need to. Move

Q What was the biggest thing you

to increase sales, we are looking at providing

away from the one shoe fits all approach and

learned from 2020?

other services and programs that help retailers

provide flexible programs so stores can tailor

Take nothing for granted. Retail was lucky

reduce business costs and provide additional

to their local needs.

in the pandemic with increased sales, but

margin opportunities. This includes craft beer

our on-premise members were on the

programs, premium wine and spirit offers,

Q Anything else to add?

other end of the scale. We can’t rest on our

merchant services offers, improved private

ILR is a group that is for the members and

laurels and need to always look at ways

label ranging and time saving services such

the benefit of members. We treat all members

to improve and support members. The

as product and promotion hosting.

equally and provide all our profits back to

priority is to keep members profitable and

our members fairly. We don’t use other

keep customers coming back. Groups like

Q What are the biggest strengths of ILR

members’ money to buy business and spend

us need to support all independent stores

right now?

on programs or infrastructure that doesn’t

and provide more than just a marketing and

Our members. Being a predominately

provide a benefit or uplift in sales. We are a

promotional program to stay relevant. The

regional member base and convenience retail

true independent group that allows you to be

focus at the moment is moving and adapting

service, our members are benefitting from

the champion of your community.

42 | National Liquor News

Paramount Liquor

Jon Fernandes, General Manager of Sessions, the new banner group from Paramount Liquor, explains how the business as a whole has restructured to service retail since the pandemic.

Q How is Paramount structured to service retail in 2021? A family-owned business that has operated successfully for 30 years, Paramount Liquor is the second largest national broad range wholesaler, offering the widest range available and an unparalleled supplier network to its customers. Evolution is Paramount, brilliantly servicing the on-premise market through three decades, the business is perfectly placed to now to take their experience and service first culture to the off-premise independent trade. We have worked tirelessly with the current outstanding network to ensure pricing, promos, product availability and supply is all retail ready! The range includes all the key volume lines but the accessibility of so many craft beers and premium and

a truly local focussed marketing program

weekly purchases. Special buys, quantity

international spirits is profound and puts it

that is aimed at each store’s local area and

discounts and allowances are available on

well ahead of its competitors.

together with supplier partners, dedicated

all products. With greater access to more

to driving growth through our outlets.

products, boutique or limited releases or the

Through two key channels we will offer the independent retailer a genuine option

The brand and livery along with the

vast range of craft beers, all available through

for their broad range weekly liquor supply

instore solutions are vibrant, modern and

the dynamic Paramount Web portal,

and supported marketing programs; with

match the style of retailer that is looking to

retailers can easily order and consolidate

the Sessions Liquor banner group and Spot-

offer more than just a standard shopping

their orders to one or two shipments a week.

On liquor.

experience. The programs are aimed at driving footfall to store through products

Q What do you see as the biggest

Q Can you tell me a bit about Sessions and

that shoppers are searching for, products

opportunities for Paramount in retail

what its philosophy is?

that spark curiosity and passion. All the

this year?

Sessions Liquor is the newest brand to the

mainstay products are always available at

Technology is at the forefront of Paramount’s

retail market, focussed on the emerging

competitive everyday pricing.

success, our future focus is designed all

and relevant brands that excite, whilst still

around the emergence and demand of high

offering all the shopper favourites instore.

Q And what about Spot-On, how does

quality e-commerce, digital and social

Our commitment through Sessions offers

that differ?

marketing platforms. Investment is on-

comprehensive and relevant promotional

To support the emergence of Paramount

going to ensure our retailers are leading the

programs, core range programs that are

into the retail space, Spot-On liquor is

direct conversation with shoppers, this will

balanced across mainstream, craft and

available to all retail customers looking for

continue to evolve and forms a critical part

artisan products. Brought to life through

simplicity and ease of consolidating their

of our future strategies.

June 2021 | 43

Liquor Barons

Chris O’Brien, General Manager of Liquor Barons, talks about the strengths and opportunities of the West Australian group and what this means for its members. Q How has Liquor Barons been faring so far in 2021? The short answer - significantly better than I had forecast. With the demise of the government stimulus I had forecast that our sales numbers would return to more 2019 levels but that hasn’t been the case. In fact, we’ve held this inflated level of sales through the first half of this year. In our opinion, closed borders, both domestically and internationally, have really been the key driving force of more disposable income and therefore increased sales in the off-premise liquor channel. We’re certainly reaping the financial benefit of this. Q Looking back on 2020, what was one thing you learned that stands out? Be nimble, and focus on what you’re good at. For Liquor Barons at the moment, the focus is on making sure our legitimate local credentials are well known to the consumers, and to continually align our promotional activity and product range to maintain our authentic local positioning.

our biggest strength is our consumer brand. We’ve invested a huge amount of money and resources into creating the Liquor Barons

Q What are the biggest opportunities for Liquor Barons for the

consumer brand in WA, and we’re now starting to reap the benefits

rest of the year?

of that. We know if we put a Liquor Barons banner above the door,

The biggest opportunity will be to capitalise on the booming West

it attracts customers in WA.

Australian economy… For us it’s about making sure that we continue

At a local level, we’re continuing to invest in the legitimate local

to provide our members with every tool possible for them to get their

theme. This is resonating well with the public and it drives more

share (and more) of these booming markets which are statewide, but

consumers in-store, and it drives foot traffic. We’ve seen this for a

are more emphasised in the regional areas at the moment.

couple of years and that momentum continues to increase. On top of this, we’re looking closely at our product selection,

Q What key issues is the WA liquor industry is facing right now?

putting a real emphasis on differentiated, local and margin increasing

We continue to talk about problem drinking and working with our

products. And then also, we’re focused on encourage return

association and then local communities on the introduction and

customers, through our reenergised, reimagined loyalty program,

implementation of the Banned Drinkers Registers, as opposed to

Barons Locals.

blanket bans in those regions, which is critical. We as an industry need to be supportive of mechanisms to support that small portion

Q Is there anything that you think the industry can do to better

of the population who struggle with alcohol.

support banner groups? I think it’s important that banner groups stand on their own two

Q Can you tell me about any key focus areas that you’re

feet, and that they actually add value to the industry. And to do that,

working on to support your members?

we need to be very objective about how we make decisions. I think

We support members through our biggest strengths, and right now,

Liquor Barons is doing that quite well at the moment.

44 | National Liquor News

LIKE Cougar FROM Maylands

Wine Tasting Review

The National Liquor News tasting panel did something a bit different this month, sampling a range of Cabernet Dominant Blends. Here are their highest scoring wines across three price brackets.

Cabernet Dominant Blends Panels Picks

The Panel Geoff Bollom, Retailer, Fennell Bay Cellars

Tishena Young, National Account Executive, Constellation Brands

Nigel Burton, CEO, Burton Premium Wines

Sabine Duval, Trading Manager and Lead Educator, The Wine Collective

David Wright, National Wholesale Sales Manager, Elderton Wines

Special thanks

National Liquor News would like to thank Sydney Wine Academy students for their help carrying out the tasting. This month’s tasting was assisted by Unity Kerslake.

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

46 | National Liquor News

Brand & Sons

Inspire Estate

Wirra Wirra Church

Family Reserve

Premium Reserve

Block Cabernet


Cabernet Shiraz

Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot

Region: Coonawarra

Region: Barossa

VIN: 2016 LUC: $47.20

VIN: 2017 LUC: $26.36

Region: McLaren Vale

Distributed by: Brand

Distributed by:

VIN: 2019 LUC: $16.99

Group (SA), Fisher Fine Wine

Swan Wine Group

Distributed by:

(NSW), Ascott Wine Services (VIC)

“Wow, this is great. Benefitted by a few years before release. Herbaceaous, dark fruit. Really good.” – Geoff Bollom

Samuel Smith & Son

“Great tannin structure and balance, very well rounded.” – Sabine Duval

“Mint nose and palate. Loved the nose, fruit weight and finish.” – Nigel Burton

Wine Tasting Review

LUC over $27 Artemis The Bellows


Cabernet Merlot

Dry Red

Petit Verdot

Region: Coonawarra

Region: Southern Highlands

VIN: 2018 LUC: $32.25

VIN: 2018 LUC: $27.50

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Aus Provenance

Direct from winery

“Chocolate. Green leaves. Well balanced. Good finish. Does everything right.” – Geoff Bollom

“Wonderful enticing nose and palate. Beautifully balanced and fresh.” – Nigel Burton

“Blends really showed the benefit of a few years. Cheaper wines were often unbalanced and raw.” Geoff Bollom Retailer Fennell Bay Cellars

Ferngrove Dragon

Grant Burge Nebu

Reserve Cabernet

Cabernet Shiraz


Region: Barossa

Region: Great Southern

VIN: 2017 LUC: $99.99

VIN: 2019 LUC: $53.75

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Accolade Wines

Ferngrove Wines

“Beautifully soft. This is a delicate hug in a glass. Joyful to drink.” – Tishena Young

“A touch closed, may need some more time. Well made wine, powerful palate.” – Sabine Duval

Food Pairing ➤


Barton & Guestier

Dry Red

Chateau Magnol

Region: Coonawarra


VIN: 2016 LUC: $32.25

Region: France

Distributed by:

VIN: 2016 LUC: $51.69

Aus Provenance

Distributed by: Beach Avenue Wholesalers

“Great mouth feel. Solid back bone. Balanced. Firm tannins.” – Geoff Bollom

“Palate drying tannin. Savoury sour cherry and cranberry. Dark chocolate.” – David Wright

“ Roast lamb and veg (like Grandma makes).” – Geoff Bollom “ Game, beef, BBQ and hearty stews on a cold night.” – Tishena Young “ Slow cooked lamb shoulder with root veggies.” – Sabine Duval “ I actually quite enjoy a bright Cab-Merlot blend with roast pork shoulder – you’ve got the power and the structure to match up with the generous flesh and if well made, the freshness and acidity to cut through the richness.” – David Wright

June 2021 | 47

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $17-$27

“There was a lot of oak in these wines and all were high acid.” Sabine Duval Trading Manager and Lead Educator The Wine Collective

Barton & Guestier



Shotfire Quartage

Region: France

Region: Barossa

VIN: 2019 LUC: $26.58

VIN: 2018 LUC: $17.89

Distributed by:

Distributed by: Mezzanine

Beach Avenue Wholesalers

“Firm tannins. Full bodied. Finish very good. Young but will develop.” – Geoff Bollom

“Plum, leather and tobacco. Earthier style but soft enough to be quite pleasant.” – Tishena Young

Voyager Estate Girt

The Gate by

By Sea Cabernet



Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Margaret River


VIN: 2018 LUC: $17.74

Region: Barossa

Distributed by:

VIN: 2018 LUC: $15.05

Déjà Vu Wine Co.

Distributed by: Twisted Harvest (SA), Direct from winery

Editor’s Picks ➤

F erngrove Independence Cabernet Nebbiolo 2019, Great Southern, LUC $15.48 (Ferngrove Wines)

“Lifted red currant and violets on nose moving into darker red/black fruit and dried herbs on the palate. Nice acid line.” – David Wright

(other states)

“Peppery. Tannic. Short palate. Otherwise good.” – Geoff Bollom

L econfield Cabernets 2019, Coonawarra, LUC $19.78 (Leconfield Wines)

Bleasdale Frank

Gaelic Cemetery

Potts Cabernet

Cabernet Malbec

Sauvignon Merlot

A llinda Cabernets 2016, Yarra Valley, LUC $17.73 (Agnew Wines)

Region: Clare Valley

Petit Verdot Malbec

VIN: 2016 LUC: $26.88

E lderton Wines Ode to Lorraine Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot 2018, Barossa, LUC $32.25 (Fesq & Co.) B rokenwood Cricket Pitch Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot 2019, LUC $23.00 (Samuel Smith & Son)

48 | National Liquor News

Region: Langhorne Creek

Distributed by:

VIN: 2018 LUC: $21.07

Déjà Vu Wine Co.

Distributed by: Negociants Australia

“Cherry and chocolate. Good tannins, soft and smooth. Love the mouthfeel, a solid blend.” – Tishena Young

“Fresh nose. Fruit weight but very tannic. Good finish.” – Nigel Burton

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $17 and under Carillion Expressions


Cabernet Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon

Petit Verdot


Region: Orange

Region: McLaren Vale

VIN: 2019 LUC: $13.90

VIN: 2018 LUC: $15.70

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Free Run Distributors

Samuel Smith & Son

“Fills me with intrigue. Sour cherry reminiscent of Zappos with a bold tannic overlay. Quite enjoyable.” – Tishena Young

“Dark fruits, green herbs and soft long tannins. Very enjoyable.” – Tishena Young

Tips for retailing Cabernet blends ➤

Fox Creek Jim’s

Whistling Duck

Script Cabernet

Cabernet Merlot


Region: Australia

Region: McLaren Vale

VIN: 2020 LUC: $5.42

VIN: 2016 LUC: $13.29

Distributed by: Calabria

Distributed by: Pure Wine

Family Wines

Co (SA/NT/NSW/QLD), Nelson Wine Company (VIC), DWS (TAS), Terra Slate (WA)

“Coffee, chocolate, mocha. American oak, cherry cola. Rich and robust. Dark fruits. User friendly.” – Sabine Duval

“Big and juicy. Cassis. Some softer notes on the palate.” – Sabine Duval

Zema Estate Cluny

Brand & Sons

Cabernet Merlot

Bandits Cabernet

Region: Coonawarra

Region: Coonawarra

Distributed by: Porter & Co

VIN: 2018 LUC: $10.75

(SA), Bacchus Wine Merchant

Distributed by: Brand Group

(NSW), Westwood Wine

(SA), Fisher Fine Wine (NSW),

Agencies (VIC), Claret and Co

Ascott Wine Services (VIC)

(WA), The Wine Tradition (QLD), (TAS)

“Expressive nose but subdued dark fruits. Good tannic length and mouthfeel.” – David Wright

“ I would suggest Cab blends to those who want something between Shiraz and Grenache or Pinot.” – Geoff Bollom “ If the blend is with an ‘emerging varietal’, give this some focus. Newer consumers may be more likely to try based on that rather than the Cabernet.” – Tishena Young “ Communicate that blends allow a winemaker’s skill to best shine through and ensure that they’re included in tastings as much as possible - liquid on lips always helps to breakdown reluctance and gives the consumer confidence.” - David Wright


VIN: 2016 LUC: $15.96

David Johnstone & Associates

“ Look for different blends, not just Cab Merlot.” – Sabine Duval

“Showing good development. Good acid structure. Soft fruit. Easy drinking. Great BBQ wine.” – Geoff Bollom

“Classic Cab-Merlot blends from classic regions shone through in the middle bracket, showing it pays to stick to textbook options in this space.” David Wright National Wholesale Sales Manager Elderton Wines

June 2021 | 49


A forecasting dilemma Planning for the future has become more complex than ever thanks to the turbulence of 2020, writes Stephen Wilson, Category and Insights Manager at Strikeforce.

The latest March quarter numbers are in. Both major retail brands have called out growth challenges that lie ahead as retailers and suppliers try to make sense of and forecast against sales year ago. Woolworths CEO, Brad Banducci, described the March quarter as a story of two halves and said: “There were two very distinct trading periods in Q3: the first seven weeks before we began to cycle to COVID and the second six weeks as we cycled the peak growth of the prior year.” Coles Group CEO, Steve McCain, commented we were experiencing “a beginning of a return to normality for Australians’ everyday lives”. On 18 March 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced business restrictions and social distancing measures. Most businesses were impacted, with 66 per cent reporting a reduction in turnover, 64 per cent reporting a reduction in demand and 48 per cent reporting that restrictions were impacting on operations. According to IRI in the National Liquor News Leaders Forum this year, in 2020 liquor shoppers purchased an additional 185 million litres via the off-premise off the back of an increase in shop visits of 16 per cent. Reflect on these numbers for a second - annual dollar growth percentage a year ago by category showed beer at +11.2 per cent, spirits at +20.9 per cent, wine at +11.4 per cent and RTDs at +26.0 per cent.

and contracting almost daily must be taken into consideration when forecasting for Q4 this year. To complicate the task, category nuances need to be factored in. For example, hard seltzer – is this generating incremental growth or stealing sales from beer and RTD brands? ‘Normal’ promotional activations that went ‘out the window’ in 2020 are in play this year again, adding further complexity. From an activation perspective, focus on ensuring ample product in the fridge, on the shelf and where possible, incremental floor displays, as they are key to driving sales volume. Understanding increased demand when a particular brand or item is on promotion means reduction or elimination of lost sales resulting in a higher return on investment. The key here is to almost dismiss historical inventory numbers for the first half of 2020 and look

These astonishing numbers are unlikely to be seen

further back to the same period a year prior and take

again in our lifetime and reflect the shift to in-home

into consideration current trends (e.g. the rise of no

consumption driven by the closure of on-premise

alcohol beer and spirits), then factor in the impact

businesses across the nation. Turbulent times indeed!

these trends are having on sales right now.

So, what are the supply chain challenges for the next few quarters? The ‘lumpiness’ experienced during Q3 and Q4 2020 when supply chains were expanding 50 | National Liquor News

Close scrutiny of stock fluctuations for the next few months, including uplift generated by in-store promotional activity, is the key to maintaining optimal stock weight and cash flow over upcoming quarters.

“The key here is to almost dismiss historical inventory numbers for the first half of 2020 and look further back to the same period a year prior.” Stephen Wilson Category and Insights Manager Strikeforce




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