AUSTRALIA’S LEADING LIQUOR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
vol. 40 no. 5 - June 2021
missing drink Lyre’s award winning range of non-alcoholic spirits are quietly changing the way the world drinks. How? By giving drinkers and non drinkers alike the freedom to drink their drink, their way. Is your venue missing out on the growth from Lyre’s Premium non-alcoholic options? Be part of the change.
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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
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
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
H ALF T HE ALCOHOL H ALF T HE CALORI ES DELICIOUS CRISP TASTE Enjoy Jacob’s Creek responsibly
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
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: https://theshout.com.au/national-liquor-news/lsa-wa-set-for-a-positive-future/
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.
power a growing
together keeps us
be a part of
largest liquor co-operative
For more information, contact: Pat Kenny 0409 308 341 (NSW/VIC) or Craig Stephenson 0434 575 589 (QLD) or visit www.ilg.com.au
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
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
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.”
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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,
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
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,
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.
more detail in IRI’s upcoming report
of Glass Spirits. Contact Ask@IRIworldwide.com. au for more details.
June 2021 | 27
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-
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
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
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
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,”
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.
‘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
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
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.
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.
LIGHTEN UP SERIES
‘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,”
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
ER LOW OHOL ALC
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.”
LULR FFLU AVO
REDUC CALO ED
*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
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
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.”
ER LOW OHOL ALC
LULR FFLU AVO
REDUC CALO ED RIES*
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
“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
flavour of the offerings in this category as a key motivator for consumption. Gathering the
SORRY THERE IS A FAIR BIT OF SPILL FOR THIS!
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Wirra Wirra Church
Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot
VIN: 2016 LUC: $47.20
VIN: 2017 LUC: $26.36
Region: McLaren Vale
Distributed by: Brand
VIN: 2019 LUC: $16.99
Group (SA), Fisher Fine Wine
Swan Wine Group
(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
Region: Southern Highlands
VIN: 2018 LUC: $32.25
VIN: 2018 LUC: $27.50
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
Grant Burge Nebu
Region: Great Southern
VIN: 2017 LUC: $99.99
VIN: 2019 LUC: $53.75
“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
VIN: 2016 LUC: $32.25
VIN: 2016 LUC: $51.69
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
“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
VIN: 2019 LUC: $26.58
VIN: 2018 LUC: $17.89
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
Region: Margaret River
VIN: 2018 LUC: $17.74
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
“Peppery. Tannic. Short palate. Otherwise good.” – Geoff Bollom
L econfield Cabernets 2019, Coonawarra, LUC $19.78 (Leconfield Wines)
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
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
Region: McLaren Vale
VIN: 2019 LUC: $13.90
VIN: 2018 LUC: $15.70
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
Region: McLaren Vale
VIN: 2020 LUC: $5.42
VIN: 2016 LUC: $13.29
Distributed by: Calabria
Distributed by: Pure Wine
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
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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