With consumers still eating and drinking closer to home, the latest research from CGA suggests that ‘hyper-local’ strategies that feature neighbourhood food and beverage production could benefit venues in the current climate.

According to CGA, lockdowns have led many drinkers and diners to favour local brands and venues, with its in-depth OPUS research revealing that nearly a third (31%) of consumers are now buying more local produce than a year ago, and just under a fifth (18%) are consciously investing more in their local communities.

CGA said compared to other countries, both numbers are above average. According to the researcher, Australian drinkers are re-evaluating domestic drinks brands, with a third (34%) saying it is more important to them that their drink is from Australia than it was before Covid, and a fifth (19%) saying it’s most important that drinks are local.

The preference for domestic drinks is most notable in the wine category, according to CGA, where four in five (80%) drinkers typically drink Australian brands, and more than a quarter (27%) are happy to pay more for them.

“The local habits that Australian consumers established in long lockdowns look likely to stick into 2022,” CGA’s managing director, APAC & Americas Scott Elliott said.

“This may create challenges for businesses that depend on office workers and tourists, but it presents some valuable opportunities for brands and venues that are tapped into their local markets.

“To capitalise on them, suppliers and operators will need to work together to understand consumers and show genuine support for local communities, not just from state to state or city to city, but from town to town and block to block.”

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