By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data further confirms that consumers are drinking better and more responsibly, according to Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) president, Giuseppe Minissale.

The Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia 2011-12 report by the ABS showed that consumption of alcohol in Australia had fallen for a second year in a row. 

"The 2011-12 period saw us drink 1.4 million litres less than we did in 2010-11, and 2.7 million litres less than in 2009-10," researcher Louise Gates said.

ALSA president, Giuseppe Minissale, said the results confirmed that wine drinkers are continuing to shift away from cask product and are prepared to pay that little bit extra for a premium bottle. 

"They've also enjoyed the high exchange rates that has put a lot of French Champagne in their reach," he said. 

Minissale said mainstream beer continues its decline as consumers switch to other premium products and segments within the beer market. 

"Consumer interest has been particularly strong for premium international brands or products with provenance and craftsmanship such as those in the craft beer and cider segments," he said.

"The cider market has grown from virtually nothing to now represent seven per cent of the total beer market by value, taking with it some of what would have been your normal white RTD drinker." 

Minissale said that Australians are increasingly searching for provenance, natural and artisan products, prompting producers to respond with a wide range of boutique beers, wines and spirits. 

"Drinks retailers have played a strong role in educating their customers and guiding them to drink better so we are expecting this trend to continue," he said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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