By James Wells

Over 60 members of the industry attended the latest briefing within the series of national ALSA/IRI State of the Industry Report briefings in Perth yesterday.

Giuseppe Minissale addresses attendees at the LSA WA State of the Industry Report event

ALSA CEO Terry Mott told attendees about the importance of the report in providing context and insights into current activity within the off-premise liquor sector.

“This report identifies lot of challenges and provides a reality check for our retailers,” Mott said.

“Importantly it also identifies a lot of opportunities particularly in relation to some of the significant changes in the drinking habits away from volume to more premium products. Consumers are clearly looking for better quality as well as brand and product differentiation, unique taste profiles and flavours.

“The consumers of today are also far more health conscious than their parents ever were. So there are a number of changes going on.

“The important thing is that the consumption of alcohol peaked here in the mid-1970s and has been declining ever since. We are 26 per cent below were we were in mid-1970s. Most of that has come from the alcohol consumed in beer; wine increased and has now plateaued; spirits has remained fairly flat, while cider has recently emerged but still only represents 2-3 per cent of the alcohol consumed in Australia.”

Jamie Ryan and Jim Mello from Lion with ALSA president Giuseppe Minissale and Josh Clarke also from Lion

Mott added: “Of Australia’s population of 24 million people, approximately 17 million are of legal drinking age. There are around 14 million potential customers that are regularly drinking alcohol beverages across Australia and that is your potential market.

“Australia’s population is forecast to reach 40 million by 2054. Opportunities are growing, migration is adding around 250,000 from each year. They come from different cultures, varied beliefs and backgrounds relating to alcohol.

“In Australia, 80 per cent of the population drinks alcohol, while in India there is about 85 per cent who do not drink and in China it is about 56 per cent who do not drink. When you look at the preferences in those countries, 93 per cent of those that do drink in India – drink spirits, while in China, of those who do drink, 69 per cent who drink spirits. While in Australia, 13 per cent of the drinking population drink spirits.

“If this population growth from migration continues, there will be further changes in the drinks that people are looking for, so there are opportunities there for you to start thinking about what you should be doing in your store going forward.”

Andrew Potter from Negociants with Brooke Jackson and Rhys Davies from Vintage House Wine & Spirits

In addition to the executives and members of the Australian Liquor Stores Association and Liquor Stores Association WA members, a number of suppliers were in attendance including Treasury Wine Estates, McWilliams Wines, Negociants, Vintage House Wine & Spirits, CUB, Lion, Brown-Forman, CCA, Pernod Ricard and ALM. 

The next State of the Industry briefing will be conducted in Newcastle on Thursday 29 September. For more information, contact Michael Waters –

The Shout Team

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

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