For the June issue of National Liquor News, ahead of the end of this financial year, we caught up with the leaders of Australia’s independent banner groups.

In this issue, these leaders reflected on how they are supporting their members through the challenges of the current economic environment, and what they have planned for the next 12 months. They also shared their thoughts on major trends in the liquor retail sector, and how these are impacting their businesses.

From this, we’ve collated the key trends that banner groups have their eyes on at the moment, as described below by Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM), Independent Liquor Group (ILG), Independent Liquor Retailers (ILR), Liquor Barons, Liquor Legends, Liquor Marketing Group (LMG), Thirsty Camel VIC and Sessions.

Chris Baddock, CEO of ALM: “CPI increases, interest rate rises, cost of utilities and living have all led to a shopper who is more aware of their wallet… ALM believes shoppers will be looking for value ads across not only liquor but across all retail categories.”

Paul Esposito, CEO of ILG: “The ongoing popularity of low and no-alcohol products continue to rise. We are also seeing a lot of suppliers in all categories introducing smaller pack formats, value packs or focusing on four and six pack formats to soften price shock. ILG has also always been a strong advocate of the ‘support your local’ movement. We are pleased that this has remained strong after the pandemic, and we have continued supporting members involved in their respective neighbourhoods.”

Corey Leeson, General Manager of ILR: “We’re still seeing some strong growth in the RTD category especially in light RTD. The lemon refreshment category and flavourful vodka mixes are very much on trend. Also seeing growth continue in the ginger beer space and seeing some surprising uplift in wine, especially local sparkling.”

Chris O’Brien, General Manager of Liquor Barons: “With the substantial increase in pricing seen this year, plus rate rises and more, consumers are seriously feeling the pinch and without giving too much away, our next brand campaign will be responding to this.”

Vaughan Peters, National Trade & Marketing Manager of Liquor Legends: “Familiar brands are resonating well with shoppers, as is the continued category shift towards spirits and in particular RTDs.”

Gavin Saunders, CEO of LMG: “2023 to date has seen a stabilisation of the market compared with the extreme growth of prior years. The COVID period delivered rapid change in where shoppers preferred to shop and what they purchased. The prior years delivered great growth through premiumisation of products and larger basket sizes, along with shifts in category purchases to RTD and spirits. These trends have stabilised and are being maintained.”

Adrian Moelands, General Manager of Thirsty Camel Victoria: “Glass spirits continue to grow as people look to continue making drinks at home. Whiskey and vodka are the main drivers of these categories for us. Shopping local remains highly relevant as consumers have discovered that independent businesses can offer competitive prices while also providing exceptional convenience, particularly through the availability of drive-thru bottle shops.”

Nathan Rowe, Director of Paramount Liquor (including Sessions): “Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to support their local businesses, and independent retailers are well-positioned to capitalise on this trend. We’re also seeing a continued increase in spirits and RTD, as innovation in flavour continues to win new consumers into these categories.”

Read the full interviews with each banner group leader in the June issue of National Liquor News.

The Shout Team

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

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