In a challenging period for the entire beer industry, Coopers has still been able to welcome solid performance with several bright spots. General Manager, Michael Shearer, noted his top two highlights as being a rebound in key sales in the on-premise, alongside the incredibly successful launch of a new beer, Coopers Australian Lager.

Michael Shearer, General Manager, Coopers

“The lager category continues to dominate the Australian beer market. While most people know Coopers for our ales and stout, we also have a long history in lager dating from the late 1960s. Our existing lager range includes the low-carb Coopers Dry and Coopers Dry 3.5, as well as the low-alcohol Coopers Premium Light,” Shearer said.

“We set out to create a modern Australian lager that is more flavoursome, and contemporary compared with the traditional lagers in the market. The strong demand we’ve seen for Coopers Australian Lager since it was launched in August 2023 shows it has really struck a chord with Australian drinkers.”

In the year ahead, there will be plenty more to look forward to from Coopers from several angles.

“Coopers is approaching 2024 with a positive outlook and we have several exciting initiatives underway across our product offering and the brewery itself,” Shearer said.

“We will look to build further on the momentum of Coopers Australian Lager as well as continuing to grow our market share nationally across the entire range led by our biggest selling beer, Coopers Original Pale Ale, and promoted by our Local Everywhere campaign. We’ll also be putting the finishing touches on our exciting new brand home development and opening for visitors later in the year.”

The opening of Coopers’ redeveloped home site in Regency Park is highly anticipated. The significant works include a new visitor centre to promote Australian beer, a microbrewery to allow the team to experiment with new craft beer styles, and a distillery to expand the brand into whisky.

It’s an incredibly innovative move from a family company that continues to welcome new generations to its team, balancing tradition and progress with great results.

“As an Australian owned and operated brewery, family heritage is extremely important to Coopers,” Shearer said.

“We have very talented sixth-generation family members now in senior positions within the brewery and each brings with them a unique perspective, breadth of experience and skillset. When you add this to the outstanding entire team at Coopers you have a recipe for continued innovation and new thinking while at the same time a commitment to the traditions that have built our reputation for high quality over more than 160 years.”

A local difference

As cost-of-living pressures cause consumers to seek out greater value for their spend, Shearer believes Coopers has an edge not only because of its value, but because of its local roots.

He said: “We feel that by providing a great tasting, reliable Australian product at an approachable price point, Coopers is well positioned.”

And while such a large proportion of beer sold locally is owned by international companies, including those that many still think of as Australian brands, Shearer said: “Being Australian owned and operated is a key point of difference for Coopers.

“Given the strong stated preference among drinkers to support local, this provides us with opportunity for further growth in the year ahead.”

This article originally appeared in the 2024 Leaders Forum issue of National Liquor News.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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