June can be an important time for Australian businesses, being at the end of the financial year, the middle of the calendar year, and the start of a new season.

It’s a great opportunity to reflect on 2022 so far, while looking and planning ahead for the rest of the year that is still to come. So in the June issue of National Liquor News, we spoke to the leaders of some of Australia’s top independent banner groups to gather their reflections.

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

Adrian Moelands, General Manager of Thirsty Camel VIC: “As health adopts a more holistic meaning in 2022, more consumers will seek both physical and mental wellness. The low and no alcohol category is a great opportunity for our membership to capitalise on different trading occasions.”

Gavin Saunders, CEO of LMG: “We continue to see growth in premium products, particularly spirits $65+ and bottled wine $30+. This premiumisation trend is even more apparent when combined with the other major trend, being e-commerce adoption, which saw +65 per cent growth in Q1 2022, on top of the +262 per cent growth for the same period last year.”

Paul Esposito, CEO of ILG: “There are numerous trends in the market at the moment such as zero alcohol, the expansion of beer categories and the ever-growing presence of NPDs. Outside of products, the other trend we are dealing with is the crippling freight costs around the country and removal of discounts on certain products due to lack of supply.”

Corey Leeson, General Manager of ILR: “The cocktail trend and growth of at home cocktails is an interesting one. This plays into the at home occasion and saw massive growth during the pandemic but we are starting to see signs of this tailing off as the on-premise fights to bring customers back.”

John Carmody, Managing Director of Liquor Legends: “Cocktails at home, whether they be the ready to serve cans, bag in box or pre-batched full size bottles. There’s so many variations that have come out really quickly in the past few months that are a hit at the moment. Following that trend, we’re watching tequila, a category we’ve been hearing a lot about lately.”

Raff Palermo, Head of Digital at ALM: “I’m closely watching the world of automation and on-demand real-time deliveries. Overseas we’re seeing drone and robot deliveries, trying to combat the biggest drain on online profitability – delivery fulfilment. We’ve also seen micro fulfilment centres that allow even quicker delivery, and as new players disrupt the market, shopper expectations on delivery time will change even more.”

Chris O’Brien, General Manager of Liquor Barons: “I’m watching the resurgence of differentiation. In my opinion, this is going to become more and more important as consumers seek out new experiences. This also will mean the ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ trend will accelerate.”

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

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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