By James Atkinson
The Australian off-premise liquor market is returning to long-term growth following a three-year slump of less than one per cent growth, according to Nielsen.
Nielsen research into the liquor industry predicts that off-premise liquor sales will grow four per cent over the next three years, increasing the value of the industry from $14 billion to $15.7 billion nationally.
Executive director Michael Walton believes the key drivers of this projected growth are improved consumer confidence and willingness to spend, and consumers continuing to 'trade up' to more premium offerings.
"The key point to note here is that outside of the cider sector, growth isn't volume. Instead, Australians are making more sophisticated choices in their liquor purchases with consumers increasingly purchasing premium brands," said Walton.
"The real danger for manufacturers right now is not seeing the signals and setting their growth targets too low."
Beer and cider lead industry growth
In the next three years Nielsen predicts an increase of $500 million in packaged beer sales and forecasts premium imported beers will account for $1 in every $6 spent on packaged liquor. The company says this will be driven by higher priced premium and craft styles and a lessening in abnormally high retail price promotion activity.
Cider will also play a major part in the predicted incremental $1.7 billion increase in liquor sales with Nielsen forecasting an increase in $400 million of extra sales in the sector over the coming three years.
WA and NSW are the big growth drivers with NSW seeing a resurgence and WA continuing to out-perform on off-premise sales nationally.
Nielsen also predicted that larger manufacturers will continue to lose market share to smaller players in the next three years.