By Andy Young

The 2016 Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) and IRI State of the Industry Report will highlight strong off-premise growth in Australia.

ALSA CEO Terry Mott at the State of the Industry Report pre-launch briefing

ALSA and IRI held a pre-launch briefing in Sydney earlier this week, to give a preview of some of the data that will be revealed when the report is officially launched in Canberra on 29 March.

ALSA’s CEO, Terry Mott, told TheShout: “The ALSA-IRI State of the Industry Report was first done last year, but why did we do it? Well, ALSA and IRI joined forces to make a really strong platform to inform our retailers and give the industry a much better understanding of what is going on in the marketplace and also to help us convey the message to politicians, to regulators and to the media, about the sort of things we do and the contribution our sector makes to the economy and to the community.

“It also gives a number of actionable opportunities for members and for our corporate partners to work together with retailers on strategies to capitalise on the rapidly-changing marketplace. There is absolutely no change to that trend that there are some rapid movements going on in the marketplace.”

Overall the news for the packaged retail liquor market is positive with total value and volume growth across the country, with Western Australia the only state recording negative growth. Similarly there was good value and volume growth across the beer, wine, spirits and cider categories in 2016, with only the RTD category recording negative growth.

The report also highlights that while the Australian Bureau of Statistics continued to show that total consumption in litres of pure alcohol per capita is going down, while the number of retail liquor outlets is increasing, which Mott said shows that increased availability of alcohol does not mean increased consumption.

He added: “We’re often brought into a debate in the alcohol policy area by detractors of the industry who suggest that availability, that is the number of outlets and the hours they are open, directly correlates to increased alcohol consumption and harm, but the latest data puts an end to that.

“Almost 11 litres of pure alcohol per capita was consumed back in 2008 and when this was last measured by the ABS it had declined to 9.7 litres and the forecast is that this will continue to go down. During this six-year period, the long-term trend of packaged retail outlets has continued to increase. So very, very clearly consumption is continuing to come down, the markets are continuing to shift to people wanting to drink with friends and family in the comfort and safety of their own homes, so they are buying from packaged outlets, but they are buying better and they are buying less alcohol.”

Other elements highlighted in the report include the continuing premiumisation trend, with consumers moving away from volume in search of better flavours and provenance and also that the packaged liquor sector employs more people in Australia than each of the individual resources sectors.

The report will be officially launched in Canberra on 29 March and will then be made available to ALSA members and affiliates once it is published.

The Shout Team

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

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