Jim Beam stay at homeBusiness

Stay-at-home trend fuels record liquor retail growth

New data from IRI shows dollar growth in liquor retail was up $1.4billion in the last 12 months. That’s $213,000 more than the last three years’ growth combined. Annual dollar growth surged 12.2% to $20.7billion.

The results were revealed at IRI’s virtual 2020 Australian State of the Industry event on Wednesday, November 25. The findings were drawn from sources including liquor scan data and more than 13,000 consumers who recorded purchases and took part in surveys.

Daniel Bone, Insights Director at IRI, said consumers had become accustomed to staying at home during lockdowns and restrictions. ‘Stay-at-home nesting’ underpinned most behavioural changes he had seen, including a rise in e-commerce and cooking meals from scratch.

Bone said there had been a fivefold increase in “hospitality avoiders”. Pre-COVID, only 10% of consumers surveyed hadn’t visited bars or restaurants in person in the prior four weeks. However, in August/September that number had risen to 51%.

Among the consumers surveyed, 33% were spending less time at their usual workplace due to COVID-19 and wanted to continue working from home. As a result, IRI predicts elevated in-home FMCG consumption will be an “enduring trend”.

Bone noted there was a huge opportunity for suppliers to recreation of out-of-home quality and experience, for example Bacardi has launched Twistails pods, which make Mojitos and Daiquiris.

Twistails pods; Bacardi

To make a cocktail, consumers add water and ice to the Twistails shaker, then attach the strainer and pod of choice and twist, then shake well. The recyclable pods use a dual chamber to provide a “fresh cocktail experience”.

Liquor shoppers shift to drinking RTDs with meals

Many categories have also seen acceleration of premium brand growth, wine is up 52%, spirits 45% and beer is up 35%.

Opportunities in online

E-commerce has accounted for a majority share of retail growth this year and is growing 10 times faster than total retail.

However, around 70% of consumers surveyed by IRI hadn’t bought liquor online. Bone said the barriers to buying liquor online were a “lesson to the entire FMCG industry”.

Among the reasons shoppers gave for preferring bricks and mortar purchase were:

>> More convenient/quicker to visit the store in person (56%)

>> Prefer to select products myself (51%)

>> Enjoy shopping in a physical store (47%)

>> Delivery fees are too high (35%)

>> Haven’t got around to it (12%)

IRI reveals Australia’s first billion dollar drinks brand

For more information, contact IRI at ask@IRIworldwide.com.au

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