A new report from IRI – A Healthier New Normal – has revealed the trends shaping consumer behaviour in liquor and groceries, with a move towards “holistic health”. It also shows that “indulging at home” led to off-premise liquor shoppers spending $3.2bilion in 2020.
Total Australian retail liquor spend was $21.9billion, annual dollar growth was 17.3% and annual volume growth was 11.2% (MAT to 31/01/21).
“As Australians move to a new normal and the pandemic still impacts much of their traditional way of life, the new focus on the ‘at-home-experience’ is being seen across food, liquor, health and beauty,” the report notes. “As these worlds collide it creates a fine line between selfcare and indulgence.”
“Shoppers turned to the bottle at home for indulgence, socialisation, relaxation, stress relief,” the report notes. “Shoppers have spent more on self-care and indulgent items during COVID, supporting the addition of the ‘COVID kilos’ and
we expect to see these same trends continue.”
Move to moderation
However, liquor shoppers are embracing moderation and there is an increasing avoidance of products containing sugar.
“Traditionally we have seen health and wellness focused around ‘weight-loss’ or ‘fad diets’ but the shift in the attitudes has moved to moderation and avoidance of particular ingredients through to just doing better for themselves in limiting the amount of meat being consumed,” the report said.
“No clear evidence was derived to indicate that COVID-19 catapulted a health mindset. In fact, only 59% of people
stated in 2020 that their diet was important to them – 5% fewer people than results in 2017.”
IRI said consumer demand is forcing food and drink manufacturers to reduce sugar content and focus on developing natural
alternatives to artificial sweeteners.
“There is a fear of sugar amongst Australian shoppers with sugar being the ultimate ‘bad carb’. With this the management of
sugar intake is expected to continue as a key growth trend that extends beyond natural products.”
Collaboration is key to success
IRI said one of the key steps to winning in the new normal was to explore partnerships with affinity brands/categories.
“Collaborations between high growth and ‘on-trend’ brands are now quite commonplace in the global craft beer scene,” the report stated.
“Such an approach is also being adopted by brands delivering similar desirable health benefits sought by consumers It has
the potential to work well in e-commerce where buyers search on the basis of benefits (rather than categories).”