The latest CGA by Nielsen IQ’s On-Premise Consumer Pulse check has revealed that almost a quarter of Australians are visiting venues more frequently than usual this winter.
CGA’s June report has highlighted that visitation is on the rise for both food (increasing by 2 percentage points to 87%) and drink-led occasions (an uplift of 5 percentage points to 47%) versus May.
While more consumers are visiting on-premise venues overall this winter, there has been a slight drop in the frequency of visits per consumer over the last month as the country heads further into winter. However, the majority of Australian consumers have maintained their visit frequency (65%) or even increased it (22%) compared to how often they would typically visit at this time of year.
Additionally, for the first time in 2022, cost of living concerns have overtaken COVID-19 as the top driver for visiting on-premise venues less often.
The major factors influencing purchase
Only one in five consumers know what they will drink before entering a venue, demonstrating a clear opportunity for drinks suppliers and venue to influence the path to purchase. But this is more likely to be at a category rather than brand level – with 73% of these consumers knowing the specific category they will drink, as opposed to 27% who know the brand they will drink prior to arrival.
In contrast, 80% of consumers who still open to influence when it comes to their drinks choice once they arrive in venue, with the majority influenced by menu components once they make a purchase decision. This is mainly driven by the need to know price prior to making a drinks selection, however drinks descriptions rank second-highest in order of importance, highlighting how important these components are to the path to purchase.
In terms of promotions and drinks deals, Australian consumers aren’t looking for the cheapest product – instead they want value in the form of regularly changing specials and ensuring they’re getting more for their money.
When it comes to in-venue advertising, collateral has to be in close proximity to where the final decision is being made – with flyers on tables ranking as most effective (45%) followed by advertisement boards inside the venue (38%). Placement on tables or within sight from the bar are more likely to bring the drinks choices advertised into the consumer’s consideration set.
Director of Client Solutions Asia Pacific James Phillips said: “It’s clear that drinks choice is multi-faceted for the Australian consumer. There is no singular route to influence choice, and suppliers and operators need to employ a combination of tactics to allow consumers to make trade offs before arriving at their final decision.
“Menu optimisation should be the priority, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of other activations. Australian consumers are very keen to continue supporting the On Premise, however they are becoming savvier with their spending and need to see value when it comes to their drinks choices.”