Premiumisation trend grows in Aussie pubs

Quality is a key driver of repeat purchases for consumers as the premiumisation trend continues to grow in the Australian on premise.

The latest consumer research from CGA by NielsenIQ shows this shift towards desiring higher quality is prevalent across all categories for most consumers, highlighting a key opportunity for drinks brands.

Characteristics associated with quality are not only important for encouraging repeat purchase – they are also key for encouraging word-of-mouth via social media and online conversations, providing an opportunity for drinks brands to drive organic exposure via these mediums.

CGA by NielsenIQ suggests drinks suppliers can work with operators to ensure quality of serve is achieved consistently by offering ‘perfect serve’ training to hospitality staff – and there should be a clear focus on highlighting the quality credentials of new brands as part of the new product development (NPD) process.

Director of Client Solutions Asia Pacific James Phillips said: “The majority of Australian consumers aren’t brand loyal when it comes to their drink choices in the On Premise, demonstrating a significant opportunity for drinks suppliers to target these segments who are looking to trial new options when they visit bars, pubs and restaurants.

“Key insights from this research highlight the need for drinks suppliers to win the first drink in venues to maximise value, whether through existing products or encouraging trial of innovation.”

The research also reveals an average visit to the on premise typically consists of three drinks for Aussie consumers, with around half remaining loyal to their preferred drink serve and brand regardless of occasion and venue. However, among those who are less brand loyal, quality is the most influential factor for repeat purchases.

CGA by NielsenIQ’s exclusive consumer research surveys 750 Australian on-premise visitors every month to understand their behaviours, how they feel about the channel, and their planned visitation for the month ahead. The latest On-Premise Consumer Pulse reveals that overall, Aussie consumers have maintained their frequency when it comes to food-led visits, but drink-led visits have declined – driven by factors such as extreme weather conditions, time of year and even Dry July.

Planned visits have also seen a gradual decline, suggesting the return of the more spontaneous occasion, as overall visitation in the On Premise remains stable. There has been an increase in concerns around COVID-19 amongst those who are visiting the channel less (14% of those surveyed), bringing this issue back on par with the cost-of-living crisis as an impact on those reducing their visitation to the channel.

When it comes to an average visit to the on premise, Aussie consumers typically enjoy 3 drinks – and repeat purchases are widespread with 45% of consumers sticking with the same drink type and brand during their visit, even if the occasion, venue, or situation varies. These consumers stick to the same drink out of loyalty to their preferred brand (35%), habit (34%) and ease when it comes to ordering (25%).

Of those consumers who are less loyal to certain drinks and brands, this adaptive nature is driven by the desire to trial different products in the channel and ensure visits to the on premise are varied and exciting.

COVID-19 gives cocktails a boost

Espresso Martinis emerged as the number one beverage order by NSW consumers when they celebrated pubs and bars reopening after lockdown. Sales of the caffeinated cocktail were up 210% according to data from me&u.

The number two and three beverage orders were Aperol Spritzes and Margaritas, with VB coming fourth on the list. It was a similar story during the Melbourne reopening week, with sales of Espresso Martinis were up 126%.

Since then the thirst for cocktails in the on-premise has been unquenchable.

Download the latest Australia Consumer Pulse Report here –

Pictured main: Sports Bar, The Ville, Townsville.

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Categories: Business