Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2016 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS FEBRUARY 2016 | 75
A CONTINUED FOCUS ON QUALITY,
INNOVATION AND PREMIUMISATION
WILL DRIVE CONSUMER INTEREST
FOR DIAGEO AUSTRALIA IN 2016.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS FOR DIAGEO
AUSTRALIA IN 2015?
Diageo Australia and our brands had a great
year in 2015 and we hope the same is true for
our off-premise customers. We finished the
financial year in growth, which was a fantastic
testament to the effort and determination our
people continually put in to deliver great results
in the face of a relatively flat market.
One of the big highlights for us in 2015 was
the success of our Bundaberg Rum Master
Distiller’s Collection (MDC). In March, our
new Small Batch addition was voted Best in
Show in the dark rum category at the San
Francisco World Spirits Competition. To have
our local Australian brand internationally
showcased as the best dark rum in the world
is something we’re hugely proud of and I’m so
pleased our MDC range is being recognised on
the global stage.
It’s been a great year for rum all round with
Captain Morgan holding firm to its position as
Australia’s second most popular rum, behind
Bundy. It also continues to be the number one
growing trademark brand across total spirits,
so it’s an exciting time to have such a major
contributor to the spiced rum trend, and
WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE
FOCUS FOR DIAGEO IN 2016?
The focus for Diageo Australia in 2016 will
continue to be on our premium core brands
including Bundaberg Rum, Smirnoff vodka,
Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, as
well as the real shining star for our business,
As the largest spirits business in Australia,
Diageo Australia is proud of its broad
portfolio of celebrated brands. The portfolio
features Australia’s top two rums, Bundaberg
Rum and Captain Morgan, as well as
Smirnoff vodka, and the world’s number one
performing spirit, Johnnie Walker Scotch
Whisky. These leading brands within the
broad Diageo portfolio provide our off-
premise customers with the ability to cater for
a range of consumer interests, and at the same
time, grow their business.
Our other major focus in 2016 is around
occasion and creating the best experiences in
drinks. With three quarters of the population
drinking at home or in lower tempo occasions,
we see a huge opportunity for spirits-based
drinks which have not traditionally played
in this space. This is also a huge opportunity
for our customers in the off-premise, and so
we look forward to growing our businesses
together as partners with this trend.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE
COMING TRENDS FOR 2016?
Creative hosting and at home entertaining is
one occasion on the rise. One example of how
we are targeting this occasion is our Welcome
Drink campaign which launched in 2015. This
campaign aims to educate consumers about
how to make simple and delicious mixed drinks
while entertaining at home. We have lots of
opportunities for our off-premise customers
to leverage these spirit category plays, and we
encourage them to strike while the iron is hot
and get involved.
We’ve seen huge consumer interest in holistic
drinking off the back of the macro trend
of health and wellbeing. Over the past two
years this trend has really started to gather
momentum in the spirit premix category, with
the likes of Smirnoff, Bundaberg and UDL all
launching zero sugar variants.
WHAT KEY FACTORS DO
YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY
SHOULD BE DISCUSSING
From a wider industry perspective it has
been a challenging year for some, and I also
recognise the increased pressure that store
owners and producers are coming under from
regulators, which is affecting our ability to do
business. You are our route to our consumers
and therefore we have a genuine interest in
working with you to maintain our mutual
license to operate.
At the same time, it is important that
industry takes positive steps to deal with
issues, which is why, as an industry, we’ve
launched Alcohol Beverages Australia.
This group was formed to ensure we work
together as an industry to have a stronger and
more united voice. As a collective group, we
want to play an active role in improving the
drinking culture working in partnership with
Government, the industry and the community
Evidence shows we are moving towards a
more moderate drinking culture in Australia
with consumption at a 50-year low, which
represents a 25 per cent reduction since the
1970s when alcohol consumption peaked.
While we are moving in the right direction, we
remain committed to reducing harmful drinking.
We believe in targeting harmful drinking
not penalising the majority of Australians who
It’s time for the industry to take an active
stand against inaccurate reporting of opinions
masked as facts, as well as share the good news
regarding Australia’s changing drinking culture
and the positive role alcohol can play as part of
a balanced lifestyle.
IN WHICH AREAS DID YOU
SEE THE MOST AMOUNT OF
GROWTH LAST YEAR?
Last financial year, Full Strength Bottled Spirit
continued to drive total category growth and
we grew our share within the category.
Our premium core brands have been the key
driver of this, with specific thanks to Johnnie
Walker, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and
Gordon’s gin, as well as Bulleit Bourbon and
Baileys Irish Cream.
Sales of our reserve brands continued to
grow and this was driven primarily by the
premium end of the Johnnie Walker family, as
well as single malt whiskies, which continue
to drive significant growth through Talisker,
which grew by 45 per cent in value last
We know that while the industry is facing
a relatively flat market, together with our
customers, we can accelerate growth through
a continued focus on premiumisation, quality
and innovation to drive consumer interest.
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