Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2016 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS FEBRUARY 2016 | 77
MANAGING DIRECTOR, LION BEER, SPIRITS & WINE AUSTRALIA
LION IS COMMITTED TO
REINVIGORATING THE BEER
MARKET IN AUSTRALIA, WHILE
ALSO FOCUSSING ON GROWING
ITS BRANDS INTERNATIONALLY
THROUGH ITS NEW BUSINESS UNIT,
LION GLOBAL MARKETS.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS FOR LION
The biggest highlight of 2015 would be the
launch of our biggest category campaign to
date, Beer the Beautiful Truth. By busting
common beer myths and providing consumers
with nutrition information on the labels of
our wholly-owned beer brands, we believe we
can encourage people to make more informed
choices about what they drink, and reconsider
beer as an option at the bar or bottle shop. This
is not a short term campaign – we are
committed to sustained investment to stimulate
the category over the coming years.
WHAT CHANGES HAS LION
EXPERIENCED OVER THE
LAST 12 MONTHS?
The market is always changing, this is the
new normal. In response to the challenging
conditions we have all experienced right across
the industry we had to make some tough
decisions in 2015 to keep our structure as agile
and efficient as possible and set ourselves up for
At the same time we continued to invest in our
core strategic assets, our breweries and brands.
During the year we were proud to unveil a
number of new investments in our sites across
the country. We invested $70 million in a
new brewhouse and cidery at our West End
Brewery in South Australia, making it one of
the most versatile in our network. In September
2015, we opened a new Petaluma Winery in
Adelaide, off the back of growing demand for
Petaluma and Croser, and in craft we unveiled
the new White Rabbit Brewery in Geelong –
showcasing a beautiful new barrel hall and
bringing even more innovation and hospitality
to the Geelong region alongside our Little
Creatures Brewery and Dining Hall.
We also made the strategic decision to create
a new and separate business unit that will focus
on building our iconic beer, cider and wine
brands in international markets – Lion Global
Markets. With the benefits of new free trade
agreements coming online and an increasing
appetite for craft beer in Asia we see a lot of
opportunity for our portfolio abroad.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS
COMING TRENDS FOR 2016?
The focus on wellbeing will continue to grow –
we know people are looking for more choices
that support a balanced lifestyle and more
options for moderation. This will continue to
grow interest in lower alcohol beers.
Craft will continue to be an area of real
interest for the beer consumer, as they continue
to increase their knowledge and willingness to
explore new tastes and styles.
I think we will start to see increasing interest
in local and heritage brands, which is a great
opportunity for a company like Lion that has
such a long history in brewing.
There will be increasing interest in hybrid
beverages, like our 5 Seeds Night Orchard,
which is a cider cut with a dash of vodka.
WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE
FOCUS FOR LION IN 2016?
In 2016 we are firmly focussed on our core
objective of reinvigorating the beer market,
and Beer the Beautiful Truth will play an
important role in helping us achieve this. We
will continue to invest in our leading brands,
while also looking to innovate to bring new
excitement to the beer category and grow the
brands of the future. Of course we also remain
absolutely focussed on delivering on our
customers’ expectations and being a supplier
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE
TO ENGAGE THE TRADE TO
DRIVE SALES IN THE YEAR
We will invest behind all our master-brands,
campaigns and innovations with trade, and we
have an exciting pipeline for F16.
We will also continue to work with our
customers to support the category as a whole
and generate new interest in beer.
We will continue our ‘With
Meals’ initiative, which educates consumers on
how to match beer with food, and through Beer
the Beautiful Truth we will continue to drive a
reappraisal of the category at point of purchase.
Our customers, as always, remain vital to
our success and maintaining high levels of
engagement and service is an absolute priority
for our business.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE
CHALLENGES FACING YOUR
We are yet to see the full benefits of the uptick in
consumer confidence and beer volumes remain
depressed. We will remain focussed on what we
can control and turning these challenges into
an opportunity to increase our organisational
agility and meet the ever changing expectations
and tastes of our consumers.
WHAT KEY FACTORS DO
YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY
SHOULD BE DISCUSSING IN
In 2016 I think the industry needs to be
discussing how we can continue to support
the positive trends in responsible drinking
behaviour we are seeing coming through in
Government data, and how we can contribute
to and encourage an informed debate on
alcohol policy in Australia.
“Our customers, as always, remain vital to
our success and maintaining high levels
of engagement and service is an absolute
priority for our business.”
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