Home' National Liquor News : NLN JUNE 2016 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JUNE 2016 | 43
"NATIONAL STATISTICS SUGGEST
WE'RE DRINKING LESS BEER PER
CAPITA BUT AS RETAILERS WE'RE
FINDING THAT PEOPLE ARE DRINKING
MORE PREMIUM, MORE IMPORTED
AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT IN
BROKEN FORMATS. SO IT HAS TO BE
WELL MECHANISED AND CATEGORY
MANAGED IN-STORE," PAUL
HEILMAN, TOP CELLARS GROUP.
Screen grab from the Asahi 'Above All
ASAHI PREMIUM BEVERAGES
Michael Vousden, senior category manager (beer) for Asahi
Premium Beverages, agrees that there is a trend towards
premiumisation. "Australians are drinking less but better
quality brands. Asahi Super Dry, Estrella Damm and
Kingfisher fit well into this trend," he said.
Asahi Premium Beverages recently acquired the exclusive
Australian distribution rights for the Spanish brand, Estrella
Damm. "We will be building this amazing brand over time.
[It's] an exciting brand that is growing off a small base."
Asahi grew its share of the Premium International segment
by 2.2 percentage points in the last two years. It now has a
greater share of the market than Stella Artois, which recorded
double-digit declines alongside other established international
brands like Grolsch and Budweiser.
Asahi's growth has been propelled by its full-case offering
for Super Dry (330ml x 6 x 4) and its multipack can offering
(500ml x 6). The 500ml cans, in particular, have seen
phenomenal growth over the last year, according to Vousden.
At least some of Asahi Super Dry's success can be
attributed to its 'Above All Else' campaign emphasising the
brand's heritage, quality and taste. The campaign reflects a
shift in the industry to marketing messages that champion
beer quality rather than masculine stereotypes.
Asahi Premium Beverages' newest product, Asahi Soukai
(pronounced souk-eye) adds a new level to its portfolio.
Launched in Australia late last year, this 3.5 per cent ABV
lager is available in 330ml bottles, on- and off-premise.
With 30 per cent fewer carbohydrates than the leading
full-strength premium beer, it was developed as a result of
research revealing health concerns of the 20- to 40-year-old
male and female target market.
Vousden said Soukai was aimed at consumers who enjoy
the refreshment of premium beer but value the benefits of
a lighter and lower carbohydrate product. "[It] embodies
the sophisticated, Japanese way of life whilst retaining that
unmistakable refreshing, crisp Asahi Super Dry taste. [It's] an
easy-to-drink, non-filling, sociable beer, expertly brewed using
quality Japanese brewing techniques."
Fans of Coors, a light, lower carb beer with 4.2 per cent
ABV, have been partying hard. Distributor Coca-Cola Amatil
(CCA) ran an above-the-line campaign aimed at Coors' 18-
to 24-year-old target market, followed by a series of Double
Denim Tailgate parties with a Jean-Claude Van Damme theme.
The parties were held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in
March and April, in partnership with PEDESTRIAN.TV, and
attended by 1900 people. Nicki Drinkwater, public affairs and
communications manager for CCA (Alcohol and Coffee), said
it was a multi-million dollar spend and almost entirely digital.
"Our demographic doesn't live on TV," she said.
Coors was also promoted through a massive series of Super
Bowl parties, with more than 150 events nationwide, leading
up to the Super Bowl 50 final. Pubs across the country saw
sales go "through the roof". Coors was the exclusive beer
partner for the Ultimate Aussie Bowl Party in Melbourne, the
largest Super Bowl party in Australia, attended by 800 fans.
In Sydney, the newly reopened Chippendale Hotel hosted a
similar party and fans had plenty to celebrate as Coors' home
town team, the Colorado-based Denver Broncos, grabbed the
win. Some 15 kegs (or around 1600 schooners) sold on the day.
Like Coors, Blue Moon is brewed in Australia under licence
and distributed by CCA. Targeted at 18- to 35-year-olds, this
smooth, creamy beer with a taste of citrus is often credited as
having kicked off the craft beer scene in the United States.
Earlier this year, CCA launched Blue Moon Summer
Honey Wheat "which did really well... the entire allocation
was snapped up in customer pre-orders," according to
Drinkwater. A long-time seasonal favourite with Americans,
it was the first time it had been sold in Australia.
Available in draught and 330ml packaged formats, Summer
Honey Wheat is a filtered wheat ale with an ABV of 5.2 per
cent and subtle flavours of orange blossom honey and orange
peel. Launched by Blue Moon Brewing Co in 1995 as Honey
Blonde Ale, it is the top performing seasonal craft beer in the
US. Australians have clearly fallen in love with it now too.
Paul Heilman, managing director of the Top Cellars Group,
says the brewing of products under licence in Australia
poses a challenge for retailers, as customer feedback
indicates many prefer products made in their place of origin.
Many retailers addressed this by stocking both. "If people
want Peroni Red, it's because they've been to Italy and they
want the Peroni Red they had in Italy. It really is a case of
finding a product that customers want," he said.
"People have a growing thirst for imported and international
beer. As Australians we're so well-travelled that we have a
broader repertoire of international beer. With the very healthy
craft scene, imported craft beer is going nuts as well."
Heilman cited the popularity of Sierra Nevada as a good
IMPORTED & INTERNATIONAL BEER
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