Home' National Liquor News : NLN OCT 2017 Contents 74 | OCTOBER 2017 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Health and wellbeing are growing
priorities for many consumers in
2017, and it's no secret that this is
having an impact on purchasing
decisions in bottle shops. With seemingly more
low to mid-strength, lower carb and lower sugar
options on the market than ever, it's as good
a time as any to delve into the broader health
and wellbeing settlement as it applies in the off-
premise: from beer to cider, RTD to mixer.
ALL THINGS BREWED
According to the 2017 ALSA-IRI State of the
Industry (SOI) Report, mid-strength and low
carb beer accounted for six per cent of the
dollar share of the total liquor market in 2016
-- each. Making this number more impressive
is the fact that mid-strength and low carb
beers were the second and third largest growth
segments, contributing 16 per cent and 14 per
cent to the dollar share of growth respectively,
just behind craft beer.
If you need further proof that mid-strength
and low carb options are increasingly being
sought out by Aussie drinkers, look no further
than the top 10 growth brands in 2016: in first
place was Great Northern Super Crisp Lager,
with Pure Blonde Ultra just behind -- the two
beer brands accounting for 40 per cent of all
liquor dollar growth in 2016.
"Great Northern Super Crisp and Pure Blonde
Ultra, both launched in 2015, have propelled
the growth of Low Carb and Mid-Strength beer
and collectively accounted for 107 per cent share
of dollar growth in the category," reads the SOI
Report. "In other words, those two brands alone
generated more sales growth than the entirety of
brands in the category."
Paul Reason, Director Contemporary Brands
at CUB -- which brews both Great Northern
and Pure Blonde -- says that while consumer
trends have been shifting to products with
lower ABV provided by the low and mid-
strength beer range, it might not be because
they're directly concerned about their health.
"We have heard from many low and mid-
strength beer drinkers the alcohol content is
less important than the flavour of the beer and
its value," Reason told National Liquor News.
"Ultimately it comes down to consumer choice
and ensuring they have options available to
them, whether they want an easy drinking mid-
strength during sport or while fishing, or a full
strength and flavoured craft beer with a meal."
Lion's biggest investment in new product
development this year -- its Iron Jack mid-
strength Australian lager, which launched in
August -- could be seen as a challenge to the
success of CUB's Great Northern, and is a
clear sign that the big breweries are looking to
appeal to a new (and younger) lifestyle market.
"We have identified that wellbeing and
moderation are going to be the drivers of
the category moving forward," Lion Brand
Director Jack Mesley said at the time of Iron
Jack's release. "So for us, this beer is going to
be all about targeting the classic beer drinker
who is thinking more about moderation than
he has before and also to help him to continue
to engage with the beer category."
Cam Pearce, National Sales and Marketing
Director for Coopers, has also taken notice
of the mid-strength beer trend in the market,
saying that the sector "is becoming increasingly
diverse as other sub-segments start to offer
mid-strength options, for example mid-strength
low carb, mid-strength premium international
and mid-strength crafted brands such as
Coopers Mild Ale 3.5%".
"Part of the reason for this growth is the
improvement in quality and taste of these beers,
which comes at a time when people are looking
to consume less alcohol, both for health and
social reasons. Mid-strength beers allow people
to socialize with friends after work while
keeping in control."
He also agrees with the fact that Australian
beer consumers are becoming more health
conscious, and says that another emerging issue
of today is additives and preservatives.
"All Coopers ales are naturally conditioned
and made without additives and preservatives,"
he says. "Historically, this has been one of the
distinguishing features of Coopers ales, so in
this respect, Coopers has been well ahead of
"This feature is a strong point of difference for
us and is certainly assisting with the growth of
beers such as Coopers Mild Ale 3.5%, which is
one of the few ales in the mid-strength segment."
Introduced in 2004, Pearce says that Mild
Ale is one of Coopers' fastest growing products
(especially in Victoria and NSW) and is now
the brewery's third largest, behind only its two
flagship, full-strength beers: Coopers Original
Pale Ale and Sparkling Ale.
Pearce has also noticed an improvement
in sales of low alcohol and no alcohol beers,
especially since these products are now being
ranged in the beer aisles at off-premise outlets.
Coopers Birell Ultra Light has been the market
leading no alcohol beer for more than 30 years;
the company also distributes Holsten 0.0%
brewed by Carlsberg.
According to statistics from Euromonitor,
total volume for the no alcohol category was
six million litres in 2011, which rose to 8.1
million in 2016 and is expected to rise to
10.3 million by 2021. At current prices, this
would see the segment's total value grow from
AUD$32.7 million in 2016 to AUD$48.3
million by 2021. Coopers Birrell makes up 38
per cent of total volume; other players include
Bitburger Drive at 28 per cent.
Flavoured beer is also getting a look in;
Miller Chill, Australia's top-selling flavoured
WITH HEALTHY LIVING AT THE FOREFRONT OF MANY
AUSTRALIANS' MINDS, TAM ALLENBY TAKES A LOOK AT
THE BROADER 'HEALTH AND WELLBEING' SEGMENT OF
TODAY'S RETAIL LIQUOR MARKET.
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