Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS FEBRUARY 2018 | 75
JAMES BRINDLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR
LION BEER AUSTRALIA
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS FOR LION IN 2017?
Last year we saw some great success stories
across our business. Our sponsorship
partners grew in 2017. XXXX became the
official beer partner for Cricket Australia,
The Rugby League World Cup and the 2018
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. We also
returned to the sponsorship of the NSW
Blues for Tooheys New, which was met with
a great response from our drinkers. This is on
top of signing again with the QLD Maroons
for XXXX – this makes our relationship with
QRL one of the longest in league and any
sport in Australia.
From our brands, we saw the successful
launch of Iron Jack. This new crisp Australian
Lager has had enormous support from our
customers, thank you to everyone for helping
make this the most successful beer brand
launch of the year. We also were proud of the
release of classic cans for our heritage brands
like James Boag’s Draught and XXX Ale, Emu
Export and Tooheys Draught.
Last year also saw us announce some exiting
new technology partnerships that allow us
to invest in future avenues of growth. These
include BarCats, a new Uber-like service that
matches bar staff with venues looking for
people to join their teams.
LION’S BIG RELEASE FOR 2017
WAS IRON JACK – WILL THIS
BRAND CONTINUE TO BE A FOCUS
Iron Jack was the biggest brand release for
Lion in 2017. While many only see the brand
come to life in their local pub or bottle shop,
there has been a lot of hard work, planning
and executing in 2017 to make this happen and
that same effort will roll into 2018 for the next
stage of the brand.
We are delighted with the way both our
customers and consumers have embraced Iron
Jack. We have been in market for just under
three months now and sales have broken
all expectations. We have an exciting TV
campaign launching early next year that will
boost the brand even further. XXXX Gold
remains our number one priority and we have a
lot of great things happening with the brand in
2018, including the sponsorships I mentioned
previously, which we are really excited about.
CRAFT BEER CONTINUES TO GROW
IN AUSTRALIA – HOW WILL LION
TAP INTO THAT IN 2018?
We have been pioneering Australia’s craft scene
for a long time with Chuck Hahn, the father of
craft beer in Australia.
A standout performer of last year was
Furphy. We have seen the brand grow at
nearly 300 per cent in 2017 and we expect
the demand for this brand to continue into
2018. In October we announced a new
partnership with the Imperial Hotel in
Eumundi to bring back the much missed
local beer brand, Eumundi Lager, which is
being brewed on site at its spiritual home, the
Imperial Hotel in the heart of Eumundi. The
Byron Bay Brewery also launched a new beer,
The Hazy One.
All of these brands will continue to grow
in 2018 and I am sure our innovative brewers
across our sites will have one or two more
surprises up their sleeves for the year ahead.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE MAJOR
CHALLENGES IN 2017?
The entire drinks and hospitality industry
was adjusting in 2017 to the introduction of
the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in NSW.
The Government’s litter reduction scheme
presents a key change for manufacturers and
In NSW, Lion is part of a joint venture that is
playing the role of scheme coordinator.
Container deposit schemes are Government
policy in Queensland and Western Australia,
which will mean suppliers and stockists in
those states will also need to start thinking
about managing the change.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MAJOR
OPPORTUNITIES FOR LION OVER
THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
As we have seen over the last few years,
while the segment itself is relatively small,
craft continues to grow. With brands such as
Byron Bay, Eumundi, Furphy and household
favourites like James Squire, Little Creatures
and Kosciuszko, we feel we have the right mix
in our portfolio to play an important role in
this space in 2018.
Mid-strength, or the less than full strength
category, will continue to grow as people
become more and more mindful of what they
consume and how they consume it. People
are looking for more moderate options to suit
specific occasions in their lives and they also
want to know what is in the product. We have
led this category for a number of years and
XXXX Gold and Iron Jack will lead the way
for us in 2018 and give people more options
in this space.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE
INDUSTRY SHOULD BE
DISCUSSING IN 2018?
As always, the industry should continue
to invest in evolving Australia’s drinking
culture, and continue to discuss new ideas to
promote moderate consumption and reduce
Lion is proud to be one of the largest funders
of DrinkWise Australia over the past decade,
with the work of DrinkWise held up globally as
some of the most effective education programs
in changing people’s attitudes to drinking. You
need only look at the long term consumption
stats, which all show underage drinking is
reducing as is risky consumption across a
number of key demographics.
the less than full
will continue to grow
as people become
more and more
mindful of what they
consume and how
they consume it.”
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