The rise of Premiumisation in liquor as Australians choose quality over price.

Sydney, 17th May 2017 – IRI is seeing more Australian drinkers opting for brands that offer a superior taste experience, rather than the lowest price. This is being driven by a shift in their perception of premium liquor now as an “affordable luxury”.

“Quality conscious consumers are searching for a more diverse range of brands that exhibit provenance and craftsmanship. This is reflected by double-digit growth in craft beer, premium vodka, and bottled reds priced above $16 reflect Australian drinkers slowly shifting up the price curve” says Daniel Bone, IRI’s Channel Insights Manager and report author.

IRI has teamed up with the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) for the second year in a row to publish the top retail liquor trends of 2016, in the ALSA - IRI State of The Industry Report. The report reveals that the $16.9 billion retail liquor market grew by 3.3 percent, driven by the strong sales of high-end liquor brands and “casually refreshing” styles of alcoholic beverages.

‘Casually refreshing’ summer beverages standout as an emerging trend.
Cider, liquor’s fastest growing category in value terms, grew 6.5 percent in 2016. Cider’s growth contribution continually over-indexing has been influenced by its suitability as a “casually refreshing” summer beverage.
Casually refreshing is an equally apt descriptor for other high growth liquor styles such as Gin (+17%), Rosé (+31%), and Prosecco (+51%). “Rosé and Prosecco are ‘on-trend’ varietals, much like Craft Beer has become a popular style of beer. It reflects surging demand for Rosé and Prosecco that we are observing in our overseas markets” says Bone.
The ‘Craft’ movement shows no signs of slowing
IRI’s report revealed whilst Beer accounted for 37 percent of the retail liquor market by value, the main engine of growth continued to be higher priced craft offerings. IRI believes this growth reflects quality conscious drinkers embracing the greater variety, fuller flavour and contemporary branding that characterises Craft Brands.

“Local brewers have done a great job by enticing curious beer drinkers into the Craft domain. Importantly, they’ve sustained their interest too by cultivating entry-level brands that hit the sweet-spot of being perceived as both premium and approachable”

The growth of craft beer amounted to 17 percent of the total retail liquor industry growth, despite only accounting for just over 3 percent of dollar sales. With this double-digit growth IRI believes that the there is a change of direction on the way. “Australian Pale Ales comprise more than half of craft beer sales and I can sense a readiness in the marketplace to embrace alternative styles of Craft now,” comments Bone.  
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About ALSA – IRI State of The Industry Report: The report provides a fact-based analysis of the economic and social contribution of the Australian Retail Liquor industry, plus its composition and performance.

About IRI
IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care, retailers and media companies to grow.  With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI guides over 5,000 clients globally in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers and deliver growth.      

For more information, please contact a member of our corporate communications team:

IRI Contacts:
Kirrin Barakat
Marketing & Communications Manager, IRI
Phone: +61 410 820 469 or +61 2 8789 4016

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