Promote local & showcase ‘the new’

December 9, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

New research from CGA suggests that Australia’s On Premise operators and suppliers should continue to develop hyper-local strategies to attract consumers who are eating and drinking out close to home.

CGA’s in-depth OPUS research reveals that lockdowns have led many drinkers and diners to favour local brands and venues. It shows nearly a third (31 per cent) of consumers are now buying more local produce than a year ago, while just under a fifth (18 per cent) are consciously investing more in their local communities. Both numbers are above the averages for CGA’s similar surveys across other large Western nations.

Australia’s consumers estimate that they drink a third (34 per cent) of their alcohol in the On Premise—and it is where they go to find new products.

Extended lockdowns have led to a re-appraisal of where people shop and the products they buy, which puts locally focused drinks brands—especially beer ones—at an advantage, says CGA. It makes it vital to understand the wide regional variations in consumers’ habits, and the different profiles of different domestic brands from state to state.

Drinkers are re-evaluating domestic drinks brands: a third of consumers (34 per cent) say it is more important to them that their drink is from Australia than it was before COVID-19, and a fifth (19 per cent) think it’s most important that drinks are local.

The appetite for domestic drinks is most notable in the wine category, where four in five (80 per cent) drinkers typically drink Australian brands—and more than a quarter (27 per cent) are happy to pay more for them.

“The local habits that Australian consumers established in long lockdowns look likely to stick into 2022,” says Scott Elliott, CGA’s managing director, APAC & Americas, “This may create challenges for businesses that depend on office workers and tourists, but it presents some valuable opportunities for brands and venues that are tapped into their local markets. To capitalise on them, suppliers and operators will need to work together to understand consumers and show genuine support for local communities—not just from state to state or city to city, but from town to town and block to block.”

In addition to drinking local, there is also a consumer willingness to try new brands on-premise with more than two in five (44 per cent) saying they like to experiment with new drinks brands here. A similar number (43 per cent) suggest that their new produce experiences at on-premise have prompted them to buy drinks in the Off Premise too.

“The On Premise is a heartland for trial… it’s a great place for launching new products into the market, as we have a consumer who is actively seeking the new,” saidMr Elliott.

With half (50 per cent) of patrons willing to pay more for a better quality drink, it is also a place to trade up.

“It’s where we can stretch our brand credentials and offer consumers the opportunity for a more premium experience and a more premium price,” he said.

Photo with thanks to Solotel Group

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