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Australian online liquor sales falling post Covid, says Nielsen IQ report

Major liquor retailers have witnessed a decline in online sales, dropping by 18.1 per cent year on year during the past 12 months, according to consumer intelligence company Nielsen IQ (NIQ). 

All categories recorded double-digit declines, with RTDs witnessing the steepest drop in online value sales, according to the report.

Pete Sheridan, MD for the Pacific, NIQ, said that while online liquor sales experienced a boom during the pandemic (2020-2021), it has now begun to taper off and normalise. 

“Despite the current declines, which stem from an arguably inflated period in the prior years, we expect online sales to normalise and return to growth in the future,” said Sheridan.

Nielsen IQ has invested in an Omnishopper panel, which collects data on consumer behaviour through a mobile app that rewards shoppers. The panel tracks shopping trends across various retail categories, including groceries, liquor, convenience stores, pharmacies, home improvement stores, beauty shops, pet stores, and more.

NIQ supports its Omnishopper panel with on-premise consumer data, which gives a perspective of the Australian liquor market derived from its Opus (on-premise user survey).

Several reported trends include decreases in penetration, spending, and frequency at on-premise venues since September 2022, with typical weekly visitors dropping from 49 to 46 per cent.

Consumers are also spending, on average, 12 per cent less on eating and drinking out than last year. Beer is the most popular drink on Opus, with nearly half (44 per cent) of consumers drinking it, compared to 40 per cent for wine. 

“Australians’ taste preferences are changing, especially among younger drinkers. We are seeing notable growth in emerging categories substituting beer occasions such as RTDs, hard seltzers and alcoholic ginger beer,” concluded Sheridan.

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