NIQ: More liquor store visits, less spending per trip, online sales down

NIQ: More liquor store visits, less spending per trip, online sales down

February 22, 2024
Cindy Panzera

New Omnishopper liquor data from leading consumer intelligence company NIQ has revealed Australians are visiting liquor stores more frequently but spending less per trip.

The number of Australian households who purchased liquor declined by -3.2% in the 12 months to October 2023 versus the prior year, while the average trips to the liquor store per household grew (+3.5%). Spend per trip on liquor products declined (-2.3%), as did the units per trip (-3.2%).

NIQ revealed that most major liquor retailers reported overall declines in the 12 month period to October 2023 versus the prior year. Endeavour Group declined 3.0% in value sales - driven by BWS (-3.6%), followed by Dan Murphy’s (-2.5%); while Coles Liquor Group was flat (-0.1%), propped up by Liquorland who reported a 6.8% year-on-year value increase, and made up for double-digit declines reported by First Choice (-10.2%).

All major liquor retailers recorded declines in online dollar sales. At a national level, online liquor sales fell significantly (-18.1%) versus the previous 12 months. And double-digit declines were consistent across all categories, with RTD experiencing the steepest fall in online value sales.

Newly appointed Managing Director for NIQ Pacific, Pete Sheridan, said: “Online liquor sales experienced a boom in 2020/2021 and we are seeing this taper off and normalise."

"Despite the current declines off the back of an arguably inflated period the prior years, we expect online sales to normalise and return to growth in the future.”

NIQ's Omnishopper data showed that Queenslanders were the most frequent liquor shoppers and averaged 16 trips in the latest 12-month period. South Australians spent the most per liquor shopping trip - averaging $62 per trip.

“The competition for share of consumer wallet is ramping up for liquor brands and retailers. Against a backdrop of decreasing households purchasing in the category, coupled with economic pressures, insight into demographic profiles and nuances has never been more important,” said Sheridan.

He went on to explain the importance of Omnishopper research to provide a never-before-seen view of the Australian liquor shopper.

“Our new Omnishopper technology gives our clients a more detailed view of the liquor shopper journey. From picking up a bottle to head to a restaurant, to purchasing a larger basket online for a dinner-party at home. Understanding the consumer from all angles is critical for the liquor industry,” he said.

“One of the biggest challenges the Australian liquor industry has faced for more than a decade has been the lack of an independent, third-party view of all major, Australian liquor retailers. Today we have solved this problem and are delighted to give Australia’s liquor manufacturers more insight into their brand and their competitors' performances across all major Australian liquor retailers,'' added Sheridan.

NIQ Omnishopper

NIQ’s investment into the Omnishopper panel is underpinned by a mobile consumer rewards app. The app captures up to 250,000 receipts per month, with the panel now exceeding 30,000 households - making it the largest receipt panel in Australia.

Data captured includes 69 retail banners across grocery, liquor, convenience, pharmacy, general merchandise, home improvement, beauty specialists, pet specialty and more, with NIQ clients having a historical view with three years of back-data.

Sheridan said: "NIQ’s Omnishopper offering is the one and only solution in the Australia market offering a Full View for consumer behaviour insights in-home, on-the-go, and online.”  

On-premise trends

Complementing NIQ’s Omnishopper read in Australia and providing clients with a complete view of the Australian liquor market, is the on-premise consumer data produced by NIQ’s CGA On-Premise User Survey (OPUS).

CGA’s OPUS data reported decreases in penetration, spend and frequency to on-premise venues since September 2022 with a drop in typical weekly visitors from 49% to 46%. Consumers are also spending on average 12% less on eating and drinking out vs last year.

CGA’s OPUS data suggests beer is the most popular drink in the on-premise, with 44% of consumers drinking it, compared to 40% for wine.

Sheridan explained that despite the connection Aussie consumers have with beer, the category is evolving.

“Australians’ taste preferences are changing, especially among younger drinkers. We are seeing notable growth in emerging categories that are substituting beer occasions such as RTDs, Hard Seltzers and Alcoholic Ginger Beer,” concluded Sheridan.

NIQ is a corporate partner of the Drinks Association


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