Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Declining beer sales: the good news

Interesting read in Monday's Sydney Morning Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/business/feeling-a-chill-as-beer-loses-pulling-power-20101011-16fzc.html

The opening sentence:

AUSTRALIAN drinkers have turned their backs on beer at an unprecedented rate, shunning both traditional brands and new hip labels, to post in August one of the biggest volume declines in recent history and threatening the earnings of Foster's, Lion Nathan and smaller players such as Coopers.

But..... a few paragraphs later:

Mr Bowley said these drivers included consumers dumping beers such as VB or Tooheys for imports and boutique beers.  ''Step-up brands and premium offerings typically have smaller bottle sizes [355ml and 330ml] than regular mainstream brands [375ml]. The recent acceleration in the shift from mainstream to premium will contribute to reduced consumption,'' he said.

Ostensibly a bad news article (it was, after all, published in the Business section). However, it's good for supporters of quality beer. Notwithstanding the implication that beer consumption is down due to bottle size, the shift from "mainstream to premium" is a positive sign. Note the "blame" is bottle size, not the cost thereof.

What also interests me is the writer's implication that "new hip labels" are different to premium brands. The former is on the decline with the macros, while the latter is increasing (relatively, I expect). It would be interesting to know what constitutes "new and hip", and what constitutes "premium".

A downside is the inclusion of Coopers in the list of decliners. I find this difficult to swallow, considering the amount of Coopers that's consumed these days at my local surf club.......

Perhaps we can correlate certain Coopers lines with the "new and hip"..... read Coopers Clear and Coopers 62 Pilsner. How would Coopers perform if they did not have these Gen-Y pleasers in their stable ?

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Aussie Beer Blog

Aussie Beer Blog