Rum leading the way for on-premise spirits

Under challenging market conditions Australia’s bars and pubs have seen a decline in spirits sales, but despite a negative outlook for key spirits categories, rum has gained share of the spirits market.

In the latest CGA by NIQ On-Premise Measurement Report, which measures alcohol sales in pubs, bars and restaurants in Australia, a decline of 8.1 per cent in spirits sales by volume was observed in the last 12 months, in line with a year-on-year drop.

Sales by value, however, saw an increase of 0.6 per cent, but much of this can be attributed to price increases triggered by inflation.

The report found that gin has been hardest hit by a fall in spirits volume sales, recording a decline of 8.9 per cent in sales volume and 1.5 per cent in sales value. Vodka and whiskey also recorded declines in sales volume of 7.1 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively, but both spirits saw a slight rise in sales value.

Although the outlook for the on-premise market shows a decline in total spirits sales, the report paints a more positive picture of rum, which has seen a 2.5 per cent rise in sales by value and an 8.7 per cent price climb. This uptake in consumption has seen rum gain 0.3 per cent share of the market for spirits consumption.

James Phillips, Client Solutions Director – Total Liquor ANZ for CGA by NIQ, says that macroeconomic conditions are directly impacting on-premise trade, but there are still opportunities for growth.

“With many consumers still facing pressure on their spending, it’s clear that trading conditions in Australia’s spirits market are tough at the moment.

“However, it’s a very nuanced picture with pockets of growth opportunities for venues and suppliers – especially in rum. Businesses need an expert understanding of these areas, and our insights into sales trends and market share are vital to success in this challenging, contracting and complex are of the on-premise,” he stated.

A breakdown of the category shows that golden rum is currently the most popular rum style on-premise, recording an increase in sales by value of 7.6 per cent year-on-year, while white rum has dropped by 9.3 per cent.

Breaking down sales state-by-state shows a sharp contrast in consumer behaviour on a regional basis, with Queensland accounting for an 8.8 per cent increase in total rum sales by value while New South Wales saw a 7.6 per cent decline.

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