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Top on-premise drinking locations revealed

A free webinar has provided insights into the on-premise, revealing what venues people are drinking in, how many people they are drinking with, and the cohorts driving alcohol consumption in Australia. 

The IRI webinar, entitled ‘Market Moves: Liquor in Australia’, was presented with Growth Scope, a marketing solutions firm that focuses on continuous insights from the liquor consumption occasion.

Mel Anderson, Director of Research and Product for Growth Scope, hosted the webinar with IRI Australia’s Liquor and Tobacco Director, Mark McCaffrey. 

Insights were sourced from IRI’s Marketplace and LiquorLens tools, alongside Growth Scope’s consumer usage and attitude panel, providing what Mark describes as a “triangulation of insights between the sales, the shopper, and the consumer and occasions, that provides a rich depth of insight we’ve never been able to provide before.”

Where are people drinking? 

Growth Scope assessed the top ten on-premise locations for the consumption occasion, finding that sporting clubs (defined as everything from footy, tennis and golf clubs to leagues clubs), took out the top spot at 23 per cent.

“It’s actually the most diverse group,” Mel said.

Traditional pubs came in second at 18 per cent, followed by regular dining and contemporary pubs at 16 and 12 per cent respectively.

Combined, pubs might be considered the number one on-premise location for the consumption occasion, tallying a combined 30 per cent. 

Anderson said the decision to split up pubs into different rankings was due to their different ranging, drinks offerings and styles of location. 

Rounding out the top ten drinking locations are upmarket bars and fine dining venues at seven per cent, nightclubs (and dance bars) at five per cent, function centres (including hotels) at three per cent, small bars and laneway bars at two per cent, and stadium venues at one per cent.

What’s driving consumers’ choices when they head out for a drink?

Growth Scope found just under a third of consumers are influenced by others in their choice of alcohol brand. 

Mel said this reflects a similar trend in off-premise choices, where a majority of consumers are not only buying for themselves, but purchasing alcohol for other people.

So when assessing the motivation for consumers in their on-premise choices, Anderson says, it’s important to consider who they are with. 

Groups and friends are influencing choices

Head out for a drink at your local, and you’re likely to find around nine per cent of people drinking alone, according to Growth Scope. In the overwhelming majority of circumstances however, people are drinking in groups. 

This occurs 91 per cent of the time, and involves involves groups of between two and four people. Twenty-one per cent of the time, groups of between five and eight people are drinking together. Groups numbering more than nine people are drinking together on-premise about 14 per cent of the time.

“It’s not overwhelmingly these large parties and social engagements,” Anderson said. “You still have large occasions happening but they are by no means the majority.”

Importantly, 40 per cent of on-premise liquor occasions involve friends, and for Growth Scope, this highlights the influence of others when drinkers are making decisions about the purchases they make.

“That’s where the environment and social group… influence your product choices,” Mel said. 

This can be compared to off-premise consumption occasions, where people are drinking with others 73 per cent of the time – mostly with one other person and usually their partner. 

Cohorts driving liquor consumption

Australia’s ageing population is also having a major impact when it comes to alcohol purchasing patterns, and right now, half of all liquor occasions comprise people aged over 50. 

“These over 50s create the equal amount of value to the liquor industry as the under 40s cohort,” Mel said. 

(Value being defined as a function of the number of people, how often they drink, how much they drink and how much they pay for what they drink). 

Not surprisingly, Mel identifies this cohort as crucial for the liquor industry. IRI predicts that by 2030, an additional 1.3 million Australians will be aged 65 or over.

Off-premise, over 50s are said to account for 43 per cent more value than the under 40s, with a greater number of consumers and a higher frequency of purchase. 

You can find out what IRI had to say about the off-premise retail market. Click here to read the story in our sister title, The Shout.

‘Market Moves: Liquor in Australia’ can be accessed for free (with the submission of an email address) here.

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