Craft beer still booming: IRI

The growth of craft beer amounted to 17 per cent of total retail liquor industry growth last year, according to a new report by IRI.

IRI and the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) recently published their second annual report on the top retail liquor trends, the ALSA – IRI State of The Industry Report.

It revealed that beer accounted for 37 per cent of the retail liquor market by value in 2016, but higher priced craft offerings continue to be the main engine of growth.

Craft beer contributed 17 per cent of growth despite only accounting for just over three per cent of dollar sales.

“Local brewers have done a great job by enticing curious beer drinkers into the craft domain. Importantly, they’ve sustained their interest too by cultivating entry-level brands that hit the sweet-spot of being perceived as both premium and approachable,” commented Daniel Bone, IRI channel insights manager and report author.

More Australian drinkers are opting for brands that offer a superior taste experience, rather than the lowest price, the report says.

“Quality conscious consumers are searching for a more diverse range of brands that exhibit provenance and craftsmanship. This is reflected by double-digit growth in craft beer, premium vodka, and bottled reds priced above $16 reflect Australian drinkers slowly shifting up the price curve,” said Bone.

He predicted that Australians will continue to embrace styles other than Pale Ale, which comprises more than half of craft beer sales.

IRI’s definition of craft beer includes the multinational-owned brands such as James Squire and Yak Ales, but it excludes Coopers.

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