Dry launch comes amidst challenges for XXXX

XXXX launches dry beer

Yesterday’s launch of XXXX Dry comes at a challenging time for Lion’s flagship brand which saw substantial decline over the past 12 months.

Global big data and consumer insights specialist, IRI Worldwide, reports that as of 1st March 2020 the XXXX Masterbrand lost $24 million over the previous 12 months (MAT). XXXX Gold lost $7.7 million alone over the period.

XXXX brand manager Amy Darvill yesterday told Brews News that the launch of the XXXX brand extension was an attempt to ensure the relevance of the brand.

“XXXX Gold is a huge part of the beer landscape, it’s a huge part of our business, we’re continuing to support it,” she said.

“We just spent a lot of money from a marketing point of view in supporting this brand, but times change, and we need to keep our finger on the pulse in terms of what consumers are looking for. So undeniably XXXX Dry will be a shot at, for us, to maintain and increase the prominence of XXXX in years to come.”

It’s not just the XXXX brand hitting headwinds with the IRI data revealing six out of the top 10 brands in beer declined in the latest MAT, with VB, Corona, Carlton Dry, Carlton Draught and Tooheys Extra Dry joining Gold on the list.

While still in growth, Lion’s Great Northern spoiler, Iron Jack has slowed in the latest year following a solid launch, growing at just $15 million for the year. This compares to the Great Northern juggernaut that added $115 million in growth to the beer category in the last year to now have over 13 per cent share of beer in Australia.

Bigger is better

IRI Worldwide Insights analyst Lachlan Cameron said Great Northern’s success has been its ability tap into a number of important macro trends and consumer needs including health and wellness, “refreshment” and value for money.

“Within the Contemporary category more and more consumers are favouring bulk buying to maximise value for money,” he said.

“This is evident as a quarter of Contemporary beer value is now coming via 30 packs, which has risen from under 15 per cent three years ago.

“Mid strength options have driven three-quarters of the growth of Contemporary beer in the last year.”

The IRI data showed that four of the top 10 growth SKUs were 30 packs, including XXXX Gold 30-can packs being one ray of sunshine for the XXXX brand.

The data also highlighted that Cooper’s late-to-the-party adoption of cans has paid dividends with Pale Ale listed in the top 10 growth SKUs. Asahi-owned Mountain Goat’s Goat cans were the only craft beer in top 10 growth SKUs.

Lion will be hoping that XXXX Dry can emulate its Hahn Ultra which IRI’s Lachland Cameron said has been one of the biggest hits in contemporary beer brands outside of Great Northern, having generated $27.8 million in sales since its launch.

MAT = Moving annual total = 12 months to the most recent week as below

Source: IRI MarketEdge AU Liquor Weighted MAT 1/03/20

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