Australia Beer Market Insights 2012




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Product Synopsis

A detailed market research report on the Australia beer industry. Researched and published by Canadean.

Introduction and Landscape

Why was the report written?

This report comprises of high level market research data on the Australia beer industry, published by Canadean. The report covers total market (on- and off-premise) and includes valuable insight and analysis on beer market trends, brands, brewers, packaging, distribution channels, market valuation and pricing.

What is the current market landscape and what is changing?
Australians enjoy the highest quality of life in the world according to the OECD's Better Life Index 2011. Although the major consumer trends are fairly straightforward, predicting the future in the Australian beer market is harder this year than ever before.

What are the key drivers behind recent market changes?
The biggest knock has been the poor summers of 2010-11 and 2011-12. Cold and rainy holidays generally reduce beer sales, but especially in a normally-warm country like Australia, where social occasions are generally geared towards the outdoors. Macroeconomic factors, consumer confidence and the erratic weather have all negatively impacted the market.

What makes this report unique and essential to read?

The Australia Beer Market Insight report is designed for clients needing a quality in-depth understanding of the dynamics and structure of the Beer market. The report provides a much more granular and detailed data set than our competitors. All data has been researched, brand upwards, by an experienced 'on-the-ground' industry analyst who conducts face-to-face interviews with key producers, leading companies in allied industries, distributors and retailers.

Key Features and Benefits
  • This report provides readers with an excellent way of gaining a thorough understanding of the dynamics and structure of the Australia Beer industry. Data includes volumes from 2007 to 2011 plus forecasts for 2012, enabling historical and current trend analysis.
  • This report provides readers with in-depth market segmentation: mainstream, premium, super premium, discount, alcoholic strength, local segmentation, beer type.
  • This report provides data and analysis of the performance of both domestic and imported brands and reports on new product activity in 2011.
  • This report provides an analysis of industry structure, reports on company volumes and contains brewer profiles of major brewers
  • This report provides distribution channel data (on- vs. off-premise) and discusses the latest trends in the key sub-channels. Packaging data includes consumption volumes by pack material, type, size, refillable vs. non-refillable, multi-serve vs. single serve. Market valuation data and pricing data, including beer consumption by price segment/distribution channel and selected consumer beer prices are also included.
Key Market Issues
  • The decline posted in Australian beer market volumes in 2011, and the decline expected for 2012, reflects several factors. The biggest short-term knock has come from the poor summers of 2010-11 and 2011-12. Consumer confidence has also been an issue. At a share-of-throat level, beer has been losing share to rtds and cider.
  • Australians are drinking lower volumes of beer, but they are drinking more brands of beer and more types of beer than ever before. The top five brands in 2011 accounted for 44% of volumes between them, compared to 49% for the top five brands in 2001.
  • The beer market has been a duopoly for many years, with over 90% of the market held by two companies since the early 1990s: Melbourne-based Foster's and Sydney-based Lion. Both groups were focused on their market-leading brands of mainstream Australian-style lager, while also producing large numbers of regional beer brands. Over the last 10 years, both groups have also built a portfolio of licensed or imported global brands.
  • The most immediate impact has been on brand licensing, with many international brewers taking advantage of the change-of-control clause in their contracts to terminate their agreement with Foster's. AB InBev has shifted its Stella Artois brand (and its niche Belgian beers) to Lion. Grupo Modelo, which produces Australia's largest imported beer, Corona, has followed suit. Together, these contract changes appear likely to bring Lion's market share higher than Foster's share for the first time ever in 2012.
  • Beer is expensive in Australia by global standards. However, this has been eroded significantly in the last couple of years where average prices have barely risen. This has been because of a shift in the mix away from mainstream beers towards discount beers, and because super premium imported and craft-style beers are falling in price toward the level of premium brands.
Key Highlights
  • This is part of the same Crocodile Dundee stereotype, partly devised to sell Fosters Lager internationally, that many in the country now repudiate. But at the same time, Australia is still a heavily beer-drinking society, and slabs of VB and XXXX still far outsell licensed European premium beers.
  • Much of the growth among both imported and licensed foreign brands was driven by pricing, as well as favorable consumer trends.
  • Beer is fairly expensive in Australia by global standards, partly because of the taxation system, partly (in the on-trade) because of high wages and high rents, and partly because for all the market's woes, the brewing duopoly retains a great deal of power to maintain margins. However, this has been eroded significantly in the last couple of years: average prices have barely risen
  • The stubby (single-serve glass bottle) is king in Australian beer, accounting for 53% of all volume sales. The most common size, and traditionally the only stubby size with significant market share, is the 37.5cl bottle - however, it is losing share to 35.5cl, 34.5cl and 33cl bottles.
  • Although the major consumer trends are fairly straightforward, predicting the future in the Australian beer market is harder this year than ever before.