Health consciousness to ‘limit’ Christmas alcohol sales

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Although prosecco, craft beers and rosé will be the most popular drinks this Christmas, says IBISWorld, alcohol consumption is falling.

One of the lifestyle trends behind this fall in per capita (per person) alcohol consumption is greater health consciousness.

But the same trend is also driving demand for kombucha and plant-based drinks, particularly as the warmer months approach.

‘A crucial time’

“Christmas is a crucial time for the retail sector,” IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst James Thomson said. “Consumer spending during the month of December is usually about 35 per cent stronger compared with the rest of the year.

“The same applies for liquor retailers, with festive feasting expected to drive growth across most core categories.”

IBISWorld predicts spending on liquor at the retail level to total $1.6 billion in December 2018. This would be an increase of 2.7 per cent over December 2017.

Liquor retailers face ‘challenges’

According to Mr Thomson, changing consumer tastes – particularly towards more premium beers and spirits – and a growing emphasis on quality across liquor retailing, have benefited industry operators.

“While Christmas is a key period for liquor sales, rising health consciousness among Australian consumers is likely to limit alcohol sales,” he said.

“As per-capita alcohol consumption declines, we’re also seeing the range of non-alcoholic beverages targeted at health-conscious consumers expanding rapidly. This created further challenges for liquor retailers.”