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Top shelf for liquor ads

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Key points

  • News media reaches 9:10 of the top 20% of spenders on wine
  • 6 million readers have recommended alcohol products
  • 35% of online readers buy their favourite brands regardless of price


The retail liquor market is divided starkly between growth of premium products and the pricing pressure being applied to the rest.

Retail revenue has grown 3.2 per cent in the last five years due to increased demand for premium brands and a trend towards in-home consumption driven by discounting, according to IBISWorld.1

The aggressive pricing strategies of supermarkets and bottle shops will result in contracting profits for the sector this year, IBISWorld predicts.1

With margins so thin, marketing campaigns must hit their mark every time. Consumer data from emma shows advertisers reach 94 per cent of bottle shop customers with news media, making it a powerful advertising platform.

Grape expectations

 Wine is the second-largest product segment, trailing beer and accounting for 26 per cent of all sales.1 Its increasing market share is partly attributed to the rise of a foodie culture that promotes the consumption of premium food and wines.1

News media has an audience that embraces this culture. Nine in ten of the top 20 per cent of spenders on wine consume news either in print or digitally. The majority love their wines with 45 per cent of readers saying they have bought a bottle in the last four weeks.

Online readers are 7 per cent more likely to be top spenders on wine, and 35 per cent of them say they buy their favourite brands of alcohol regardless of price.

Some 95 per cent of buyers of imported wine who get their favourite tipple from a club or specialist wine store consume news publishing. For example, readers of local newspapers are 19 per cent more likely to shop at a specialised wine store.

Lager tops

While beer continues to occupy the largest market share, its consumption has declined by more than 15 per cent over the past decade, in part due to increasing competition from wine and cider.1 A shift toward premium beers has offset some of the profit loss.

  • 26% of readers like trying beers from overseas
  • News media reaches 94 per cent of the 6.7 million drinkers who purchased beer in the last month.

Power of influence

According to Nielsen, 83 per cent of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. Data from emma indicates a similar truth for the liquor industry with 3 million influenced by others in their alcohol purchases.

Retailers should consider that news media reaches these influencers.

Some 2.6 million readers have influenced the purchases of family and friends, according to emma.

Around 240,000 readers are the first in their network to try a new beverage and post a review online. Readers of digital news are particularly inclined to share their experience. The top 20 per cent of spenders in this audience segment are 15 per cent more likely to share positive comments online and nine per cent more likely to recommend a product.


1. IBISWorld, Liquor Retailing in Australia, March 2016.

2. Nielsen, Global Trust in Advertising, September 2015.

emma™ conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, People 14+ for the 12 months ending March 2016; Nielsen DRM March 2016, People 14+ only.


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