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Alcohol industry did not profit from the pandemic as was predicted

  • March 11 2021
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Alcohol industry did not profit from the pandemic as was predicted

By Cameron Micallef
March 11 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was not the win for alcohol distilleries as previously predicted, with widespread fears about soaring alcohol consumption now proven baseless, new research has found. 

Alcohol consumption

Alcohol industry did not profit from the pandemic as was predicted

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  • March 11 2021
  • Share

The COVID-19 pandemic was not the win for alcohol distilleries as previously predicted, with widespread fears about soaring alcohol consumption now proven baseless, new research has found. 

Alcohol consumption

Experts predicted panic buying in liquor stores and screenshots of Zoom happy hours, in the early part of the COVID lockdown, were signs that Aussies were increasing their alcohol consumption. 

However, poll data released by Roy Morgan has shown that alcohol consumption continued to fall in 2020.

In fact, back in 2006, when Roy Morgan began collecting this data, 73.5 per cent of Australians enjoyed a drink in an average four-week period. In the 12 months to September 2020, that was down to 66.4 per cent.

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“There was a lot of hypothesising about the changes to various purchasing and consumption habits that might result from the pandemic,” Michele Levine, Roy Morgan’s CEO, said. 

“Our data shows the dire warnings about huge rises in the level of alcohol consumption fall into that category.” 

On the other hand, online retail sales boomed, reaching $15.6 billion in 2020, a 26.7 per cent increase on 2019.

According to Ms Levine, online sales came about as a result of consumers changing their drinking habits. 

“There are two factors at play here, one obvious, one less so. First, people might not have been drinking more, but they were certainly drinking differently, with the option to go out to bars or have wine over dinner much reduced or simply not available to millions of people for months at a time.” 

“The less obvious factor is the move towards premiumisation we’ve seen among the high-spending group of ‘NEO consumers’ identified in our research. This significant part of the population isn’t drinking more, in fact many are drinking less, but they are spending more on higher quality product,” Ms Levine concluded.

Alcohol industry did not profit from the pandemic as was predicted
Alcohol consumption
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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