‘Irish’ alcoholic beverage brands gaining popularity in Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 17th March 2014
'Irish' alcohol is gaining popularity in Australia

Over the last four years, a new crop of ‘Irish’ alcoholic beverage brands has gained popularity among Australian drinkers, while consumption of Guinness remains steady, according to market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

The release of the report coincided with St Patrick’s Day as well as the current visits to Australia by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Mr Simon Coveney TD, and Minister of State for Transport, Mr Allan Kelly. Mr Coveney’s trip encompasses both New Zealand and the east coast of Australia and several Asian countries.

Whether its due to their “genuine, identifiable” Irish heritage or simply the results of their superior taste, Jameson Irish Whisky, Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur and Magners Cider have all made significant inroads among Australian drinkers since 2010.

The steady arrival of young people from Ireland and the UK on working visas to Australia may also have helped develop the Australian taste for more products from Ireland.

Brand best performers

The best performer was Magners Cider, consumed by 146,000 alcohol drinkers (or 1.2 per cent) in an average four-week period in 2013 (more than double the 2010 figure of 72,000 drinkers). The three brands combined were enjoyed by 1,019,000 alcohol drinkers (8 per cent) in 2013, an impressive increase on 775,000 (or 6.4 per cent) in 2010.

As tastes have changed and the overall popularity of beer has waned, consumption of traditional Irish favourite Guinness has plateaued. It was consumed by 262,000 alcohol drinkers (or 2.1 per cent) in 2013, relatively unchanged since 2010.

“With the increasing popularity of alternative ‘Irish’ brands to Guinness, and St Patrick’s Day once again upon us, Aussies may be celebrating differently this year,” said Angela Smith, Group Account Director Consumer Products Roy Morgan Research.

“While consumption of beer has declined, overall alcohol consumption has risen slightly, and cider and whisky have enjoyed especially good growth in the last few years,” Ms Smith said. “Given these developments, it’s highly likely that many revellers will be toasting this most Irish of days with a Jameson or a Magners this year,” she said.

Other brands less popular

Category competitors have not fared as well over the same period, according to Roy Morgan Research’s findings.

Jameson rivals Black Douglas and Ballantines, both of Scottish descent, saw declines in consumption, from 189,000 (1.6 per cent) and 141,000 (1.2 per cent) drinkers in 2010 to 100,000 (0.8 per cent) and 95,000 (0.7 per cent) respectively in 2013.

Baileys’ main competitor Kahlua, which originates from Mexico, also lost ground, and was consumed by 184,000 drinkers in 2013, compared to Baileys’ 647,000.