Premixed spirits sales surge but wine spritzers poised for a big Easter, Endeavour Group expects

Adrian Lowe
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Dan Murphy’s team member Jade Nadilo with some of the more popular drinks.
Dan Murphy’s team member Jade Nadilo with some of the more popular drinks. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Premixed spirits are among the most in-demand drinks at the nation’s largest liquor retailer ahead of the Easter break, but wine spritzers are also tipped for a resurgence as budget-conscious consumers look for a holiday escape.

New data from Endeavour Group, the parent company of Dan Murphy’s and BWS, shows strong growth in sales for flavoured drinks and premixed spirits over the past year.

Vodka and whisky premixes have led the charge nationally, with sales growth of 30 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, while agave sales are up more than 12 per cent.

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“People are looking generally for lighter drinks, fresher flavour profiles and what’s new and exciting off the back of that,” Dan Murphy’s managing director Agi Pfeiffer-Smith said.

The company expects the demand for lemon-flavoured drinks — a big seller over summer — to continue, while wine spritzers are tipped to be a big seller over the Easter break, with sales already kicking off in earnest. Dan Murphy’s nationally has added 1900 new products over the past year.

“It’s a really new category, it’s really only been in (stock) for a couple of months,” Ms Pfeiffer-Smith said. “In terms of its most recent evolution, there’s lots of different formats that are coming out at the moment that look like little mini-bottles or cans.

“It looks like a very different product and it’s appealing to . . . a different customer base, the ones that would probably be more a seltzer-type drinker, to try something new and introduce them to wine in a low-risk way.”

Beer still remains in demand, with ginger beer sales up more than 25 per cent. Additional data shows customers in WA and SA more likely to branch out into alternative kinds of beers, in part owing to their roots with craft brewing and as the home of Coopers.

But a growing cohort of drinkers in Sydney’s inner west and Melbourne’s inner north are pushing along craft beer sales. While postcodes of Perth are four of the 10 that buy the most craft beer, according to Endeavour, Thornbury, Northcote and Brunswick in Melbourne’s inner north, and Erskineville, Lewisham and Petersham in Sydney’s inner west also feature.

People in NSW are the most likely in Australia to buy Dark Ales, while Victorians are the most likely to snap up Kolsch & Steam Ale. Queenslanders show less propensity to venture from what they know, and are particularly keen on Tropical Pale Ales — not commonly bought in other States or Territories.

Ms Pfeiffer-Smith said that despite cost-of-living pressures, there was still a strong consumer demand for drinks.

“One of the things we’re seeing is people just genuinely looking for new-ness,” she said. “I think people like trying something slightly different.”

Endeavour last month reported strong use of its Dan Murphy’s loyalty program which offers several lucrative member prices, while the outlet also pledges a lowest price guarantee.

“People still love celebrating social occasions . . . There’s still a great chance to get real value for what you want to buy and really enjoy the best things in life,” she said.

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