How the Off Premise shopper mindset is changing

Overall satisfaction in Off Premise has risen again. But the average liquor shopper still wants more in terms of healthy choices and innovation.

Our August 2019 to February 2020 research revealed net satisfaction in Off Premise rose by 1.5% to 67% year on year. The biggest improvements came from the areas of execution (which includes availability and layout) and assortment (made up of measures including range and innovation).

By contrast, there was a more modest improvement in terms of price and product.

We saw mixed results on some of the big industry trends driving retailer and suppliers strategies today.

While Off Premise shoppers reported an increase in satisfaction with the delivery of premium, they were less positive about appealing new ideas and healthy choices.

Health went backward year-on-year, and was the fastest declining performance area in three of the five product departments (beer, wine, and spirits).

Younger female shoppers were particularly dissatisfied in this area compared to the previous year. Unplanned liquor shoppers also registered a decline in satisfaction with healthy choices.

A generational shift in occasion shopping

We saw an increase in younger liquor shoppers buying liquor for short-term consumption and with a particular occasion in mind. More than 80% of 18-24-year-olds plan to consume within a few hours. And nearly 60% said they bought for a specific drinking occasion, to give as a gift, or to drink with a meal.

By contrast, just one in five shoppers over the age of 55 buy for a specific occasion, and fewer than one in three intend to consume within a few hours of purchase.

We see the ongoing impact of moderation and abstinence among younger drinkers. 18-24-year-olds have the lowest trip frequency of any age group. They are nevertheless a valuable cohort, with a higher basket spend versus older generations.

What’s more, this group is significantly more interested in both healthy and responsible drinking options. So the future growth of the channel lies in recognising their needs and delivering to them more effectively.

Everyday drinkers vs occasion shoppers

From a total liquor perspective, we’ve seen a small shift back towards everyday drinking missions, and away from shopping for a particular occasion.

Those who buy for everyday drinking now account for two in three Off Premise shoppers. But what’s especially striking is the difference in attitude and approach between this group and the third of people who have a specific occasion in mind.

The everyday drinking group are strong traffic drivers, focused on not running out. They’re highly likely to show loyalty to a retailer that executes well. So pre-store engagement and strong basics in-store (good availability, simple ranging) are vital to attract and retain this shopper.

Conversely, the occasion-driven Off Premise shopper is orientated towards new ideas or innovations. And they’re willing to trade up for better quality. The in-store environment is just as important to these shoppers, but more so because it needs to capture their attention.

In terms of their needs, the two groups also differ massively. Occasion shoppers said authenticity, healthy choices, and drinking responsibly more important. The everyday drinker is much more focused on price and value. This is less about targeting one group over the other and more about implementing multiple strategies simultaneously.

We don’t predict a return to the consumption levels of previous decades, so the ability of retailers and suppliers to target specific shopper groups will determine their future success.

Hear our experts discuss key liquor trends at the 2020 Off Premise webinar.

Watch the webinar on-demand | Off Premise Liquor 2020 (1hr)

David Shukri is Senior Insight Director at Shopper Intelligence

Article originally published in drinkstrade.com.au and reposted here with permission.