Australia’s beverage industry is a strong contributor to the economy, both directly and indirectly (via employment across primary industries, manufacturing, transport and retail). The industry landscape has changed markedly across the board in manufacturer type, distribution and product range — particularly over the past few decades. Today, key challenges for the industry include:
- Changing consumer demands: sugar avoidance due to health awareness has pushed consumers away from high-sugar drinks, while consumers following “clean eating” guidelines want no (or worst case, fewer) additives, more healthful ingredients and more organic products.
- Counterfeiting: in-demand, high-end Australian wines are particularly a target for counterfeit products in Asian export destinations.
- Weather: drought, frost, flooding and extreme temperatures affect crop yield and quality for wine
- International supplies: high wine supplies internationally have kept Australian export prices low for a decade, while domestic wines have also had to compete with low-cost imported wine
- Reduced beer consumption: overall beer consumption has dropped, and within that consumers have moved away from standard beers produced by large corporates, favouring craft and imported beers
- Labelling: ensuring on-shelf standout, being aware of country-of-origin changes and often-changing export-labelling requirements
- Product-development lag: launching new products quickly that match consumer trends can be a problem with time lags in R&D, testing, then marketing to retail