Liquor laws influence purchase rates

liquor, sign, alcohol, barLiquor licensing laws influence the purchase rates of alcohol, with differing laws across New Zealand and Australia going some way to explain higher purchase rates in NZ, reported a study by Roy Morgan Research.

In NZ the major grocery supermarkets, including Pak’nSave, New World and Countdown are licensed to sell beer and wine, yet in Australia stocking liquor in supermarkets is permitted only by some supermarkets in some states.

However, the two main supermarket chains in Australia, Coles and Woolworths, each own numerous individual retailers.

In the 12 months to June 2014, 59.4 per cent of Kiwis bought alcohol in a four week period, compared with 49.6 per cent of Australians, despite a small gap in the consumption of alcohol (74 per cent in New Zealanders compared with 70 per cent in Australians).

In NZ the dominant channel for liquor purchases is supermarkets, with 45.2 per cent of kiwis buying alcohol from a licensed supermarket in the past four weeks.

Only 29.4 per cent bought alcohol from an individual retailer during that time, with one percent purchasing from a hotel bottle shop.

In Australia, the dominant channel for purchasing liquor is individual liquor retailers, with 37.6 per cent buying alcohol from one in the past four weeks.

Just 9.3 per cent of Australian’s bought alcohol from a supermarket, and 9.8 per cent bought from a hotel bottle shop.

“In New Zealand, it’s a one-stop shop for milk, bread, eggs and beer at the supermarket, while Australians have to make a separate trip to an individual retailer for their booze, even if it’s just next door to the parent supermarket,” Pip Elliott, Roy Morgan Research NZ GM, said.

“That the gap between our rates of purchase is so much wider than the consumption gap suggests that having beer and wine available at the local supermarket means Kiwis buy their alcohol more regularly, while Australians tend to stock up during the separate, less regular trips to the liquor store like Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars or First Choice—all owned by one of the two supermarket giants.”

Elliott said that further investigation of these purchasing patterns could assist licensing bodies, retailers and suppliers to better understand the relationships between channel and consumption.

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