Cool summer dampens beer sales

On February 15 Foster’s Group reported declining profit on the back of falling beer sales. CEO Ian Johnston attributed this partly to “unseasonal weather in peak consumption months”. We might call this seasonally adjusted profit.

As a lapsed retailer I can vouch for this phenomenon. In research to understand the effect of advertising on beer sales, Liquorland marketing department once discovered that sales rose and fell with the thermometer. Advertising merely redistributed the brand mix.

The seasonal blip noted by Foster’s comes on top of a long-term decline revealed in recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. The bureau says we now drink about 107 litres a person, well down on our peak of 176 litres almost forty years ago.

Despite the overall decline, though, premium beers, including imports, and those bland low-carbohydrate beers enjoyed double-digit growth in recent years.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011