There have been significant shifts in the wine sector in Australia since COVID-19. Read on for a snapshot of the industry in Australia.

  • We see a strong focus on Buy Australian and Support Local, such as shelf talkers that clearly guide you to local wines in the major retailers. This is partly due to a recession mindset and also a result of the bushfires that ravaged many Australian wine regions earlier this year, before the impacts of COVID-19.

  • There has been a major shift in channel mix when the doors closed on the on-premise world and panic buying in retail set in, a dramatic shift in channel mix was the result, including a rise in online purchases. Many believe buying more wine online is a trend that is here to stay.

  • The initial panic buying has been followed by a slump in sales April was the worst month on record for wine, beer and spirts sales. The spike in retail, due to the brief surge in panic buying, was never going to make up for the total loss in on-premise sales.

  • Spend per bottle has been down.

  • Big, trusted wine brands where consumers believe they are getting value for money - tried and true - have been the winners in retail. In seeking this security, consumers have drifted away from premium wines and experimentation. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has been a winner, although this is now tapering off.

  • The on-premise is slowly opening up with various restrictions by state - details here.

Summary on the significant impact of COVID-19 in the drinks industry*

  • 441,400 jobs lost

  • $8.5 billion (AUD) in lost sales

  • Volume losses of up to 61%

  • Value losses of up the 55%

*This is according to the Impact of COVID-19 on the Drinks Industry ABA Industry report on coronavirus (May 2020).

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