Australian craft beer sales shift towards online channels

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/pavelkant
Pic:getty/pavelkant

Related tags: Australia, Craft beer, ecommerce

Craft beer purchasing habits in Australia have seen a ‘significant change’ with a big increase in online sales as a result of COVID-19, according to an annual survey.

Craft beer retailer Beer Cartel has run the Australian Craft Beer Survey since 2016. The 2020 survey was run between July and September 2020, with almost 17,000 Australian craft drinkers taking part.

Key findings include:

COVID-19 has significantly increased online purchasing. ​Prior to COVID-19, 38% of drinkers said they had purchased beer online in the last year. Now, 53% of respondents say they have been purchasing beer online since April this year.

Online purchasing favors breweries and craft beer speciality sites.​ Brewery website purchasing has doubled from 14% in 2019 to 28% in 2020. Similarly, purchasing from craft beer speciality websites have increased from 19% in 2019 to 27% in 2020. 

Consumers have shown ‘strong support’ for Australian independent craft breweries through COVID-19.​ Craft beer drinkers indicated that since COVID-19 they were purchasing less mainstream beer (either Australian or international) while local and Australian craft beer purchases increased. A total of 93% of respondents in the survey agreed that 'Australian breweries need our support more than ever'.

COVID-19 appears to have impacted consumers very differently.​ While for some their weekly spend on beer during COVID-19 has dropped, for a proportion, particularly during COVID-19 peak (April - May 2020), spend actually increased as people began stocking up on beer at home similar to other commodities.

Independent means... what?​ When asked what the term independent beer means, 82% said it was a beer made form an independent brewery. Other respondents associated the term with a crafted, not manufactured, beer; while 53% associate it with being an Australian made / owned beer or one that supports a small business (52%).

The full report can be found here.

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