This week Down Under

Victoria urges other states to form national ban on powdered alcohol

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

The arrival of Palcohol has led to the row over just-add-water alcoholic drinks
The arrival of Palcohol has led to the row over just-add-water alcoholic drinks

Related tags Roy morgan Breakfast

Victoria urges states to join it in national ban on powdered alcohol

Victoria, which this month banned sale of powdered alcohol, has been lobbying other states to follow suit.

It looks like the eastern state ls preaching to the choir, with Queensland and New South Wales seemingly preparing to legislate their own bans—a move prompted by the arrival of Palcohol, a new powdered alcohol product.

Other alcoholic powders have in the past entered the Australian market, though they managed to fly in under the government’s radar.

Western Australia, Queensland, Canberra, Tasmania and South Australia have all said they will aim for a nationally co-ordinated policy. 

This view, though, is at odds with the federal government’s approach, which has been to defer to the states and territories, which get control of alcohol licencing. By comparison, Canberra regulates the import, taxation and marketing of liquor.

Arizona-manufactured Palcohol, which can be mixed with other liquids to fortify a drink, has just arrived on the Australian market, prompting ministers to fear it might raise the potential for misuse.

It was approved by the US Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau earlier this year, though some American states—mostly in the south—are reportedly mulling their own bans.

With all the progress we’ve made tackling alcohol-related harm, it would be counterproductive to allow these products to be sold​,” NSW deputy premier and government minister Troy Grant said.

Coles gaining on Woolworths in all-important ​deli battleground

Coles is thinly slicing off an ever bigger share of the A$4.7bn (US$3.5bn) Australian delicatessen market, though Woolworths remains Australia’s the category’s number one retailer, Roy Morgan Research has found. 


In the last year, 6.7m Australian shoppers spent around A$91m (US$6.8m) on delicatessen items in an average seven days, up from 6.4m weekly shoppers and A$73m spent four years ago.  

For five years, Roy Morgan has surveyed over 72,000 grocery buyers, half of whom had bought deli goods prior to being questioned. 

Andrew Price, who heads consumer research at Roy Morgan, said mid-life families were among the most likely to buy deli items during the week. Moreover, they provide the role of footsoldiers in the supermarket battle for hegemony.

These are often the grocery buyers filling their trolleys with goods right across the store—clearly a valuable target market, and a reminder of the potential importance of the deli counter as a driver to broader retail spend​.”

The deli is also a vital battleground for Coles and Woolworths as it’s an arena where no-frills discount players like Aldi,and soon Lidi, with minimal staff and no deli counter, don’t compete in the same way.

Woolworths retains the largest share of the market, with 43.0% of the deli market now buying at least some of their deli goods from the store—down marginally from 44.1% in 2011. 

Rival Coles has been making steady gains, halving the gap from 12.6% points to 6.3% over the period. It now supplies deli food to 36.7% of the market, up from 31.5% in 2011. 

IGAs and delicatessens have also lost a bit of ground. 840,000 grocery buyers bought deli items at an IGA in the last week, representing 12.5% of the market (down from 13.4% in 2011). An additional 540,000 shopped at dedicated, stand-alone delis—down almost one percentage point over the period.

Over the last five years, only Coles has made any headway in the all-important delicatessen market​,” said Andrew Price of Roy Morgan Research. 

The proportion of grocery buyers who buy deli goods in an average week has remained steady at around 50% since 2011, which means competition, not market growth, is the only way to gain shoppers​.”

Australians still enjoy oatmeal over breakfast

Also revealed by Roy Morgan, porridge is growing in popularity, though increasingly time-poor Australians are opting to eat breakfast on the fly. 


Porridge is eaten by substantially fewer Australians than biscuit-style breakfast cereals like Weetbix. In an average week, one in five will eat porridge at least once, whereas a full quarter will eat biscuit cereal and further one-third choose a different cereal. 

Porridge, however, is the only type of breakfast cereal to have gained popularity in recent years, with 500,000 more Australians eating it in any given week than was the case in 2011. 

By contrast, 400,000 fewer eat biscuit cereal than in 2011, and the number eating other cereals has plummeted by 800,000. 

Women make up 60% of porridge eaters, and twice the proportion of older people choose it than does the younger generation. 

With more than 4.4m Australians saying they ‘seldom have time to eat breakfast’, and a gradually growing number drinking beverages such as Up & Go as a quick and easy breakfast alternative, cereal brands are faced with the challenge not only of standing out in a crowded market, but also ensuring that they reach the right consumers​,” said Andrew Price

There’s no doubt that media coverage about its nutritious qualities has been good publicity for porridge, and the increasing number of people eating it do tend to be more health-conscious than the average Aussie, though it’s worth noting that a higher proportion of women eat porridge than men, and women also tend to be more concerned about these issues​.”

The high sugar content of some cereals has been putting some consumers off the breakfast food, Roy Morgan’s figures also suggest.

Price added: “Of course, more than half the people who eat porridge in an average seven days eat other kinds of breakfast cereal too; just as many people who eat other kinds of cereal also eat porridge. This poses another yet challenge for cereal marketers: how to strengthen brand loyalty among their consumers​.”

Moxey Farms snapped up by dairy consortium

One of Australia’s biggest single-site dairies has been acquired by a holding company to integrate the business into a consortium of rivals.

Moxey Farms will join the Leppington Pastoral Company, New Hope Dairy Holdings and Freedom Foods Group in the consortium. 

Under the terms of the deal, the Moxey family will continue to operate Moxey Farms after  the New South Wales operation was picked up by the Australian Fresh Milk Holdings.

They will also acquire a strategic stake in Australian Fresh Milk Holdings, which has operations across Australia’s entire dairy value chain. 

Moxey has 3,700 cows that produce 50m litres of milk per year, with a much of this coming from a2 cows.

Coopers launches 2015 vintage

Coopers Brewery has released a limited edition for this year in the form of an extra-strong vintage ale, the fifteenth in a collectable annual series. 

The philosophy behind the 2015 Extra Strong Ale, as with previous vintages, was to ensure it was brewed with rich and intense flavours​,” Coopers’ managing director and chief brewer Dr Tim Cooper said.

Five hop varieties have been combined to feature in this year’s Vintage Ale, which registers at . 

The 7.5% abv brew is in limited production. Coopers has been releasing occasional vintage editions since 1998, with the practice becoming an annual event in 2006.

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