The pandemic split Coopers' consumer base in two groups - here’s how it’s chasing one

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 26 March 2021

The pandemic has split Coopers Brewery’s consumer base into two distinct groups, younger people after premium products and older people after value for money - and Coopers is eyeing the younger market for growth.

After the initial panic buying of booze at the start of last year’s nation-wide lockdown, Coopers saw the market settle into new buying routines. 

Younger consumers, who had more time and spending money, became interested in exploring premium beer products, whereas older people began looking for more value products.

Coopers, which has a relatively low market share of drinkers aged 18-35 outside of its home state South Australia, has been investing in more premium, complex products to recruit these younger drinkers which it sees as its clearest path to growth.

“From our business' perspective, if we are trying to recruit younger consumers, then our marketing and product development needs to be focused on more complex styles at premium prices,” Coopers category, insights and innovation manager Andrew Brooks says.

“That’s where we've gone to recently with the likes of Hazy IPA last year, which is a limited release product and we have some great stuff coming up later this year.

“There’s some really exciting innovations coming through and we're trying to build out that limited release program for Coopers as our way of getting some excitement around our core range. We are recruiting new drinkers in through some exciting new products with the idea being that they will then be new to the brand and adopt our core products.”

Brooks sees the craft brewery trend continuing after the pandemic, with the number of active beer products rising from about 2,000 three years ago to about 4,000 this year.

The pandemic has also increased consumer’s desire to buy locally and sustainably made products, benefiting Coopers which has been in South Australia for its 160-year history.

“We have a trend across many different categories around localism, or what we refer to sometimes as economic patriotism,” he says.

“People are making conscious choices to choose brands that are Australian made, Australian owned, or sometimes getting really hyper-local and picking brands local to their suburb, their city, their state.”

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