25 January, 2020

Network breakfast: PwC explores consumer drinks trends & implications

Network breakfast: PwC explores consumer drinks trends & implications

PwC's Paul von Kesmark and Birger Maekelburger will discuss recent consumer trends and implications for the drinks industry at The Drinks Association's upcoming Network Breakfast. 

Birger is the Director Strategy & Retail & Consumer Goods at PwC. He has 13 years of combined industry and consulting experience in retail and consumer goods.

He is a keen observer of shifting consumer trends and helps businesses derive implications for their businesses. He supports the development of business strategies for the digital age and their organisational and technological implementation.

Birger will focus on global consumer trends and insights for liquor retailing. He will talk about likely domestic changes, highlight relevant international cases, and discuss implications for drinks producers.

"Australian alcohol consumption is at its lowest since the early 1960s," he said. "Beer is in stark decline and soon to be surpassed by wine as most popular alcoholic drink. Premiumisation currently helps compensating for volume losses.

"Not only do we see changes in ‘what’ consumers buy but also ‘how’. Increasing wine and premium spirit consumption comes with a demand for wider ranges and enhanced customer experience in liquor stores. Online is increasingly popular for consumers seeking a bargain and/or more convenience."

Paul has spent more than 20 years working in the retail and consumer goods sector. His career began as a merchandiser and buyer, before moving into supply chain roles across both consumer goods and retail.

Since becoming a consultant, Paul has worked globally across Europe, Asia and the US, with clients spanning grocery, beverages and produce to electronics, homewares and high fashion.

Paul will outline the top four things that PwC believe the drinks industry particularly should address to face this increasingly complicated future with confidence and clarity.

"Consumers are demanding more choice, employees are asking for more from their employers, retailers are demanding more from their suppliers, producers are facing increased environmental and cost pressures, and technology providers are creating more tools and offering more capabilities," Paul noted. 


Time: 7-9am

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2019

Location: Luna Park, 1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point, Sydney


The Drinks Association is a not-for-profit organisation that offers everything from industry data to targeted forums and a broad spectrum of events, publications and websites, including Drinks Trade and Drinks Guide. It works to build a stronger, more informed Australian drinks industry by providing commonly required services.