Leigh Firkin

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Merchandise Manager Commercial Wine

Leigh will be speaking in Session 3. What’s trending? Click here to see more.


Millennials and Gen Z will represent half of Australia’s legal drinking population by 2025. As an industry, we need to recognise this evolution and respond with relevant offerings to ensure that we’re presenting customers with wines that meet their needs.

Endeavour Group’s Head of Category Strategy & Insights – James Marinelli, and Head of Commercial Wine – Leigh Firkin, will discuss the inherent importance of both innovation and sustainability to customers of all generations, and why suppliers need to start thinking differently in order to capture their interest.

Right now, products that did not exist five years ago account for the majority of revenue growth across the alcohol beverage categories, highlighting the absolute necessity of innovation to suppliers.

As our customers transition through life stages, their needs and wants are constantly changing as their tastes, attitudes and circumstances evolve. A current notable attitude shift is the increasing desire for sustainable options, with one in two customers claiming to have a preference for environmentally friendly products.

The blend of agriculture and manufacturing across global geographies within the wine industry creates a broad spectrum of sustainability considerations for both today and into the future. Currently, with packaging representing the link to sustainable choices for the majority of Endeavour’s customers, the question to consider is for how long will this be enough and what is the future of the glass bottle?


Leigh Firkin is a business (MBA, BBus) graduate of Monash University and has worked in the drinks industry across both large and small format retailers for over 10 years. Now Merchandise Manager Commercial Wine for the Endeavour Group, she has extensive experience across both the wine and spirits categories, complemented by FMCG and general merchandise buying roles.