In good news for the brewing industry, Roy Morgan reports there has been a rise in the number of Australians drinking beer – a change from recent years as consumption of beer has slumped over the last decade.
There were 7,138,000 Australians (35.7%) drinking beer, an increase of 0.5% points (+147,000) from a year earlier.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “The decline in beer drinking over the last 15 years has been more sustained than any other type of alcohol, so it will be important for the industry to learn the lessons provided by the pandemic to ensure the increase in beer consumption over the last year is sustained and not a ‘blip’ on the long-term downward trend.”
In addition, there were 6,670,000 Australians (33.4%) drinking spirits in mid-2021, up from 6,121,000 (30.8%) a year earlier – an increase of 2.6% points. Also increasing was consumption of Ready-to-drinks (RTDs) which increased from 2,243,000 Australians (11.3%) up to 2,745,000 Australians (13.7%).
The results were not as positive for other types of alcohol with fewer Australians now drinking cider, liqueurs and fortified wines compared to a year ago.
The findings are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, Australia’s most trusted and comprehensive consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.
In the year to September 2021 a total of 13,894,000 Australians (69.6%) aged 18+ consumed alcohol in an average four-week period, up from 13,179,000 (66.4%) a year earlier.
Driving this increase were significant increases for wine, spirits and RTDs while consumption of beer also increased marginally over the past year.
Wine on the rise
The number of Australians drinking wine increased from 8,539,000 Australians (43.0%) to 9,263,000 (46.4%) – an increase of 3.4% points (+724,000) over the year.
Levine said: “Wine has been the big driver of the increase as Australians stuck at home, and without the usual options for domestic or international travel over the last 18 months, have turned to local activities for comfort and entertainment.
“Now well over 9.2 million Australians (46.4% of adults) drink wine in an average four weeks, up 724,000 (+3.4% points) on a year ago. Wine drinking has increased significantly in popularity for both genders with a majority of 50.6% of women now drinking wine, up 3.2% points on a year ago, and 42% of men drinking wine, an even larger increase of 3.6% points.
“By age, those most likely to be drinking wine are aged 50-79, however the largest increases have been for the age groups with school-aged children. Wine drinking for people aged 25-34 is up 5.9% points on a year ago and is up 5.3% points on a year ago for those aged 35-49.
The other big winners over the last year have been spirits and RTDs. For the first time over a third of Australian adults, 6,670,000 (33.4%), now drink spirits, an increase of 549,000 (+2.6% points) on a year ago and 2,745,000 (13.7%) now drink RTDs, up 502,000 (+2.4% points).
“Roy Morgan will be keeping a keen eye on the developing trends in the alcohol market during the remainder of 2021 and into next year as Australia continues to open up and enters a period of ‘COVID-normal’,” Levine concluded. “The return of a range of leisure options, including travel, will provide a new challenge for the alcohol market that has enjoyed a wave of growth over the last 18 months.”
View the Alcohol Consumption Currency Report