Wine most popular drink, but beer is still the volume king

14 August, 2019 by Andy Young

Roy Morgan has released its Alcohol Consumption Currency Report June 2019, which questioned over 15,000 consumers regarding their alcoholic drinking habits and has presented some interesting findings.

For the two-thirds of Australians that do drink alcohol on a regular basis wine is the most popular choice with 41.3 per cent of Australians drinking wine in an average four weeks compared to 37.6 per cent that drink beer. In addition 37.6 per cent, drink another type of alcohol including at least one of spirits, cider, RTDs or liqueurs.

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Although wine is the most popular alcoholic drink in terms of the number of drinkers, beer is clearly the top in terms of volume (based on glasses). The following chart shows that beer accounts for 45.3 per cent of the volume of alcoholic drinks consumed more than wine (29.2 per cent) and spirits (13.2 per cent) combined.

Other forms of alcohol comprise the remaining 12.5 per cent of alcohol consumption volume including RTD (5.8 per cent), cider (3.5 per cent), liqueurs (1.2 per cent), fortified wine (0.9 per cent) and other alcohol (one per cent).

The research also shows that two-thirds of Australians aged 18+ (66.3 per cent) consume alcohol in an average four weeks and over 1-in-8 Australians (12.8 per cent) consume not only beer and wine, but also at least one of spirits, RTDs, liqueurs or cider in an average four weeks.

However, despite the 1-in-8 Australians that drink beer, wine and something else, overall incidence of alcohol consumption has continued to decline gently over the last five years from 69.8 per cent in mid-2014.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan says: “Australians’ love of alcohol is well-known although the latest research from Roy Morgan shows that a declining proportion of Australians are now drinking alcohol. Now just on two-thirds of Australians (66.3 per cent) drink alcohol in an average four weeks, down 3.5 per cent points from five years ago (69.8 per cent) in mid-2014.

“Wine is again the most widely drunk alcoholic beverage with 41.3 per cent of Australians drinking a glass of their favourite drop in an average four weeks compared to 37.6 per cent that drink beer and just over a quarter (26.3 per cent) that drink spirits. The growth of cider as a newly popular drink of choice has plateaued in recent years with just over 1-in-10 Australians now drinking cider.

“Despite wine being more widely drunk, it is beer which dominates the overall volume of alcohol drunk in Australia. Beer comprises a 45.3 per cent share of the volume of alcohol drunk in Australia compared to 29.2 per cent for wine, 13 per cent for spirits, 5.8 per cent for RTD and 3.5 per cent for cider.

“Although the incidence of alcohol consumption amongst Australians has fallen there are a significant 12.8 per cent of Australians who like to drink several different types of alcohol including beer, wine and at least one (or more) of spirits, RTDs, liqueurs or cider in an average four weeks.

“Being able to identify and profile who these 1-in-8 Australians are and where to find them is of vital importance to any alcohol retailers and distributors looking to shore up their market share in a market which is reaching a declining proportion of the population.”