Back To Listing

Soft drinks losing their fizz among younger Aussies

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2008 – June 2013, Average annual sample n=19,568. Base: Australians 14+

Soft drink marketers may need to reconsider their targeted advertising: replace volleyball-playing, music festival-going, bonfire-starting twenty-somethings with canasta-playing, arts festival-going, barbecue-starting Australians in their 40s, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

With sharp declines among the Under 35s over the past five years, middle-aged Australians 35-49 are now the group most likely to have soft drink in an average week.

In the 12 months to June 2009, around 2 in 3 Australians 14-25 or 25-34 had some soft drink in an average week. By June 2013, the consumption rate in each younger age bracket had declined 9% points, to 56% and 57% respectively.

Meanwhile consumption also declined among 35-49 year-olds—but only by 3% points, to 58%. Soft drink remains least popular among those aged over 50, with weekly consumption rate now at 40%, down from 44%.

Overall, 50% of Australians 14+ now consume soft drink in a seven-day period—down from 56% in 2009.

Proportion of each age group who are Soft drink consumers 

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2008 – June 2013, Average annual sample n=19,568. Base: Australians 14+

Younger soft drink consumers are also drinking less of it. The average weekly intake declined by 1.2 to 5.5 glasses among consumers under 25, and by 0.6 to 6.3 glasses among 25-34 year-olds.

When combined with the decline in overall consumption rates, this equates to around 5 million fewer glasses of soft drink being drunk per week by Aussies under 35. 

Weekly intake, however, rose slightly among the older groups. 35-49 year old consumers now drink an average of 7 glasses per week (up 0.1) with those over 50+ drinking 6.1 (up 0.2).  

Overall weekly intake declined from 6.6 glasses to 6.3.

Angela Smith, Group Account Manager - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“As Australians become increasingly health conscious, we are seeing the number of soft drink consumers decrease. However, soft drink consumption behaviours differ among age groups. Those under 35 are more likely now to drink none or less, while heavier consumption appears to be entrenched among those over 35.

“According to Roy Morgan’s new classification system, Helix Personas, soft drink consumers are more likely to belong to the ‘Today’s Families’ community of young families living in the outer suburbs earning above average income, or the ‘Battlers’ community.

“As the number of young Australians who drink soft drink continues to drop, soft drink distributers and marketers will need to gain a better understanding of their new target market in order to stay competitive.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Angela Smith, Group Account Manager - Consumer Products
Telephone: +61 (2) 9021 9101

Image credit: Flickr, tharrin

Related Research

Click here to view our Soft Drink Drinker Profile. Profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%