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Bickford’s cordial: the sweet taste of success

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2009 – June 2014 (average sample n=18,192).

Over the last five years, the proportion of Australians buying cordial in an average four-week period has fallen dramatically, with most brands being affected by this slump in sales. But one historic Australian brand is bucking the trend, gaining more consumers by the year. In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that Bickford’s cordial may well soon pose a threat to long-time market leader Cottee’s…

In the 12 months to June 2010, 31.0% of Australians 14+ bought cordial in an average four-week period; by June 2014, this had decreased to 23.9%. Big-name brands such as Golden Circle, Extra Juicy and Cottee’s all lost buyers, while Coles cordial saw a slight increase (from 1.7% to 2.0%), as did Cascade (0.6% to 0.7%). But without a doubt, the star performer was Bickford’s.

Whereas 3.2% of Australians 14+ bought Bickford’s cordial in an average four-week period back in 2010, this had risen to 5.5% by June 2014 — an increase of some 592,000 people.

% of Australians 14+ who purchased cordial in last 4 weeks 2009-2014


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2009 – June 2014 (average sample n=18,192).

People who buy Bickford’s are markedly different to the ‘typical’ cordial buyer. Generally, cordial-buyers are more likely to be young parents, living in households where disposable cash is in short supply. Those who buy Bickford’s tend to be older, financially secure and living in childless households.

Compared to the typical cordial-buyer, Bickford’s buyers are more likely to agree with attitude statements such as ‘I like to drink wine with my meals’ and ‘I try to buy organic food whenever I can’ — both of which align well with Bickford’s own philosophy. Not only does the brand promote its cordial as ‘the ultimate mixer for behind the bar’ (positioning itself as an adult drink for those who enjoy a tipple), but it is also committed to pure production techniques and natural ingredients.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In a declining cordial market, Bickford’s stands out for its continued growth in popularity. Even more notably, the people buying it do not fit the usual image of the ‘typical’ family-focused cordial buyer.

“Affluent, older and buying the cordial for themselves rather than for any children in the hous ehold, Bickford’s buyers are clearly attracted by the brand’s emphasis on quality, tradition (for example, their old-fashioned bottles) and natural flavours. The fact that Bickford’s is the only cordial that offers a lemon, lime and bitters flavour no doubt contributes to its popularity with this group too!

“Using Roy Morgan Research’s in-depth profiling tool Helix Personas, we can understand these key differences in more detail. The Helix communities most likely to have bought Bickford’s cordial in the last four weeks are Metrotechs and Leading Lifestyles, both high-earning, sophisticated segments of the population with a taste for the finer things in life.

“On the other hand, Helix shows that Today’s Families and Battlers are by far the most likely communities to have bought Cottee’s cordial in the last four weeks. Younger families form the basis of both communities, and while those in the former group earn good salaries, they’re every bit as likely as the low-income Battlers to be concerned with making their dollar stretch further."

For comments or more information about our cordial and FMCG data, please contact:

Angela Smith, Group Account Director – Consumer Products
Office: +61 (2) 9021 9101

Related research findings

View our extensive range of Cordial Buyer profiles, including our Bickford’s Cordial Buyer Profile, our Cottee’s Cordial Buyer profile, and our Coles Cordial Buyer profile. These 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.

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%