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The endless thirst of Australia’s bottled water drinkers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 – December 2014 (n=15,944).

Like driving instead of taking public transport, eating meat or letting the cat out at night, buying bottled water is one of those things that millions of us do despite its dubious environmental implications. In fact, one-quarter of the Australian population 14+ (some 4.9 million people) drink bottled water in an average seven days (steady since 2010), the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal. So how do they feel about the environment?

Asked about their environmental attitudes, people who drink bottled water do not differ dramatically from those who don’t.

While they are slightly more likely to believe that ‘environmentally friendly products are overpriced’ (70% vs 67% of non-bottled water drinkers) and slightly less likely to agree that ‘at heart, I’m an environmentalist’ (58% vs 61%), they are also slightly more likely to believe that ‘if we don’t act now we’ll never control our environmental problems’ (79% vs 77%).

Environmental attitudes of Aussies who drink bottled water vs those who don’t


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 – December 2014 (n=15,944).

Drink up!

While the green beliefs of bottled-water drinkers and their non-drinking compatriots aren’t as dissimilar as one might expect, their consumption of non-alcoholic beverages in general varies considerably.

It seems that people who drink bottled water have a greater taste for other non-alcoholic beverages as well. Compared to folks who don’t drink bottled water, they are more likely to drink soft drinks of every flavour, packaged fruit juices, cordial, coconut water, and sports and energy drinks in an average seven-day period.

Bottled water drinkers vs non-bottled water drinkers: what else they drink


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 – December 2014 (n=15,944).

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“As debate rages on the environmental impact of bottled water, the proportion of Australians drinking it has remained steady. Curiously, the people who do drink it hold fairly similar environmental attitudes to those who don’t. Where they differ is in their heightened tendency to drink other commercially available non-alcoholic beverages as well as bottled water – a tendency that seems to be linked to their age.

“Our data shows that younger people from the Generations Y and Z* are not only more likely than other generations to drink bottled water in an average seven days, they are also more likely to consume other beverages such as soft drinks, fruit juice and sports/ energy drinks.

“While above-average proportions of these younger generations believe that ‘bottled water is better to drink than tap water’, many also agree that ‘If I hear of a new drink I will try it’. Clearly their thirst is not easily quenched!

 “Obviously, bottled-water drinkers are not limited to the younger generations. With extensive data compiled from interviews with 50,000 Australians annually, Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey holds the key for beverage producers wishing to identify, understand and reach out to the different consumer groups most likely to buy and drink bottled water…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan 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%