August 12, 2019

1-in-8 Australians consume beer, wine and another alcohol

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 8087
RMR Logo

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

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

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% in mid-2014. 

All major categories of alcoholic drinks showed decline in incidence over this period although deeper analysis within gender and age groups reveals some types of alcohol are growing in popularity for different segments of the population.

These are some of the latest findings derived from the Roy Morgan’s ‘Alcohol Consumption Currency Report June 2019’ which is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including detailed questioning of over 15,000 regarding their alcoholic drinking habits.

The most popular combination of two alcoholic beverages between these three categories of alcoholic drinks is for the 9.6% who drink both wine and another type of alcohol (not including beer) in an average four weeks.

Alcohol Cross-Category Consumption in an average four weeks

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2018 – June 2019; n=16,078. Base: Australians 18+. *Other Alcohol includes spirits, RTDs, liqueurs and ciders. Wine includes fortified wine.

Beer is still the ‘Volume King’ for Australians

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% of the volume of alcoholic drinks consumed more than wine (29.2%) and spirits (13.2%) combined.

Other forms of alcohol comprise the remaining 12.5% of alcohol consumption volume including RTD (5.8%), cider (3.5%), liqueurs (1.2%), fortified wine (0.9%) and other alcohol (1%).

Alcohol Share of Volume Consumed

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2018 – June 2019, n=16,078.
Base: Australians 18+ who consume alcohol.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan says:

Block Quote

“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%) drink alcohol in an average four weeks, down 3.5% points from five years ago (69.8%) in mid-2014.

“Wine is again the most widely drunk alcoholic beverage with 41.3% of Australians drinking a glass of their favourite drop in an average four weeks compared to 37.6% that drink beer and just over a quarter (26.3%) 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% share of the volume of alcohol drunk in Australia compared to 29.2% for wine, 13% for spirits, 5.8% for RTD and 3.5% for cider.

“Although the incidence of alcohol consumption amongst Australians has fallen there are a significant 12.8% 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.

“The data used in this release covers only a small part of what is available in the full database and in the ‘Alcohol Consumption Currency Report and the ‘Alcohol Retail Currency Report. To find out more ask Roy Morgan.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

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
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

Related Findings

Back to topBack To Top Arrow