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The tea party: Australians love a cuppa

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2015-June 2016, n=14,956

Tea-drinkers are passionate bunch. High-profile aficionados as diverse as Lady Gaga, Ozzy Osbourne and George Orwell have all sung its praises, while playwright Noel Coward once pondered, “Wouldn’t it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn’t have tea?” The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that Coward would have no such worries in Australia, where half the population drink at least one cuppa in an average seven days.

In the 12 months to June 2016, 9.8 million Aussies 14+ (50%) drank at least one cup of tea in any given week, a fraction up on the same time last year (49%, or 9.6 million people). The average volume consumed in this period is 9.5 cups per person, up from 9.1 cups last year.

Women are more likely to be tea-drinkers than men: 55% drink at least one cuppa in an average week, compared with 45% of men. There is also a strong correlation between tea-drinking and age. Whereas 25% of Aussies aged 14-17 have a cuppa in an average seven days, the proportion of tea-drinkers grows with each subsequent age group, peaking at 64% among the 65+ demographic.

Australian tea-drinkers of different ages and the average weekly volume consumed


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2015-June 2016, n=14,956

The average number of cups consumed also increases in direct proportion with age. Tea-drinking teenagers between 14 and 17 years each drink an average of 5.5 cups per week, and once again their 65-plus elders lead the nation, consuming an average of 11 cups. (Indeed, almost a third of this group drink 15 or more cups per week).

Similarly, the proportion of hot-coffee drinkers in each age group, and the average number of cups they consume, also rises in direct proportion to age. But it is worth noting that only the youngest group (14-17 years) is more likely to drink hot tea (25%) than hot coffee (19%) in any given seven days. From 18 years and up, coffee is the more popular beverage.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With one in every two Australians 14+ drinking it at least once in an average seven days, hot tea is one of the country’s most popular non-alcoholic beverages. Only tap water, milk and hot coffee are more widely consumed.

“As we have shown, incidence and volume of both tea- and coffee-drinking increases with age. Coffee is slightly more popular than tea with most age groups, with the notable exception being young Australians aged 14-17, who are more likely to drink tea. Could this be an opportunity for a savvy tea brand to get in on the ground floor, so to speak, and win over this young demographic so as to build a life-long relationship?

”Of course, age is just one factor to consider when it comes to Aussies’ tea-drinking habits and preferences. For example, Roy Morgan data also shows that sales of regular tea have actually declined slightly over the last five years, herbal/fruit tea sales have crept up, and green tea sales have plateaued. It is crucial for brands wishing to remain competitive in this uncertain market to identify exactly those consumers most likely to keep (or start) buying their product, so they can tailor their marketing in a way that resonates with these people.

“Only Roy Morgan Single Source can provide the deep demographic, attitudinal and behavioural data necessary to truly understand what makes these consumers tick.”

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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%