Roy Morgan Research
December 02, 2019

Gin drinking is keeping spirits up

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 8194

New data from Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Currency Report shows that 26.7% (5,234,000) of Australians 18+ consumed spirits in an average four-week period. A higher proportion of men than women drank spirits, as did a higher number of 18- to 24-year-olds than older age groups.

As of September 2019, 30.8% (2,951,000) of men consumed spirits in an average four-week period, compared with 22.9% (2,283,000) of women.

More than one-third of those aged 18-24 consumed spirits in an average four-week period (36.7% or 869,000 people), as did just over a quarter of those aged 25-49. The least likely group to drink spirits is those aged 50+ (23.0% or 1,944,000).

These findings have been obtained from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week; around 50,000 each year.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that “Looking at the types of alcohol Australians are drinking, spirits is one of the stronger categories over the last few years with consumption increasing from 25.9% in 2014 to 26.7% as of September 2019.

Whisky/Scotch Whisky is the most popular spirit choice, with 9.3% of Australians consuming it in an average four weeks, followed by gin (8%), bourbon/American whiskey (7.5%), vodka (5.9%) and rum (5.3%). Ouzo, tequila and brandy are consumed by around 1% of Australians or less.

Gin has shown the largest pick-up in recent times with consumption increasing by 0.5% points to 8% from a year ago. The annual increase in gin consumption has been driven by more women consuming gin, up 1.1% points to 9.3% while a virtually unchanged 6.6% of men now consume gin. Gin is now clearly the spirit of choice for Australian women ahead of vodka (6.8%).

Consumption of gin has increased across most generations led by Gen X (8.8%, up 0.8% points), Baby Boomers (8.6%, up 0.8% points) and the younger Gen Z (8.3%, up 0.7% points).

Other spirits to increase their appeal to key demographics over the last year include bourbon/American whiskey now consumed by 10.7% of men (up 0.6% points), rum now consumed by 9.3% of Gen Z (up 1.9% points), Whisky/Scotch Whisky now consumed by 10% of Gen Y (up 0.5% points) and vodka now consumed by 5.7% of Gen X (up 0.9% points).

Spirits are a bright spot in the Australian liquor industry but only gin has managed to increase consumption over the last year across the whole population – and that increase has been entirely driven by women. Other spirits such as vodka, whisky, bourbon and rum all have niche demographics in which consumption is increasing, but these aren’t widespread throughout the whole population” said Ms. Levine.

Proportion of Australians who consumed spirits in an average four-week period

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, October 2018 – September 2019, n= 15,630.
Base: Australians aged 18+ 

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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

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