Roy Morgan Research
April 11, 2018

Wine most popular, but beer most drunk

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 7550

After another long weekend spent with friends, family, and loved ones over the Easter break, many Australians choose to unwind with an alcoholic drink. The Roy Morgan Alcohol Currency Report reveals 69.3% of Australians 18+ drink alcohol in an average 4 week. Of all Australians 18+ years old, 44.5% consume wine, 39.1% consume beer, 27.5% consume spirits, and 13.6% consume cider. 

When looking at drinkers by gender, men are the predominant consumers of alcohol, with 74% consuming alcohol in an average 4 week period, compared to 65% of women. 

Women had the highest incidence of wine consumption, with nearly 50% of all women drinking wine in an average 4 weeks compared to 39% of men. Wine skews to older drinkers, with the highest incidence among 50+ and 35-49 year olds. In contrast, beer is consumed by 59% of men in an average 4 weeks, compared to only 20% of women. Beer is fairly constant across age, increasing slightly from 18-49, but declines for the 50+ age group.

Cider is fairly evenly split between the genders with a slight skew towards women, but it is heavily skewed to younger Australians compared to old, with 27% of 18-24 year olds consuming cider in an average 4 weeks compared to 7.8% of 50+.

Alcohol Consumption Incidence - % and estimated number of Australians who have consumed each type of alcohol in an average 4 week period.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jan 17 – Dec 17; n=28,979. Base: Australians 18+.

Beer maintains largest Share of Throat

In Australia, 128.8 million glasses of alcohol were consumed by 11.6 million drinkers in an average 7 day period in 2017.

Beer has the highest Share of Throat across Australia, accounting for 44% of all alcohol volume consumed by drinkers, compared to wine at 32%. And while cider has experienced an increase in popularity over the last decade, it still represents only 3.3% of all alcoholic volume.

Alcohol Share of Throat

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) January 2017 – December 2017, n = 28,979. Base: Australian Alcohol Consumers 18+

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says:

Block Quote

“While wine is the most popular choice of alcoholic drink among Australians, it’s interesting to note the largest volume of alcohol is beer, representing 44% of all alcohol in a 12 month period. There has been a decline in alcohol consumption among men, who in the last 5 years have gone from 76.5% consuming alcohol to 73.9% in an average 4 week period. This is contrasted by the rise of women consuming alcohol, which has increased from 64.1% to 64.8%. Young people have also declined in alcohol consumption, with 18-24 year olds decreasing from 71.8% alcohol consumption to 68.1% in an average 4 weeks. This is compared to 50+, who have increased from 69.4% to 70.2%.

“The Alcohol Retail Currency Report contains a detailed overview of alcohol consumption in Australia today together with five-year comparative data. The report covers wine, beer, spirits, Ready to Drink (RTDs), liqueurs, fortified wine and cider, and provides incidence figures for each alcohol type, together with consumption trends for the total alcohol category plus each alcohol type, by age and gender. It also looks at the ‘share of throat’ for each type of alcohol by age, gender, and types of alcohol consumed for the last 12 months. The data also divides the total alcohol drinker market into low, medium and heavy alcohol drinkers and looks at these segments by age, gender, type of alcohol consumed, and volume share for the last 12 months.”

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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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