By Andy Young
Roy Morgan Research has highlighted that while wine and beer are still the most popular drinks with Australian consumers, more than a quarter of Australian adults consume spirits at least once in an average four weeks, and that retailers can expect a spirit sales surge this festive period.
The research shows that wine remains the most popular beverage, consumed by 44.5 per cent (or almost 8.3 million people) in an average four weeks, followed by beer (38.5 per cent – over 7.1 million). Spirits are the third-most popular type of liquor, drunk by 26.2 per cent of Australians 18+ (or nearly five million people).
Men (31.6 per cent) are more likely than women (20.9 per cent) to partake in a spirit in any four-week period, although that may be skewed by the overwhelming popularity of dark spirits among Australian men; vodka and gin are consumed by more women than men.
Roy Morgan’s Liquor Currency Report for September 2016 shows that age also plays a role, with spirits consumption most widespread among young drinkers aged 18-24 (37.0 per cent of whom partake in an average four weeks), and 25-34 year-olds (29.4 per cent). After that, consumption falls off, bottoming out at 21.4 per cent among the 50-plus age group—although naturally, this varies depending on the spirit.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, said: “Alcohol drinkers are a diverse bunch, with a person’s liquor consumption often linked to their age,gender, socio-economic scale, ethnic background, attitudes and even state of residence. Even within a category, such as spirits, there can be considerable variation, as we have seen here.
“Although wine and beer are consumed in much larger volumes by many more Australians, spirits are still an important category in the liquor market. And at special times of year such as the Christmas-New Year period, liquor retailers can expect a surge in sales of these beverages, with customers buying them as gifts or for their festive celebrations.
“An invaluable resource for brands looking to expand their share of the market, Roy Morgan’s alcohol data can help identify which consumers are most likely to be receptive to a particular brand and/or category of booze.
“For example, bourbon drinkers are the most likely of all spirits drinkers to ‘prefer pre-mixed spirits to spirits in a glass’ (22.7 per cent), in stark contrast to those who consume gin (5.6 per cent). What’s more, they’re also most likely to believe that ‘pre-mixed spirits are good value for money’ (17.7 per cent)—good news for pre-mix manufacturers (many of which use bourbon and American whiskey in their products).”
Interestingly for retailers the research also showed that nearly one-third of all Australian drinkers (31.5 per cent) “don’t like drinking in pubs”, although this figure is slightly lower among spirit drinkers.
For more on how vodka can be an exciting category for retailers this festive season, take a look at the December issue of National Liquor News.