By Ian Neubauer
A government report that shows the consumption of RTDs has swelled 6 per cent between the 2005 and 2006 fiscal years will likely provide added ammunition for groups pressing for greater restrictions on the sale, packaging and promotion of RTD products.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report also showed consumption of beer decreased over the period, spurned by a 9 per cent fall in the consumption of low- and mid-strength beer.
Consumption of alcohol in the form of spirits remained unchanged over the period, as did the quantity of alcohol consumed by the average Australian aged 15 and above.
Unexpected announcements last month from Lion Nathan and Foster’s Group saying the brewers would cease production of energy-added and high-alcohol RTDs were widely seen as an attempt to stave off further regulation. However, the brewers called it a proactive step to encourage responsible and sustainable drinking behaviour.