In Drinks – Alcoholic by Karen Woods

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Wine has topped the charts as most popular drink, and men are consuming less alcohol – although women are drinking more.

This month, Roy Morgan and one of the world’s biggest brewers have released insights into patron drinking behaviour.

Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Currency Report details the drinking patterns of Australians of legal drinking age. It analyses 128.8 million glasses of alcoholic beverages consumed by 11.6 million drinkers in an average seven-day period in 2017.

Of all Australians over 18 years, 44.5 per cent consume wine, 39.1 per cent consume beer, 27.5 per cent consume spirits, and 13.6 per cent drink cider.

Men drink more alcohol than women in general, with 74 per cent consuming alcohol in an average four-week period, compared to 65 per cent of women.

Women consume more wine than men, especially those aged 35 and over, while in an average four-week period, 59 per cent of men will drink beer, compared to just 20 per cent of women.

Interestingly, there is a slight dip in incidence of men drinking beer in the 50 plus age group.

Cider popularity continues its gradual upward growth, especially with young Australians. Results show 27 per cent aged 18-24 are partial to drinking cider, compared with only 7.8 per cent in the over-50 age bracket. The research did not show much divide in the genders.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says, “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 percent of all alcohol in a 12-month period.

“There has been a decline in alcohol consumption among men, who in the last five years have gone from 76.5 per cent consuming alcohol to 73.9 per cent, in an average four-week period. This is contrasted by the rise of women consuming alcohol, which has increased from 64.1 per cent to 64.8 per cent.

“Young people have also declined in alcohol consumption, with 18-24-year-olds decreasing from 71.8 per cent alcohol consumption to 68.1 per cent in an average four weeks. This is compared to 50-plus, who have increased from 69.4 per cent to 70.2 per cent.”

Heineken UK recently released its Green Paper – the biggest piece of category research undertaken by the company. It is an initiative to help drive beer sales on-premise and in turn, strengthen the beer and cider industry as a whole.

Jerry Shedden, category and trade marketing director at Heineken, said: “This is about giving more people a reason to visit pubs and bars – and it will mean more people through your doors, spending more money, more often.”

Months of research has been condensed into growth solutions. In summary, these are:

  • Creating occasions and giving customers a reason to visit, with live sports, or even free wi-fi, and providing a good atmosphere to encourage patrons to stay longer, partnering food with beer and cider to promote more spending, as well as offering low alcohol options for the health conscious
  • A marketing push towards more premium beer, with back bar displays, can also generate more in the tills
  • Over the past decade, there has been a 20 per cent decline in 18-24-year-olds going out drinking. Having both recognisable brands along with more unique offerings may help lure the younger market