More Aussies choosing cider over RTDs

February 7, 2019
By Alana House

New research from Roy Morgan shows another decline in the proportion of Australians drinking alcohol.

All categories of alcoholic drinks showed declines in incidence over this period, apart from cider which increased.

Cider is now drunk by 12.3% of alcohol consumers, which has increased from 10.3% five years ago. The percentage of cider drinkers is now ahead of RTD (11.4%), liqueurs (7.2%) and fortified wine (5.2%).

Women also had a stronger preference for drinking cider than men, with 12.9% sipping it each month, which was higher than the 11.5% for men.

In an average four week period, 67.9% of the Australian population 18 and over consume at least one type of alcoholic drink. This represents a gradual decline over the last five years from 70.1% recorded in 2013.

The findings from Roy Morgan’s ‘Alcohol Consumption Currency Report September 2018’ are based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including detailed questioning of over 15,000 regarding their alcoholic drinking habits.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan said potential reasons for the decline in alcohol consumption are likely to be as a result of switching to healthier options, cost, social issues involved such as drink driving and alternative drug taking.

“With the overall decline in Australians consuming alcoholic drinks has also come changes in the types of drinks they consume,” she said. “Although beer retains its top position for market share (45.2%) in terms of volume consumed, over the last five years this has declined by 2.9% points, with gains largely going to wine, up 2.3% points and cider up 1% points.

“The retailing of alcohol has also undergone significant change over the last five years with supermarkets (including all the outlets they own), now accounting for 75% of market turnover, an increase from 73.3% 12 months ago. The Woolworths Group (including Dan Murphy’s and BWS) are the clear market leaders having increased their market share over the last year from 49.0% up to 52.1%.”

Wine the most popular alcoholic drink

Wine is consumed by 43.3% of the 18+ Australian population over an average four week period, ahead of beer with 38.4% and spirits on 26.7%.

Over the last five years the biggest decline was for wine (down 1.3% points), followed by RTD (down 0.9% points) and liqueurs (down 0.8% points). Beer only showed a decline of 0.5% points and as a result closed the gap marginally to wine.

Big differences between male and female alcoholic drink preferences

Over a four week period 73.3% of men consume alcoholic drinks, well ahead of women with 62.7%. 

The drink preferences are very different between the sexes, particularly when it comes to beer, which is drunk by 57.7% of men and only 19.8% of women.

The preferred drink for women is wine with 47.9%, well ahead of men on 38.6%. 

Beer has the greatest volume

Although wine is the most popular alcoholic drink in terms of the number of drinkers, beer is clearly the top in terms of volume (based on glasses).

Beer accounts for 45.2% of the volume of alcoholic drinks consumed, well ahead of wine (28.3%) and spirits (13.4%).

Since 2013 gains in share of volume were seen for wine (up 2.3% points), cider (up 1.0% points) and spirits (up 0.4% points). Losses in share were greatest for beer (down 2.9% points) and RTDs (down 1.0% points).

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