The latest findings from Roy Morgan reveal that more than a quarter of Australian adults consume spirits at least once in an average four weeks.
Wine remains the most popular beverage, consumed by 44.5 percent (or almost 8.3 million people) in an average four weeks, followed by beer (38.5 percent or over 7.1 million). Spirits are the third most popular type of liquor, drunk by 26.2 percent of Australians aged 18+.
While spirits consumption is nowhere near as male-dominated as beer, men (31.6 percent) are markedly more likely than women (20.9 percent) to drink spirits in any given four week period.
This male skew is due to the overwhelming popularity of whisky, bourbon/American whiskey and rum among Australian males. Vodka and gin, on the other hand, are consumed by more women than men.
Alcohol consumption in Australia
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 percent of whom partake in an average four weeks), and 25-34 year-olds (29.4 percent). After that, consumption falls off, bottoming out at 21.4 percent among the 50-plus age group.
Four in every 10 people say ‘I like my drinks strong’ when asked why they order spirits (compared with 22 percent of Australian drinkers overall). Among bourbon and vodka drinkers specifically, this figure is much higher, at 51.7 percent and 49.8 percent respectively.
Types of spirits consumed: men vs women
While nearly one-third of all Australian drinkers (31.5 percent) ‘don’t like drinking in pubs’, spirits drinkers tend to have fewer objections. For example, only 20 percent of vodka drinkers, and an even lower proportion of tequila drinkers (17.6 percent), dislike visiting pubs. Interestingly, whisky drinkers are the exception to this rule, with almost 35 percent avoiding pubs. A contributing factor could be that almost half of Australia’s whisky drinkers are aged 50+.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, said “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 percent), in stark contrast to those who consume gin (5.6 percent). What’s more, they’re also most likely to believe that ‘pre-mixed spirits are good value for money’ (17.7 percent).”