Research from Roy Morgan has found that soy drinks are more popular with Australians aged over 14 years than energy drinks, sports drinks, iced tea and breakfast drinks.
In the 12 months to March 2016, 5.7 percent of Australians aged 14 years and over (just over 1.1 million), reported consuming at least one soy drink in any given seven day period, just ahead of energy and sports drinks (both at 5.6 percent), iced tea (4.7 percent) and breakfast drinks (also 4.7 percent).
Consumption of energy and sports drinks has slipped since 2012, while the popularity of soy has increased, albeit marginally (from 5.3 percent).
Interestingly, nearly one-third (31.3 percent) of Australians who consume soy drinks in an average seven day period also drink regular fresh white milk in the same time period. Even those soy drinkers who claim to have ‘issues with dairy’ still consume regular milk with 13.4 percent of those who ‘avoid dairy foods wherever possible,’ and 15.8 percent of those who say ‘milk/dairy products don’t agree’ with them, drinking regular milk.
Norman Morris, industry communications director, Roy Morgan Research, said “While soy drink consumption shows no sign of challenging regular dairy milk (which is drunk by 44.4 percent of the population in an average seven days), it does occupy a certain niche in the non-alcoholic beverage market, with slightly more consumers than energy and sports drinks.
“However, the fact that almost a third of soy drinkers also consume regular dairy milk suggests that for some people, soy drinks aren’t a lifestyle choice but simply another beverage option. Just as a consumer might drink coffee and hot chocolate, or cola and lemonade, so too might someone vary the kind of milk they consume.”
ACT residents lead the country for soy drink consumption, with 9.3 percent drinking it in an average seven days, ahead of Melburnians (8.3 percent) and Sydneysiders (six percent). Lagging behind the other capital cities is Hobart, where only 3.8 percent of residents drink soy beverages. Overall, capital-city dwellers (6.3 percent) are more likely than country residents (4.6 percent) to opt for soy drinks.
Not surprisingly, consumption is well above average among people who ‘avoid dairy foods wherever possible’ (16.4%) as well as those for who say ‘Milk/Dairy products do not agree with me’ (15.4%). It is also elevated (13.5%) among people who report that ‘The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian.’