Australians are drinking less alcohol now than at any time in the past 50 years, is the finding of a recent study of consumer behaviour. But what is behind this cultural shift and how can this be explained?
Our blog this week is looking at this trend in an attempt to explain why more of us are opting out of drinking alcohol. A lot of the recent research on this topic has been done by consumer behaviour and market research company Roy Morgan, who interviewed over 50,000 consumers for their ‘ Alcohol Consumption Currency Report September 2018’, for the latest insights on our drinking habits.
Decline in proportion of Australians drinking alcohol
Their findings are that there is a clear decline in the number of Aussies drinking over, ‘an average four week period’. In 2018, 67.9% of adults consumed at least one type of alcoholic drink over this period, down from 70.1% five years ago. The survey also found the decline covered, ‘all major categories of alcoholic drinks showed declines in incidence over this period, except cider’. Commenting on the findings of the study, Michele Levine, Roy Morgan CEO observed: “Alcohol has often been considered to have a central role in the social life of many Australians, however the latest research from Roy Morgan shows that a declining proportion of Australians are now drinking alcohol”. This trend appears to be confirmed by data recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - which found that Australians aged 24 to 29 are the most likely to have reduced their intake. This demographic are more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol, primarily for their health, but also for social reasons.
Why are Aussies drinking less alcohol?
So what is behind this shift in attitudes and behaviour towards alcohol? The simple reason is that we are a lot more concerned about our health and wellbeing today. This is partially down to the fact that we are more educated about the value of living an active lifestyle, following a balanced diet - and drinking less alcohol. Research conducted by analysts IBISWorld identified that Australians are increasingly concerned about the implications of drinking excessively, ‘...obesity and other health complications’ - a trend their research found has emerged over the last five years. The shift is also evident in sales of non-alcoholic drinks, which are the fastest-growing sector in the adults drinks market. These trends are consistent with research conducted in the UK and USA, where growth in low and alcohol-free beverages are predicted to triple the growth recorded over the next five years. In Ireland - a nation not unfairly associated with a good ‘craic’, about a quarter of Irish adults have given up alcohol, in a country renowned for its pubs and drinking culture.
What non-alcoholic beverages are people switching to?
According to Roy Morgan wine is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in Australia, with 43.3% of us sampling a glass or more over an average month. So it makes sense why there is demand for our range of alcohol-removed wines, based on this statistic alone. Surprisingly we prefer a drop of vino ahead of beer (38.4%) and spirits on (26.7%). People are also discovering a taste for cider, with weekly consumption up 2% to 12.3% on five years ago. Beer does win out when it comes to consumption by volume. The trend away from alcoholic beverages has however prompted people to look for, low-alcohol or alcohol-free, alternatives. This has seen real demand for beverages that cover the whole spectrum - from low-alcohol or alcohol-free beers, to aperitifs, spirits and wine.
Wines for every occasion
Thankfully our range of alcohol-free wines give you the option of going alcohol-free, but with the familiar taste and aroma of the real thing. So you can still ‘have a drink’ at a social occasion without any of the downsides. There are also some very good health reasons for abstaining or giving up alcohol, if you are planning on giving it a go.
Selected products are also available in the beverage aisle at these retailers: