New report details Australian consumer drinking habits

A new report has been released detailing the drinking habits of Australian consumers in 2017, revealing some surprising findings.

‘Alcohol Consumption in Australia 2017’, published by Intermedia (which also publishes BARS&clubs) is based on a survey of 1,027 Australian consumers, asking them about every aspect of their drinking habits – how much they drink, what they drink, where they drink, and where they buy alcohol.

One interesting finding of the study is that baby boomers are the country’s heaviest drinkers; one quarter of people aged in their 60s say they drink most days, compared with less than 10 percent of people in their 20s.

The report also found that one third of heavy drinkers are women, and that women drink much less often than men when out – but drink just as often as when visiting friends.

Only about 10% of Australians never drink, evenly spread across all demographics, except that they are disproportionately found among lower income groups.

Also, most drinkers drink at home: over a quarter say they drink at home a few times a week, and nearly one-in-five say they drink at home most days.

In terms of what is drunk, red and white wine are still the most popular types of alcohol, and only a quarter of the population are regular beer drinkers.

“We Australians think of ourselves as big drinkers,” says the author of the report, Graeme Philipson. “But we are actually not exceptional. On a global scale we are in the Top 20, on a part with the major countries of Western Europe (in terms of litres of pure alcohol per capita per year). Eastern Europeans are the biggest drinkers, and Muslim countries the lightest.

“Alcohol plays an important part in Australian society, and there has been much commentary in recent years about the social and public health issues related to alcohol consumption. The level of consumption has declined in recent years, but concern about binge drinking and alcohol-fuelled violence have actually increased.

“The nature of alcohol consumption in Australia is, we believe, widely misunderstood. This Intermedia study came about because we observed that, while there is substantial data on the size of the alcohol market in Australia, and many reports on consumption, there is very little data that has asked consumers how often they drink, what they are drinking, and where they are drinking it.

“By asking these questions, and by matching the data against the demographics of the respondents, we have been able to develop a profile of Australians’ drinking habits not available from other perspectives.”

The full report is available via Intermedia.

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