Generic beer image.
Generic beer image.

Why we’re drinking less alcohol than usual

AUSTRALIA’S reputation as a nation of boozers has taken a tumble, with a new report has finding we are drinking less alcohol than we used to.

The good news for the brewing industry is that we’re spending more as we chase quality over quantity.

The emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) Alcoholic Beverages Trends & Insights Report found that half of people aged 18 years and over say they are drinking less now than they used to.

There is also a move to premium beverages, with the dollar value of liquor sales rising 1.5% in 2015, which means Australians are spending more on their favourite drink.

Australia is an overwhelmingly wine and beer drinking nation. Wine is our most popular drink, although men up to age 65 prefer beer, the emma data found.

Cider is our third most popular drink, followed by scotch or whiskey, with other varieties well behind.

Women opt for wine more than twice as often as other drinks, whereas men are more varied in their consumption patterns.

White wine edges out red as the most consumed at 43% of adults, compared to 41%, while 23% enjoy sparkling wine or champagne.

“Alcohol is still very much part of Australian culture, with three-quarters of adult men and women consuming an alcoholic beverage in the past four weeks. Alcohol also features heavily in people’s social lives with the majority preferring to drink with friends,” Ipsos Connect executive director – emma, Jane Nicholls, said.

“The trend towards drinking better offers growth opportunities to premium brands that can tap into the mindset of these consumers.

“The move by Australians towards more premium beverages and spending more as a result, underscores the importance of effective brand positioning and marketing.”

Perceptions of quality and value change as people age and the emma data showed older people are more likely to believe that Australian wine is better than that from overseas.

They were also less likely to try foreign beers, preferring homegrown brands.

There has been a shift in places and occasions where Australians prefer to drink, which changes by age and life stage.

The majority of Australians prefer to drink at home, which was most prevalent among 30-32 years olds at 87%.

Venues where alcohol is consumed differ among various age groups. For example, among 24-26 year olds, 61% drank at a friend or relative’s house, while 19% of 18-20 year olds drank at a nightclub.

Among older people, 50% of 45-47 year olds drank at a restaurant or café, while 36% of 54-56 year olds drank at a bar or pub and a third of 66-68 year olds preferred RSLs, bowlos or an AFL club.