A recent study by Roy Morgan Research has revealed that the beer-drinking public’s preferences are changing — with an increasing number of Australian adults turning their backs on locally produced beer. In the year to September 2013, 35% of Australians aged 18+ drank Australian beer in an average four weeks, down from 39% in the year to September 2009. Over the same period, the proportion of Australians who drank imported beer in any given four weeks grew from 14% to 17%.
This development coincides with a shift in our attitude towards local beers. As of September 2013, just 13% of Aussie drinkers agreed that ‘Australian beer is the only beer worth drinking’ — whereas this figure sat at 18% in 2009.
Local beer suffered its biggest fall from favour among the 18–25 age bracket. In the year to September 2009, 43% of them drank local beer in an average four-week period, but this had fallen to 35% by 2013. Meanwhile, 28% drank imported beer in an average four weeks in 2013, increasing from 23% in 2009.
Beer types consumed by Australians 18+ in an average 4 week period
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Australians 18+ Oct 2009 – Sept 2013 average n = 18,834.
Geoffrey Smith, General Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
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“A key differentiator in type of beer consumed is age, with those aged under 25 showing a greater preference for imported beers than those aged 25 and over. However, imported beer isn’t the only alcoholic beverage gaining ground with this demographic: cider consumption has sky-rocketed among young drinkers since 2009 (from 6.8% to 21.3%).
“As new young drinkers come of age, it will be interesting to see if this move towards imported beer continues to gain ground.
“While there’s no single reason behind the overall decline in local beer consumption, Australia’s consistently strong dollar means the price difference between imported and Aussie beers has come down; plus imported beers are more widely available than ever.
“According to Roy Morgan’s revolutionary new classification system, Helix Personas, it’s the Metrotechs, communities of educated, urban professionals, who are most likely to drink imported beers. Today’s Families (young, outer-suburban families on the up-and-up) is the Helix community most likely to drink local beers.
“It’s crucial for our local brewers to have a detailed understanding not only of who their customers are but also of how they differ from imported-beer drinkers. This will ensure they retain their edge in this increasingly competitive market.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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