Could our love of bubbles be fizzling out? After all, in the last five years, the proportion of Australians drinking soft drinks such as colas and lemonades in an average seven days has declined from 56% to 49%. Or are more of us simply starting to enjoy a different kind of carbonated beverage?
Between January 2009 and December 2013, consumption of unflavoured sparkling mineral water increased slightly (from 7% to 8%), while the percentage of Aussies drinking ‘mixer’ drinks such as tonic water or dry ginger ale also rose, from 10% to 12%. Obviously, these categories are consumed by far fewer people than Coke, Sprite, Fanta and the like, but their growth contrasts with the gradual decline of conventional soft drinks.
Sparkling (non-soft-) drinks are especially popular with the Baby Boomer generation*, with 16% drinking mixers and 10% drinking unflavoured sparkling mineral water in an average seven-day period (both above the national average). Pre-Boomers also have a taste for mixers (17% drink them in an average seven days) but aren’t so sold on sparkling mineral water (7%).
Sparkling mineral water and mixers drunk in last 7 days by Australian generations
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2009- December 2013, Average Annual n=19,298.
The younger generations (Y and Z) tend to be less enamoured of mineral water and mixers and are more likely to drink soft drinks than the Boomer generations. However, even their consumption of soft drinks appears to be gradually declining.
Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“As consumer preferences shift away from sugar-laden soft drinks such as colas and lemonades, and towards other ‘healthier’, more ‘natural’ sparkling beverages, we’ve seen increased marketing activity in this segment, from Liptons’ recently launched sparkling iced teas to Scarlett Johansson’s appointment as the global brand ambassador for Sodastream.
“While younger Australians aren’t quite as keen on unflavoured sparkling mineral water and mixers as their older counterparts, the overall move to these drinks is changing the nature of the non-alcoholic beverage market. Not only are we moving gradually away from soft drinks, but fewer of us are drinking fruit juices, energy drinks and sports/health drinks than we were five years ago too. It seems our tastes are slowly but surely evolving towards ‘lighter,’ less heavily flavoured beverages.
“Roy Morgan’s ground-breaking new profiling tool, Helix Personas, can assist beverage marketers to refine their search for a more targeted market. For instance, in the last two years, 20% of people 14+ in the ‘Smart Money’ persona drank mixers in an average seven-day period, well above the national average of 12%.
“Smart Money individuals are typically highly educated, affluent and successful in their chosen professions. They’re also extroverted and generous, and enjoy socialising. Chances are they’re probably drinking mixers in the way they’re intended, in combination with top-shelf spirits…”
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* Roy Morgan ‘Generations’ definitions:
Pre-Boomers — Pre 1946; Baby Boomers — 1946-1960; Generation X — 1961-1975; Generation Y — 1976-1990; Generation Z — 1991-2005.
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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