For the first time on record, the number of Australian adults consuming craft beer in an average four-week period has increased to more than one million, defying the downward trend of local mainstream beers.
The proportion of Aussies aged 18 and over who consume local craft beer in any given four weeks has quietly increased over the last five years, from 3.5% (or 592,000 people) in the year to March 2010 to 5.7% — or 1.04 million people — as of March 2014. This trend is all the more significant for bucking the overall decline in domestic beer consumption, which has seen the number of people drinking local mainstream beer in an average four-week period fall from 6.1 million (36.7% of Australian adults) to 5.8 million (31.9%) over the same period.
The growing popularity of local craft beer is being driven predominantly by those under 50, with 25-34 year olds leading the way. In 2010, 7.9% of 25-34 year olds drank craft beer in an average four weeks, but this has since grown to 10.7%.
People from New South Wales (home of hipster favourite, James Squire) and Queensland have taken to craft beer with particular zeal. Between 2010 and 2014, NSW’s craft beer drinkers grew by 186,000 people, while in Queensland an extra 99,000 developed a taste for it.
Types of beer consumed in an average 4-week period
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) Alcohol drinkers 18+ (Apr 2010 – Mar 2014), average annual n=19,322
Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“In positive news for the Australian beer market, the last five years have seen local craft beers fighting the increasing popularity of imported beers. However, what the local craft market has gained appears to be at the expense of the local mainstream beers.
”Using Roy Morgan’s revolutionary new profiling tool, Helix Personas, we can understand these trends with unparalleled accuracy.
“For example, people from the Metrotech community are heavily represented among craft beer consumers. Young, cultured, connected, clued in and cashed up, Metrotechs’ love of craft beer is unsurprising — their swanky rented apartments in areas such as Spring Hill (Brisbane) and Elizabeth Bay (Sydney) could be straight out of a premium beer commercial!
“Of all the Metrotechs, the New School Cool persona has the highest proportion of craft beer drinkers: 20% of these hip, young inner-city dwellers drink craft beer at least once in an average four-week period, compared to nearly 6% of total Australian adults. As quality is typically more important than price for New School Cool, it follows that they’d opt for a craft beer over the more mass-produced mainstream alternative.
“Not only can Helix Personas give local craft beer brewers an in-depth understanding of exactly who their customers are, it can also help them grab a more competitive edge within the local beer 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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