They’re sweet, cheap and colder than a polar bear’s nose: they’re frozen drinks such as Slurpee and Slushie, and a growing number of Australians 14+ are drinking them. In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that these frosty concoctions are among the few cold beverages to have gained popularity in the last couple of years.
Between January 2013 and December 2015, the proportion of Aussies consuming frozen drinks in an average seven days grew from 2.2% (or 415,000 people) to 3.3% (637,000 people). While this is just a fraction of the proportion of Australians who consume carbonated soft drinks (47.6%, down from 49.2%) or fruit juice (26.5%, down from 28.5%), it is the only one of the three to have increased its consumers during this time.
Younger Aussies are much more likely than older ones to consume frozen drinks like Slurpees and Slushies. In fact, almost three-quarters (72.9%) of the people who consume this kind of beverage are aged under 35 years old, compared with 40.0% of soft-drink consumers and 40.8% of fruit juice drinkers.
Age breakdown of Aussies who drink frozen drinks, soft drinks and fruit juices in an average 7 days
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – December 2015 (n=15,367).
Only 5.4% of total frozen drink consumers are aged 50 or older, a much smaller proportion than for soft drinks (33.0%) and fruit juices/drinks (35.4%).
Of course, with frozen drinks costing little more than a gold coin at quick service restaurant chains such as McDonalds and Hungry Jacks, it is not surprising that people who consume these drinks are around 50% more likely than the average Aussie to visit a fast food place in an average three months.
Their thirst is not restricted to frozen drinks, either: a mighty 87.9% of people who consume frozen beverages such as Slurpees and Slushies in any given seven-day period also drink at least one carbonated soft drink in that time, making them 85% more likely to do so than the average Australian.
Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“While frozen drinks are nowhere near as widely consumed as carbonated soft drinks or fruit juices, our data indicates that their popularity is rising. With their low cost, sweet taste and bright colours, it is not surprising that these beverages are especially popular with younger Aussies; nor is it surprising to see that their marketing communications are firmly focused on this demographic. Slurpee, for example, has a massive social media presence which engages its youthful audience even when they’re not ‘slurping’.
“Although frozen drinks are currently a niche beverage, their growing popularity is certainly worth monitoring, especially as consumption of soft drinks and fruit juices declines. In fact, soft drink and fruit juice brands would benefit from gaining an in-depth understanding of who drinks frozen beverages so they can maximise any crossover potential. Meanwhile, frozen drink brands wishing to grow their market also stand to do so more successfully if they can pinpoint exactly who they wish to target and how best to reach them.
“Of course, like soft drinks and many juices, frozen drinks like Slurpees and Slushies are extremely high in sugar, so health authorities concerned about the incidence of obesity in Australia would also do well to understand who and what is driving the rise of this beverage."
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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