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Australian Alcohol Trends 2021

If you’re interested in working in the alcohol service industry, then you might want to keep an eye on the current alcohol trends in Australia. Knowing what people are consuming can be interesting for those who are in charge of ordering alcohol stock for a bar, those who own establishments, or people that simply work within the industry.

In this article, we cover some of the recent alcohol trends in Australia so you can know more about the alcohol market and what the general population are up to. 

General drinking statistics

Last year saw many bars and clubs having to close during lockdown periods, which meant people were naturally drinking at home rather than out and about. However, this didn’t cause a drop in the consumption of alcohol. According to the Alcohol Consumption Report by Roy Morgan, 67% of Australians aged over 18 consumed some form of alcohol in a four-week period in 2020. This statistic showed an increase of 0.8% from 66.2% in 2019. 

Spirit consumption 

This report found a rise in spirit consumption during 2020, with 6,277,000 Aussies (or 31.5%) drinking spirits during the four-week period. The previous year saw 27.8% – 5,465,000 – of Australians consuming spirits during that time. This constitutes a rise of 3.7%.

Ready-to-drink (RTD) consumption

Another upward trend the Ray Morgan report found was in Australians’ consumption of ready-to-drink beverages. This term refers to drinks that are sold ready for consumption. RTDs were up from 10.7% in 2019 (2,101,000 people) to 12% in 2020 (2,392,000 people) during the nominated four-week period. 

Wine consumption

Wine also saw an increase in popularity during this four-week period in 2020. 44.3% – 8,814,000 – of Australians said they had consumed wine during the period, a 3.3% increase from 2019’s 41% (or 8,065,000 people). 

Beer consumption 

However, this increase in numbers didn’t apply to all forms of alcohol. According to the same report by Ray Morgan, the beer category saw consumption drop in numbers in 2020. Beer consumption by Aussies in 2020 fell to 34.6% (6,878,000 people), down from 37.4% (7,353,000 people) the previous year.

Cider consumption

Another alcoholic beverage that appeared to experience a fall in popularity in 2020 was cider. 8.4% of Australians said they had consumed cider during the nominated four-week period in 2020, a drop of 2.9% from 2019’s 8.4% of Australians.

What’s the most popular drink in Australia?

This report shows that the most popular type of drink in Australia in 2020 was wine, with 44.7% of Australians saying they drank wine during the nominated four-week period. Coming in at second place was beer at 34.6% during this period. While beer saw a decrease in popularity compared to its 2019 statistics, it still held the second-most-popular position for alcoholic drinks in Australia.

What are the current trends of alcohol?

So, what are the current trends of alcohol? Well, it appears that while more Australians seemed to drink alcohol last year, not all types of alcohol saw an increase in consumption. These above alcohol consumption trends of 2020 show that while wine, spirits and RTDs saw an increase in the number of people drinking them, beer and cider both experienced a fall in popularity. 

“In a year like no other many Australians found time to enjoy their favourite alcoholic beverage – and reversed the downward trend of the past three years – registering the first increase in the number of Australians (up 0.8% points to 67%) drinking alcohol in a calendar year since 2016,” Ray Morgan CEO Michele Levine said.

Will these trends detailing the consumption of alcohol continue for 2021 or will things change? Only time will tell!

If you wish to begin working in the alcohol service industry, you’ll need to ensure you have a valid Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Certificate. This should be obtained through a Nationally Recognised Training Organisation such as Express Online Training.


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