Increase in alcohol consumption for the first time in nearly a decade

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 11th September 2017

New IBISWorld research has found Australians are drinking more alcohol for the first time in nearly a decade.

The amount of pure alcohol consumed by Australians over 15 increased from 9.52 litres in 2014-15 to 9.70 litres in 2015-16 said IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst James Thomson.

“IBISWorld research shows per capita alcohol consumption is expected to reach 9.72 litres in 2017-18,” James said.

“It’s an interesting result as we are seeing lower consumption rates among young adults, those aged 15-24.”

Beer boom

IBISWorld found beer consumption is the driving force behind the rise in alcohol consumption.

“Beer consumption is expected to rise from 3.76 litres per capita in 2014-15 to 3.86 litres in 2017-18,” Thomson said.

“IBISWorld attributes this growth to the rising popularity of craft beer.”

The Australian craft beer production industry is expected to grow at an annualised 9.7 per cent over the five years through 2017-18, outperforming the beer manufacturing industry, which is expected to grow at an annualised 2.1 per cent over the same period.

“Craft beer’s popularity has been driven by consumers seeking variety and quality,” Thomson said.

“An increasing number of small-scale craft breweries are opening to take advantage of changing consumer tastes, contributing to the expanding range of beers available in liquor retailers. Consumption of low-strength beer remained unchanged in 2015-16, while mid- and full-strength beer consumption grew.”

Cider sings

IBISWorld says cider is also increasing strongly in popularity with per capita consumption expected to grow at an annualised 13.3 per cent over the five years through 2017-18.

“Cider has grown in popularity due to its image as a refreshing alternative to beer, aided by savvy marketing and promotion,” Thomson said.

“Conversely, per capita spirits and RTD consumption has declined over the past five years.”

Wine not as much of a winner

Per capita wine consumption is expected to decline marginally over the five years through 2017-18.

The declining popularity of fortified wines, particularly among younger consumers, has contributed to this decline says IBISWorld.

Wine consumption as a share of total per capita alcohol consumption has increased over the past decade, and is expected to represent 37.7 per cent of total per capita consumption in 2017-18.

“Despite a decline in per capita wine consumption in Australia over the past five years, IBISWorld research highlights the growing popularity of Australian wines abroad,” Thomson said.

”Strong export growth, particularly to Asia, is expected to drive the wine production industry’s performance over the next five years.”


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