Soft drinks losing favour with younger Australians

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th November 2013

With sharp declines among the under 35s over the last five years, middle-aged Australians aged 35 to 49 years are now the group most likely to have soft drink in an average week, according to the latest findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

In the 12 months to June 2009, around two in three Australians aged 14 to 25 years or 25 to 34 years had some soft drink in an average week. But by June 2013, the consumption rate in each younger age bracket had declined 9 per cent to 56 per cent for the 14 to 25 years age bracket, and 57 per cent in the 25 to 34 years age bracket, according to Roy Morgan Research.

Consumption also declined among 35 to 49-year-olds, but only by 3 per cent (to 58 per cent). Soft drink remains least popular among those aged over 50, with weekly consumption rate now at 40 per cent, down from 44 per cent.

Overall, half of Australians (50 per cent) aged 14 years or over now consume soft drink in a seven-day period, down from 56 per cent in 2009.

“As Australians become increasingly health consciou, we are seeing the number of soft drink consumers decrease,” said Angela Smith, Group Account Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.

“However, soft drink consumption behaviours differ among age groups. Those under 35 are more likely now to drink none or less, while heavier consumption appears to be entrenched among those over 35,” Ms Smith said.

Average number of glasses drunk

Younger soft drink consumers are also drinking fewer glasses of the beverages, according to Roy Morgan Research. The average weekly intake declined by 1.2 glasses to 5.5 glasses among consumers under 25, and by 0.6 to 6.3 glasses among 25 to 34-year-olds.

When combined with the decline in overall consumption rates, this equates to around 5 million fewer glasses of soft drink being drunk per week by Australians under 35 years.

Weekly intake, however, rose slightly among the older groups. Consumers aged 35 to 49 years drank an average of 7 glasses per week (up 0.1) in the year to June 2013, with those over 50 years drinking 6.1 (up 0.2).

Overall weekly intake declined from 6.6 glasses to 6.3.

“As the number of young Australians who drink soft drinks continues to drop, soft drink distributors and marketers will need to gain a better understanding of their new target market in order to stay competitive,” Ms Smith said.

Soft drink consumption is declining in Australia