Alcohol consumption

Australia’s alcohol consumption is down from 2021 pandemic highs, but RTD consumption at an all-time high

New data from Roy Morgan Drinking Report shows the proportion of Australians who drink alcohol fell from 1.8% to 67.9% in the 12 months to June 2022 as the country emerged from the pandemic and multiple lockdowns in 2020 -21.

The number of Australians drinking wine, beer and spirits hit pandemic highs in 2021, but the short-term increase as people were stuck at home has now receded. However, consumption of RTDs (Ready-to-drink) has steadily increased and is now at an all-time high.

In the year to June 2022, a total of 13,603,000 Australians (67.9%) aged 18 and over consumed alcohol over an average period of four weeks, compared to a pandemic peak of 13,908,000 (69.7%) a year earlier.

The alcoholic beverage that stood out over the past year as we emerged from the pandemic shutdowns of 2020-21 was ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages which rose by 2,669,000 Australians (13.5%) to 3,349,000 Australians (16.7%) – an increase of 3.2% points (+680,000).

The most popular alcohol remains wine, but the number of Australians drinking wine fell from 9,237,000 Australians (46.3%) to 8,938,000 (44.6%) – a drop of 1.7% (-297,000) compared to a year ago.

Beer has also lost ground from its pandemic highs with 6,666,000 Australians (33.3%) now drinking beer, down 2.3% points (-428,000) from a year ago. year. Spirits are clearly the third preferred type of alcohol with 6,083,000 Australians (30.4%) now drinking spirits, down 2.8% points (-538,000) from mid-2021.

The results are taken from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, Australia’s most trusted and comprehensive consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with over 60,000 Australians each year.

Proportion of Australians aged 18+ who consume alcohol over an average four-week period

Source: Roy Morgan Single source Australia, July 2020 – June 2021, n=63,256. July 2021 – June 2020, n=63,104. Base: Australians aged 18 and over.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said the increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic years of 2020-2021 proved to be short-lived with consumption of wine, beer and spirits below that of a year ago – but the consumption of RTD (Ready to drink) has continued to increase: