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Wednesday 28 April 2021

Australians prefer "real" beers to reduced-alcohol offerings

While brewers have been pushing mid-strength and low-alcohol beers it comes as no surprise to find research shows most Australian beer drinkers still prefer full-strength brews.

New data from Roy Morgan's Alcohol Consumption Report shows shows full-strength beer is the still the preferred ‘amber fluid’ for Australians who drink beer.

Over a third of all Australians aged 18+ (34.6%), drink beer in an average four weeks including at least one of the three varieties of full strength, mid strength and low alcohol beer – second only to wine as the alcoholic drink of choice for Australians.

Nearly a third of Australians aged 18+ (30.2%) consumed full-strength beer in an average four weeks in 2020, down 3.1% points from 2019 (33.3%).

This is not surprising as the pandemic hit the hospitality industry heavily and kept many pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants closed for an extended period.

In comparison, only 8.6% of Australians consumed mid-strength beer (down 2.2% points on 2019) and just 2.8% (down 1.1% points) had low- alcohol beer in an average four weeks during 2020.

Not surprising as most faux beers taste dreadful.

Men are three times as likely to drink beer (and full-strength beer) as women. They are the main consumers of beer with over half (52.4%) consuming beer in 2020 compared to only 17.5% of women.

Fewer than than one-in-seven men (13.9%) drink mid-strength beer and only 4.6% drink low-alcohol beer. Even fewer women (3.5%) drink mid-strength beer and just 1.1% of women drink low-alcohol beer.

The findings are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth interviews with 50,000 Australians each year.

And although there has been a great deal of media attention on the new craze of ‘hard seltzers’ – soda water spiked with alcohol and a fruit flavour that is lower in calories and carbohydrates than other alcoholic beverages, these RTDs in a can represent only a tiny fraction of the alcohol market compared to beer.

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