Australia’s relationship with alcohol remains on the right track with today’s release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Apparent Consumption of Alcohol Data showing the lowest rate of per capita drinking since 1961-62.
The report reflects the trend of Australians opting for more premium beverages and drinking less overall with the total alcohol consumed in Australia in 2016-17 equivalent to 9.4 litres for every Australian aged 15 years and over.
Alcohol Beverages Australia Executive Director Fergus Taylor said the statistics showed Australians were listening to the responsible drinking messaging and continuing to improve the way they enjoy their favourite drinks.
“Today’s statistics are another reminder that for most Australians, enjoying a drink with family and friends is a normal part of a balanced lifestyle.
“The statistics today complement trends from the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS), which showed underage consumption was falling, harmful drinking was falling, and the majority of Australians continued to drink responsibly within the national guidelines.”
Today’s Apparent Consumption of Alcohol Data release showed beer (39.2%) and wine (38.3%) accounted for most consumption, while spirits (13.1%), ready-to-drinks (6.0%) and cider (3.4%) made up the remainder.
“All categories fluctuate with trends and fashions, for example the decline in pure alcohol in the beer category shows consumers are shifting from full strength to mid-strength and light beers. The lower alcohol varieties now account for one quarter of all beer products sold in Australia,” Mr Taylor said.
“The continued expansion of our thriving food scene is also encouraging people to take more of an interest in the way their drinks complement the food they are eating.
“We are also seeing increases in gourmet or experience-related consumption at smaller specialist venues based around specific and often locally made and owned products.”
Mr Taylor said it was important Australians continued to enjoy a sensible relationship with alcohol.
“Ensuring that positive trends such as declines in underage and binge drinking continue is an important national responsibility, and the alcohol beverages industry will continue to work with governments and local communities to maintain these trends,” Mr Taylor said.
“A combination of education, responsible service of alcohol and strict enforcement on underage sales is required to achieve this, and the industry will continue to work hard to ensure these important messages and initiatives continue.
Alcohol Beverages Australia is the peak industry body created to highlight the positive social, cultural and economic contribution of alcohol beverages in Australia, and promote, explain and defend the legitimate rights of the industry and the 15 million Australians who drink responsibly. www.alcoholbeveragesaustralia.org.au
Matt Johnston, Media and Communications Manager
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