Source: The Mercury, Tuesday, 23 May, 1995, p. 11
THE myth of Australians as a nation of beer-swilling ockers has been challenged by the findings of a national survey released yesterday. What Australia Drinks showed men and women of the 90s are more likely to reach for a glass of milk or water. Beer scraped into the list of the top 10 most consumed drinks, ranking number nine. The survey recorded the drinking-habits of 1000 people in Melbourne, Syd- ney, Perth and Brisbane over a seven-day period. It found that milk was the most popular drink among Australians, with 83 per cent of respondents drinking it during the week, while 81 per cent drank water. This indicated a healthy rise from 1993, when re- search undertaken as part of the What Australia Eats sur- vey found that only 45 per cent of respondents drank water during the week. The Australian trend to- wards healthier drinks was further evidenced by the growth in consumption of natural fruit juices. While 49 per cent of re- spondents drank fruit juice in 1993, the figure rose to 59 per cent in 1995. The trend was also sup- ported by a decline in the consumption of sugared cola and spirits. The survey also found the so called new age drinks, including still-water, sports drinks, iced teas, fruit based drinks and clear fruit carbonates, were making a big impact on the beverage scene. New age drinks were par- ticularly popular in the youth market, with peak consumption occurring among 17 to 19-year-olds. Among alcohol drinkers, the survey showed women were drinking more beer than in the past, up from 11 per cent in 1993 to 16 per cent in 1995. Forty-nine per cent of men drank beer during the survey and also consumed more wine than in 1993. Schweppes Cottees man- aging director Andrew Cos- slett, which sponsored the survey, said it confirmed the company's long-held belief that drinking habits in Aus- tralia were changing rapidly. "In particular, the search for a more balanced lifestyle is leading to a demand for healthier, more natural be- verage options and we be- lieve this trend will continue and accelerate here in Aus- tralia," he said in a state- ment. Among other findings: Brisbane and Perth still consider water to be the best thirst-quencher, while those in Sydney and Melbourne were more likely to choose beer. Wealthy Australians were more likely to drink new age drinks. More people drink tea than coffee. The most frequently con- sumed beverage among teenagers (13 to 19-years- old) was milk.
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