Source: The Mercury, 22 August, 1998, p.5

The statistician uncorks a year of cheer

"Drink here or take away?" Cheaper Liquor outlet manager David Townley with an  
average Aussie's quota for the year. Picture: TONY PALMER
EIGHT cartons of beer and 25 
bottles of wine would easily 
cater for a Christmas party- 
even a small wedding. But 
over a 12-month period the 
average Aussie drinks the lot. 
Australian Bureau of Stat- 
istics figures for 1996-97 show 
that while thirst for alcoholic 
refreshment remains high 
consumption of full-strength 
beer continues to decline. 
The bureau says that de- 
spite an increased appetite for 
low-alcohol beer, total beer 
consumption decreased for the 
eighth successive year. By 
comparison, wine was quaffed 
in greater quantities with a 
4% increase to about 19 litres 
a person. 
Soft drink came out on top 
as the nation's most popular 
drink (114 litres a person) but, 
along with coffee and tea, 
demand has fallen. 
Australians ate more grain 
products and meat. 
Demand for poultry re- 
mained steady (28.4kg a per- 
son) but red meat soared in 
popularity, particularly mut- 
ton (up 18.8% to 6.5kg a 
person) and beef (up 10.3% to 
37.7kg a person). 
Another major food area, 
butter, showed a consumption 
decline of 5.5% to 2.4kg a 
person. The amount of mar- 
garine eaten also fell.

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