Australia’s thirst for alcohol remains unquenchable and is rising despite the tougher economic times according to a just released survey by The Bailey Group, whose specialist liquor division meticulously audit 97 per cent of Australia’s liquor stores regularly on behalf of alcoholic beverage clients.

“It appears Australians are drowning their sorrows during harder times, but doing so within their budget,” commented Steve Wootten, divisional managing director of The Bailey Group. 

“Well-over half of those surveyed (61 per cent) believed alcohol consumption had increased in recent times while only 14 per cent believed that consumption had dropped due to tougher times. One in four (25 per cent) thought Australians were consuming the same amount. It was interesting to note that over one in three people (36 per cent) thought consumers were budgeting for their increased consumption by purchasing cheaper alcohol options.”

This notion is reinforced when it comes to buying wine; price is the number one factor determining an Australian’s purchasing decision (32 per cent) – well ahead of taste (20 per cent), marketing or advertising (18 per cent), what is fashionable or socially acceptable (18 per cent) or even where the wine comes from (five per cent). Food and wine matching is almost irrelevant with only seven per cent believing it is a major factor.

“When it comes to men versus women and their buying habits some typical stereotypes were observed,” continued Wootten. 

“Women were the biggest purchasers of wine under $20 (59 per cent) while men were the biggest purchasers of wine costing more than $20 (73 per cent). A number of different factors could be at play here; whether it’s male bravado rearing its head in the belief a good wine can only be bought for over $20 or female practicality knowing that great value for money wines can be bought in Australia quite cheaply.”

Australian businesses that deal with the liquor industry can learn from these findings to ensure the right products are on the shelf and being promoted appropriately during these tougher economic times, according to The Bailey Group.

“These findings demonstrate that alcohol is as much a necessity for most Australian adults as food and shelter. Rather than cutting down on alcohol consumption and potentially reducing the girth of our collective beer bellies in this time of supposed belt tightening, we’re simply buying cheaper,” concluded Wootten.