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Fizzy spell: the rise of mixers and sparkling mineral water

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2009- December 2013, Average Annual n=19,298.
Could our love of bubbles be fizzling out? After all, in the last five years, the proportion of Australians drinking soft drinks such as colas and lemonades in an average seven days has declined from 56% to 49%. Or are more of us simply starting to enjoy a different kind of carbonated beverage?

Between January 2009 and December 2013, consumption of unflavoured sparkling mineral water increased slightly (from 7% to 8%), while the percentage of Aussies drinking ‘mixer’ drinks such as tonic water or dry ginger ale also rose, from 10% to 12%. Obviously, these categories are consumed by far fewer people than Coke, Sprite, Fanta and the like, but their growth contrasts with the gradual decline of conventional soft drinks.

Sparkling (non-soft-) drinks are especially popular with the Baby Boomer generation*, with 16% drinking mixers and 10% drinking unflavoured sparkling mineral water in an average seven-day period (both above the national average). Pre-Boomers also have a taste for mixers (17% drink them in an average seven days) but aren’t so sold on sparkling mineral water (7%).

Sparkling mineral water and mixers drunk in last 7 days by Australian generations


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2009- December 2013, Average Annual n=19,298.

The younger generations (Y and Z) tend to be less enamoured of mineral water and mixers and are more likely to drink soft drinks than the Boomer generations. However, even their consumption of soft drinks appears to be gradually declining.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“As consumer preferences shift away from sugar-laden soft drinks such as colas and lemonades, and towards other ‘healthier’, more ‘natural’ sparkling beverages, we’ve seen increased marketing activity in this segment, from Liptons’ recently launched sparkling iced teas to Scarlett Johansson’s appointment as the global brand ambassador for Sodastream.

“While younger Australians aren’t quite as keen on unflavoured sparkling mineral water and mixers as their older counterparts, the overall move to these drinks is changing the nature of the non-alcoholic beverage market. Not only are we moving gradually away from soft drinks, but fewer of us are drinking fruit juices, energy drinks and sports/health drinks than we were five years ago too. It seems our tastes are slowly but surely evolving towards ‘lighter,’ less heavily flavoured beverages.

“Roy Morgan’s ground-breaking new profiling tool, Helix Personas, can assist beverage marketers to refine their search for a more targeted market. For instance, in the last two years, 20% of people 14+ in the ‘Smart Money’ persona drank mixers in an average seven-day period, well above the national average of 12%.

Smart Money individuals are typically highly educated, affluent and successful in their chosen professions. They’re also extroverted and generous, and enjoy socialising. Chances are they’re probably drinking mixers in the way they’re intended, in combination with top-shelf spirits…”

* Roy Morgan ‘Generations’ definitions:

Pre-Boomers — Pre 1946; Baby Boomers — 1946-1960; Generation X — 1961-1975; Generation Y — 1976-1990; Generation Z — 1991-2005.

For comments or more information please contact:

Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products
Telephone: +61 (2) 9021 9101

Related research reports

View our extensive range of Non-Alcoholic Drinks profiles, including our Mixers profiles, Sparkling Mineral Water profiles and more.  These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%