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Go hard or go home: sports drinks in Australia

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=15,913).

Trumpeting inspirational slogans about going stronger for longer, working harder for longer and never surrendering, marketing for sports drinks often makes them sound like motivation in a bottle. Who could resist? Certainly not the 1.5 million Australians 14+ who drink these beverages in an average seven-day period…

According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, 8% of the population consume sports drinks such as Powerade, Gatorade and Staminade in any given seven days. Twice as many men (10%) as women (5%) drink these beverages, while young Aussies aged under 25 (14%) are more likely to consume them than any other age group.

Powering ahead of the pack is Powerade, drunk by well over half (58%) of sports drink consumers in an average seven days. Long-time rival Gatorade is chosen by 33% of people who drink these beverages, while Australasian brand Maximus is a distant third (7%). Of course, these figures are not cut and dried: a certain portion of each brand’s consumers drink at least one other brand during the same time period.

Australia’s most popular sports drinks


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=887).

The champion’s choice?

In addition to the ‘fitspiration’ that characterises much of its marketing, the sports drink category distinguishes itself from other non-alcoholic beverages (carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks, for example) by emphasizing its sports-science credentials: special formulas, isotonic qualities, electrolytes and so on. This has not gone unnoticed by sporty Australians.

In fact, people who play sport are noticeably more likely to drink sports drinks than the average Aussie. For instance, 28% of people who play baseball, 24% of those who play rugby union, and 22% of those who play Australian Rules football consume at least one of these beverages in any given seven days – all well above the national average (8%).

Sportspeople most likely to drink sports drinks


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=15,913).

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The Australian sports drink market is currently dominated by global giant Powerade, with even its closest competitor Gatorade 25% behind.

“While our data does not tell us whether sports drinks actually improve sporting performance, it does reveal that people who practice sport are much more likely than the average Australian to consume them. Some brands have an even stronger sporting connection through sponsorship arrangements, such as Powerade’s partnership with the NRL and Gatorade’s association with Cricket Australia and the AFL.

“While it is difficult to imagine how Powerade’s dominance of the Australian market could be challenged, brands must at least ensure their competitive edge by understanding their present and future consumers’ demographics, behaviours and attitudes.”

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About Roy Morgan

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

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%