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Sweet drinks much more popular with kids than older Aussies

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=2,876 Australian children 6-13; Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2015-June 2016, n=14,956 Australians 14+ (NB: Other flavoured/fizzy drinks not measured in Single Source).

It’s no secret that kids are partial to all things sweet, and the latest figures from Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey reveal that beverages are no exception. Fruit juice and drinks, soft drinks, cordial and frozen beverages such as Slushies are all dramatically more popular with Aussie children aged 6-13 years than with folks aged 14 or older.

In an average seven days, 62.3% of Australian children drink fruit juice/drinks at least once, 57.8% consume carbonated soft drinks, 32.4% drink cordial and 28.6% consume frozen drinks. Observant readers will notice that those figures far exceed 100% -- in other words, a substantial proportion of kids are drinking more than one of these beverage types per week.

And that’s before we add other flavoured/fizzy drinks such as LOLs (consumed by 13.7% of children in an average week), sports drinks (13.0%) and energy drinks (4.2%) to the mix.

Who drinks what? Sugary beverage consumption: Aussie kids 6-13 years vs Australians 14+


Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016, n=2,876 Australian children 6-13; Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2015-June 2016, n=14,956 Australians 14+ (NB: Other flavoured/fizzy drinks not measured in Single Source).

In contrast, carbonated soft drinks are the most popular sweet beverage among Aussies 14+, with 47.7% of them drinking at least one in an average week.  Fruit juice/drinks are also widely consumed (26.9%), ahead of cordial (14.2%), sports drinks (5.8%), energy drinks (5.5%) and frozen drinks (3.7%).

Only energy drinks (5.5%) are more popular with Aussies 14+ than with those aged 6-13.

Does the thirst for the sweet stuff decrease with age?

Even when compared with specific age groups over 14 where consumption of these beverages peaks, children tend to outdo their elders.

For example, 55.5% of Aussies aged 25-34 consume soft drinks in any given seven days (vs 57.8% of 6-13 year-olds), and 31.9% of 18-24 year-olds drink fruit juices/drinks (vs 62.3%). Meanwhile, 35-49 year-olds lead for cordial consumption, but with 18.2% drinking it in an average week, they fall short of the 32.4% of kids doing the same.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The latest data from Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey leaves no room for doubt: Aussie children like their drinks sweet! But with the exception of fruit juices/drinks, which are consumed by almost identical proportions of 6-9 year-olds and 10-13 year-olds, it’s the older group of kids leading this trend– particularly for soft drinks, which are enjoyed by almost two-thirds of 10-13 year-olds in an average week.

 “Some drinks—such as cordials and fruit juice—are equally popular among boys and girls, while some tend to be favoured by one gender more than the other. A higher proportion of girls (29.9%) than boys (27.5%) consume frozen drinks like Slurpees and Slushies, for example, while boys (16.5%) are much more likely than girls (9.2%) to opt for sports drinks. While the proportion of children drinking these beverages is obviously much higher than that of their older counterparts, these gender differences apply to both age groups.

“Similarly, sports drinks (such as Powerade and Gatorade) are a striking example of how children can be as receptive to a brand’s marketing as adults. As we reported last year, consumption of sports drinks is elevated among sporty Australians (aged 14+) – a pattern that also applies to 6-13 year-olds. Roy Morgan data reveals that kids who consume these beverages play sport for an average of seven hours, 16 minutes per week…almost two-and-a-half hours more than the average Aussie child (four hours, 54 minutes).

“Only Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey can provide insights such as these in parallel to its Single Source consumer findings for Australians aged 14+, thereby allowing brands to understand how both segments of the market compare and contrast.”


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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%