Wealthy Aussies don’t just opt for champagne—they’ll guzzle anything

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Wealthy Aussies don’t just opt for champagne—they’ll guzzle anything

Related tags Alcoholic beverage Chardonnay

High earners in Australia are not only more likely to drink more champagne, but also more beer, wine and spirits than their less affluent neighbours, according to Roy Morgan Research.

Over the last year, 15% of Australian adults will have consumed champagne or sparkling wine at least once in any given month, a much lower proportion than those who drank beer (37%), red or white wine (42%) or spirits (26%), but higher than those who drank cider and RTD (both 11%).

Perpetuating the stereotype that it’s a rich person’s tipple, the proportion of champagne drinkers increased to almost a quarter of adults in the AB socio-economic quintile, in contrast to 8% of those from the far less affluent FG quintile.

Excuse for fun

Tending towards the higher end of the socio-economic spectrum, with a skew towards women and the 50-64 age group, Australia’s champagne and sparkling wine drinkers embody bubbly’s tradition as the beverage of choice among the rich and refined​,” said Angela Smith of Roy Morgan Research.

Source: Roy Morgan Research

Moreover, the higher the household income, the more champagne is being drunk. Whereas 16% of people from households on incomes between A$100,000 and A$149,999 (US$85,350-128,000) drink the stuff, this figure sky-rockets to 31% of those from households with incomes of A$250,000 (US$213,400) or more.

Bear in mind too that people aged 50-64 are typically at the peak of their career and earning capacity, while their parenting responsibilities are easing off as their kids get older. What better excuse to have some fun? With strong celebratory associations, champagne and sparkling wine certainly fit that bill​,” Smith added.

All-round consumption

Yet it’s not just Champagne and sparkling wine that people from high-income households are more likely to drink than their lower-earning counterparts. They are also dramatically more likely to drink beer in an average four weeks—peaking at 53% of people from households earning between A$200,000 and A$249,999, as well as spirits, table wine and, to a lesser extent, cider.

Increased social activity with friends who are at a similar life stage, furthermore, would no doubt often involve a drink or two (and not necessarily of the bubbly variety). This probably explains why the same high-earners who are most likely to drink champagne and sparkling wine are also more likely to drink beer, spirits and table wine in an average four weeks​.

After all, there are plenty of wines, beers and spirits that are well within the financial reach of Aussies from less affluent households, so it’s not all about the money​.”

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