Over the last three years, the proportion of Australians who consume frozen drinks at least once a week grew from 415,000 to 637,000 people.
While this corresponds to just a fraction of the proportion of Australians who consume carbonated soft drinks (47.6%, down from 49.2%) or fruit juice (26.5%, from 28.5%), it is the only one out of the three to have increased its consumers during that time.
Younger Australians are much more likely than older ones to consume frozen drinks; in fact, almost three-quarters are aged under 35, compared with 40% of soft-drink consumers and 41% of fruit juice drinkers.
Indeed, only 5.4% of total frozen drink consumers are aged 50 or older, a much smaller proportion than the 33% who choose soft drinks, and the 35.4% whop opt for fruit juices.
Given their low price and easy availability through fast-food chains, it is not surprising that people who consume these drinks are around 50% more likely than the average Australian to visit a fast-food restaurant in an average three months, according to Roy Morgan Research, which conducted the survey.
Moreover, a massive 88% of people who consume frozen beverages in any given week will also drink at least one fizzy drink over the same period, making them 85% more likely to do so than the average Australian.
“While frozen drinks are nowhere near as widely consumed as carbonated soft drinks or fruit juices, our data indicates that their popularity is rising,” said Andrew Price of Roy Morgan.
“With their low cost, sweet taste and bright colours, it is not surprising that these beverages are especially popular with younger Aussies; nor is it surprising to see that their marketing communications are firmly focused on this demographic.”
Slurpee, for example, has a massive social media presence which engages its youthful audience even when they are not “slurping”.
“Although frozen drinks are currently a niche beverage, their growing popularity is certainly worth monitoring, especially as consumption of soft drinks and fruit juices declines.”
Price added that soft drink and fruit juice brands needed to gain an in-depth understanding of who drinks frozen beverages to maximise any crossover potential.
“Meanwhile, frozen drink brands wishing to grow their market also stand to do so more successfully if they can pinpoint exactly who they wish to target and how best to reach them.”