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21/11/2014

When the kids move out – parents celebrate with bubbles

With silly season fast approaching, Mark Twain’s observation that “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right” is as relevant as ever.

Roy Morgan Research explores the bubbly world of Australia’s Champagne and sparkling wine drinkers.

In the year to September 2014, 15 per cent of Australian adults drank Champagne or sparkling wine in any given four-week period — a much lower proportion than those who drank beer (37 per cent), red or white wine (42 per cent) or spirits (26 per cent), but higher than those who drank cider and RTD (both 11 per cent).

Perpetuating the stereotype that it’s a rich person’s tipple, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of adults belonging to the AB socio-economic quintile drink Champagne or sparkling wine in an average four weeks, in contrast to 8 per cent of those from the far less affluent FG quintile, according to the report.

Research also found that the higher the household income, the higher the proportion of Champagne/sparkling wine drinkers.

While 16 per cent of people from households on incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 consume bubbles, this figure sky-rockets to 31 per cent of those from households with incomes of $250,000 or more.

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 per cent of people from households earning between $200,000 and $249,999), as well as spirits, table wine and, to a lesser extent, cider.

Champagne may be the drink of Kings, but it’s got some stiff competition.

Angela Smith, Roy Morgan Research group account director says Australia’s Champagne and sparkling wine drinkers embody bubbly’s tradition as the beverage of choice among the rich and refined.

“Bear in mind too that people aged between 50 and 64 are typically at the peak of their career and earning capacity, while their parenting responsibilities are easing off as their kids get older," she added.

"What better excuse to have some fun? With strong celebratory associations, champagne and sparkling wine certainly fit that bill.

“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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