That figure has since fallen to 5.3m people—or a little over a quarter of Australians—with fewer people drinking fewer glasses than before.
As a group, supermarket-branded juices are more widely consumed than any of the big names, Roy Morgan Research has found.
Some 6.2% of the population own-brand juice each week, narrowly ahead of Aussie institutions Golden Circle (5.8%) and Berri (5.7%); Daily Juice and Nudie complete the top five.
However, only Nudie has gained popularity since 2012, having seen its weekly consumption almost treble from 0.9% to 2.4% of the population.
Men are slightly more likely than women to consume packaged fruit juice, with young people of both genders being the most avid consumers.
Among men, consumption peaks among 18-24 year-olds (34.6%), while the 65+ bracket is least likely to drink it (25.5%). Among women, 38.8% of girls aged 14-17 consume fruit juice in an average week, putting them well ahead of other age groups—particularly compared to women aged 65 or older, 19.9% of whom partake.
Not surprisingly, supermarkets are the most common place for buying packaged fruit juice: just over 5.2m Australians purchase their cartons from the main chains, though this figure has also declined, from 5.6m.
In contrast, there has been a slight increase in juice-bar buyers, to 1.8m from just under 1.6m four years ago.
While Australia’s declining taste for packaged fruit juices is widely understood to be driven by growing awareness of the sugar contained in them, Roy Morgan data suggests that juice from juice-bars does not have such a stigma attached to it.
On the contrary: people who often buy drinks from juice bars are markedly more likely than the average Australian to be concerned about their health, nutrition and weight. Compared with the population average, juice-bar customers are:
- 119% more likely to look for drinks with added ingredients that are healthy
- 104% more likely to be mainly vegetarian
- 96% more likely to buy drinks that boost energy
- 91% more likely to avoid dairy foods whenever possible
- 54% more likely to try to avoid drinks that contain caffeine
- 33% more likely to favour natural medicines and health products
- 21% more likely to be constantly watching their weight
- 20% more likely to always think of the number of calories in the food they eat
Unlike packaged-juice drinkers, consumers of fruit-bar juices are more likely to be women than men.
“It’s rare that a day goes by without a news story about how much sugar Australians consume, often ‘hidden’ in food and drink generally believed to be healthy,” said Roy Morgan’s Norman Morris.
“Packaged fruit juice is one product that has attracted a lot of negative press for this reason, which almost certainly explains why fewer Aussies are drinking it now than they were back in 2012. People are also turning away from soft drinks for the same reason.”
This shrinking market is obviously a concern for fruit juice brands, especially as only Nudie out of the 10 most popular brands has gained drinkers since 2012.
“Tellingly, Nudie has always set itself apart from the other major brands by emphasising its healthy qualities and lack of additives and preservatives,” said Morris.
There is also a discernible state-based loyalty when it comes to fruit-juice consumption, he added, citing Harvey Fresh, which is dramatically more popular in its home state of Western Australia than any other brand.
Likewise, Golden Circle and Berri trounce the competition in their respective states of Queensland and South Australia, Morris added.