QLD vs NSW: Battle of the beer drinkers

This year’s State of Origin is neck and neck, with the Blues and Maroons evenly matched as Game 3 approaches. Who will come out on top? More importantly – who is the winner when it comes to beer drinkers in Australia’s pubs, bars and restaurants – NSW or Queensland? CGA by NielsenIQ’s latest OPUS data highlights the key differences between these states when it comes to enjoying a beer in the On Premise.

In their latest consumer research, CGA by NielsenIQ reveals that beer drinkers are fairly evenly matched across both states – with NSW skewing slightly older than their QLD counterparts, and more women enjoying a schooner in NSW (29% versus QLD’s 26%).


When it comes to frequency of visits to the On Premise, 52% of NSW consumers eat out weekly, beating Queensland by 10 percentage points and proving that they tend to be more engaged with the channel. Similarly, NSW also wins when it comes to drink-led occasions, with 34% of consumers going out for a drink on a weekly basis compared to less than a third of Queenslanders (29%).


However, despite NSW beer drinkers going out more often, Queensland just scrapes ahead when it comes to the percentage of On Premise consumers who drink beer per capita at 50% – while NSW reports 49% of consumers enjoying a cold one.


Across the subcategories of beer, both states see 39% of beer drinkers enjoying Craft beer, and around three-quarters enjoying domestic beer (74% – NSW, 73% – Queensland). However, when it comes to Imported beer, 48% of NSW beer drinkers opt for this subcategory – pushing them 6 percentage points ahead of Queensland.


For craft beer drinkers, NSW On Premise visitors tend to experiment more with their choices, with a larger repertoire of beer styles – averaging at 3.2 beer styles on average compared to Queensland’s figure of 2.8. Within these craft beer styles, there are also some intriguing differences – with Queenslanders preferring Pale Lager (30% of craft beer drinkers vs NSW’s 23%), while NSW stout drinkers (20% of craft beer drinkers) are much more prevalent than their QLD counterparts (11%).


These new consumer findings come from CGA’s OPUS; a large-scale consumer study used around the world by the leading beverage suppliers to the On Premise channel. OPUS is an incredibly rich resource of consumer insights, specifically focused on the On Premise behaviours, habits, and preferences of a large, nationally representative sample of Australian On Premise visitors.


James Phillips, Director of Client Solutions: Asia Pacific, said: “With Australian beer, as with sport, consumers are massively parochial and we see vast regional splits in terms of beer choice. This is largely based on the brewers’ heritage in regions and consumers’ passion for the local brands. However, there are subtle yet significant differences when it comes to subcategories too – and different dynamics across Australia’s states and territories in terms of consumer visitation and spend.  It is definitely not a a one-size-fits-all approach for suppliers.”


CGA’s twice-yearly OPUS survey is a rich resource of data and insights into consumers’ behaviours, habits and preferences in the On Premise. It provides comprehensive analysis of the latest trends and topics, and solutions to questions about brand, category, channel and occasion-specific performance. To learn how this definitive picture of consumers’ interaction with the On Premise can help all suppliers and operators build winning sales and marketing strategies, email James Phillips at james.phillips@cgastrategy.com

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