Drinks poll reveals men’s beverage preferences

Drinks survey reveals rooibos as a top choice among SA men. I Supplied.

Drinks survey reveals rooibos as a top choice among SA men. I Supplied.

Published Jun 12, 2024


Dr Gerald Maarman, a biomedical scientist and Rooibos researcher, shared insights from a poll during Men's Health Month, highlighting South African men's beverage preferences as a healthy and versatile option.

It is revealed that a survey among over 700 men across various settings, professions, and age groups provides valuable data on their beverage preferences, drinking habits, and views on healthier lifestyles.

A survey revealed that 46% of men start their day with coffee; 30% prefer Rooibos, water, black tea, and herbal infusions, followed by water at 9%.

Dr. Gerald Maarman, a biomedical scientist and leading Rooibos researcher, says it’s encouraging to see such a significant number of men choosing Rooibos to kickstart their day.

“Its natural sweet taste, rich antioxidant profile, and caffeine-free nature make it an excellent morning beverage.”

Maarman says rooibos offers a myriad of health benefits, particularly for men. “Its antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which is crucial for those with active lifestyles. Rooibos also supports heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels, aiding in muscle recovery, reducing muscle spasms, and enhancing sleep quality. Additionally, it improves sperm concentration and function, immune function, weight management, and skin health.”

“Rooibos’ unique combination of antioxidants helps fight inflammation and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions,” he says.

Rooibos dominates the hot beverage category, with 42% of men drinking at least one cup daily, 22% consuming two to three servings a week, and 17% every other week.

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, finding effective ways to manage stress is crucial.

Many South African men turn to specific beverages to help them relax and cope with their hectic schedules. Sixty-nine percent of men rely on Adam’s ale (water) to combat stress, while 16% turn to coffee and 11% to rooibos.

For unwinding after a long day, rooibos tops the list at 32%, followed by beer at 19% and coffee at 12%. Spirits and wine were also popular choices, at 11% and 10%, respectively.

Sports drinks and electrolyte-enhanced water were also cited as popular fourth and fifth options, respectively.

In social settings, rooibos and beer are tied as the preferred drinks at 47%, with black tea, coolers, and ciders following closely behind. Among men, the predominant consideration in selecting a beverage was taste, with “occasion and setting” (47%) and “health considerations” (39%) also proving significant.

Health and well-being play a pivotal role for more than 60% of men, who recognise the benefits of drinking tea or tisanes.

The survey, which was commissioned by the SARC, also delved into how stereotypes impact tea-drinking behaviours.

It is revealed that rooibos drinkers are influenced by cultural and familial connections, taste, and health benefits, with 55% enjoying it in social and solitary settings. Generational differences also play a role, with the Silent Generation being the most frequent, followed by Millennials, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Z.

The Star