Australians are shunning cola, lemonade and ginger beer in favour of healthier choices such as tea and fruit juice, with only half the population now swilling soft drink at least once in an average a week, national consumption figures show.

The rate had fallen from 56 per cent five years ago, a report from market research company Roy Morgan shows. Soft drink consumption fell across all age categories, but was least dramatic for those 35 to 49 years of age, who are now the biggest consumers of fizzy drinks. The number of Australians aged 35 and under gulping soft drink in an average week declined 10 per cent.

''In that time we've seen them drinking more ice tea, coconut water and soy drink, as they become more health conscious,'' said Angela Smith from consumer products at Roy Morgan.

Australians aged 25 and under drank 5.5 glasses of soft drink each week, 1.2 glasses fewer than five years ago, while those 35 and older upped their intake to seven glasses. ''Soft drink marketers may need to reconsider their targeted advertising: replace volleyball-playing, music festival-going twenty-somethings with