Study of Consumer Attitudes to Drinking

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CONSUMER ATTITUDES TO DRINKING – UK – AUGUST 2010 – Consumer Usage – Market in Brief
 There are opportunities for both the on- and off-trade to take advantage of consumers’ willingness to try different drinks. As cocktails are associated with bartender knowledge, skill and theatre of serve, there is scope for the pub industry to differentiate and for manufacturers to replicate, as already seen by Bacardi’s Mojito mixed drink, now complete with branded packs of ice cubes at Tesco. Internal marketing Environment

UK alcohol consumption has been in decline since 2004 but penetration levels are still high as drinking is deeply ingrained in the British culture. What People Drink and How Often
Although alcohol consumption is down in the UK, consumers are increasing their drinking repertoire, with cider now ranked alongside the lager, wine and spirits categories. Rosé benefits from appealing to all age groups and the much sought-after younger demographic, something the red and white varieties have failed to do.  Rosé wine has managed to do what white and red wine have been trying to do for years: appeal to the younger demographic. While it is not as popular a drink as the other wine flavours, white spirits or cider, rosé has the advantaged in appealing almost equally to every age group, from 18-24-year-olds to the over-55s.  Lager has been drunk by the most people (60%) over the past 12 months and is the largest market in terms of volume sales (see Internal Market Environment).  Lager drinking remains largely male-dominated, with three quarters of men drinking lager in the last year compared to 40% of women, while the opposite is the case for white and sweeter-tasting rosé wines, which women tend to prefer. Choice differs by age

Figure 17: Types of alcohol drunk in the last 12 months, by age, August 2010 Base: 838 internet users aged 18+

 Over a third of women, however, drink alcohol less than once a month or never drink alcohol. Interestingly, and in contrast to reports in the media, the highest proportion of people who never drink alcohol is amongst the 25-34-year-old age group, followed by 18-24-year-olds.  According to Mintel’s On-trade Soft Drinks – UK, December 2009 report, women are much more likely than men to drink soft drinks in the on-trade and are opting for healthier and somewhat more expensive drinks when they do so.  There are several barriers to women drinking alcohol, including health and social mores. Mintel’s Understanding Drinking Occasions and Unlocking Potential Customers – UK, August 2009 report found that almost a third of women would be encouraged to try a new alcoholic drink if it were low in calories, suggesting that brands, retailers and pubs need to do more to inform health-conscious customers that lower-ABV and -calorie alcoholic drinks exist, both in the off- and on-trade. Factors influencing drinking habits:

 The social dimension is important when drinking alcohol, with over half of consumers drinking when catching up with friends. This is a universal factor of why people drink, being a key reason for over half of men and women and typically most important to 18-34-year-olds, although this is still high for the over-35s and across almost all socio-economic groups. Social beings

Figure 24: Net difference* between any agree statements on drinking alcohol, by gender, June 2010 Base: 1,701 internet users aged 18+ who have drunk alcohol in the last 12 months * this is worked out by subtracting the percentage of female drinkers agreeing with each statement from the percentage of males. For example, 65% of female drinkers said ‘I don’t like running a tab as I can lose track of how much I’m spending’ compared to 58% of men, therefore giving a score of +7 percentage points. Source: GMI/Mintel

Key analysis: While sharing pitchers of beer is common in the US and larger beer glasses pervade the European Continent (e.g. 1-litre beer steins in Germany), in the UK the defining...
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