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November 3, 2017updated 17 Aug 2021 3:26pm

Attitudes to alcohol are shifting, but young adults are still big drinkers

Views towards alcohol have changed; however, Millennials are hardly a sober generation. While their alcohol consumption may be down compared with other generations when they were young, they still drink plenty.

By Maria Bracken

A number of trends do point towards declining drinking. Millennials are money conscious, caused by the recent economic climate, and place a greater emphasis on health, opting for organic food and time at the gym. Additionally, the growing Muslim population in some European countries, including the UK, leads to an increase in teetotal consumers.

What else is making Millennials drink less? Getting drunk is increasingly seen as embarrassing. Some are too busy, and reject heavy drinking due to lack of time for recovery. Many also think that alcohol is not necessary to encourage socializing and having fun. Sober dance parties emerged as a new clubbing form about three years ago in the UK and US.

That said, young British consumers are still the most likely age group to binge drink, according to ONS data. This shows that sober parties remain a niche, if interesting, trend.

Grouping Millenials together doesn’t paint an accurate picture of drinking habits

Millennials are not a homogeneous group of people, with the older part having more favorable attitude towards drinking. Moreover, attitudes vary between countries. According to GlobalData’s 2017 Q1 survey only 14% of 25-34 year old consumers in the UK would make fewer alcohol purchases in future if there were significant political or economic changes, compared to 33% globally.

This means that Millenials remain one of the most important markets for drinks companies. And companies across spirits, wines and beer are finding exciting new ways to target them.

For example, Treasury Wine Estates launched in the UK a “dark red” wine under the 19 Crimes The Banished brand name. Made with extra tannin for a “taste with enhanced darker fruits and dark chocolate notes on the finish” it is positioned as decadent and unusual. Additionally, the bottle tells a captivating story by featuring images of criminals, each guilty of one of the 19 crimes in Britain who turned them into colonists, becoming some of the first settlers in Australia.

An application with ‘Augmented Reality’ technology allows consumers to see the character on the bottle come to life by using a hand-held device. The wine’s retail price is around £8, which makes it an affordable but not cheap option, representing good value for money.

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