Consumers ‘playing it safe’ with alcohol choices

12th October, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

Modern consumers are “playing it safe” when selecting alcoholic drinks, with more than 60% choosing only one or two brands, a new report has found.

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Maxus’s report has shed some light on how and when consumers drink

The report, called The Drinking Code, has been produced by global media agency Maxus. It analysed attitudes from 6,500 adults across Australia, China, Germany, India, the UK and the US, investigating why, how and when people drink and what these changing patterns of behaviour mean for alcohol marketing.

Maxus found that 62% of consumers stick with one or two alcoholic drinks brands, while only 39% enjoy experimenting with different drinks.

“The desire for familiarity, reliability and predictability trumps the desire for experimentation,” the report reads, adding that recommendations from “trusted sources” spur exploration.

A total of 80% of consumers surveyed said they have a “casual drink” at home at least monthly, and 78% believe it is important to drink in moderation.

Analysts also found that price impacts beverage selection in certain markets, including the UK and Australia. A third of UK consumers consider price to be important and so do almost half of Australians.

The report examined how self-expression and the desire to be accepted impacts the alcoholic brand choices of consumers.

“Over the last few years there have been wholesale changes in alcohol consumption patterns, and we’re seeing the same trends globally,” said Nick Vale, global head of planning at Maxus. “Consumers are creating new rituals and occasions.

“This may be a new golden age for alcohol brands in many ways, but they also have to understand the changes in how, why and when people drink. Drinks makers often focus on things like habit, heritage and tradition, but at the same time they often want us to try something new.

“However, as consumers moderate their drinking habits, they are tending to prioritise favourite brands and ‘experience’ over cost factors – something for drinks makers to be aware of, particularly when pushing new variants.”

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