Shift change in habits of young UK drinkers, finds Mintel

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent, Alcoholic beverage, Drink, Mintel

UK market researchers Mintel report a shift in young people’s drinking habits with a trend towards greater ‘in the home’ consumption, while analysts also note an increasing preference for premium alcohol brands overall.

Mintel data shows that over half (55 per cent ) of 18-24 year-olds drink at home for a special occasion compared to just four in ten (41 per cent) of overall UK in-home drinkers.

Price, said Mintel, remains the over-riding reason for UK consumers to drink at home, with more than three in four (76 per cent) of consumers agreeing that 'it is cheaper' ​to do so.

Premium brands

The food and drink industry trends specialists’ latest market review also reveals 64 per cent of UK alcohol drinkers opt for quality over quantity and 78 per cent think they can “taste the difference when drinking premium brands.”

Estimated to reach £15.6bn in 2011, Mintel remarks that the UK in-home drinking market has grown by 20 per cent since 2006, although “in real value terms, the market has seen a fall of 0.5 per cent,”​ it said.

The agency notes that between 2009 and 2010 in-home drinking declined from 75.4 per cent in 2009 to 71.9 per cent in 2010.

But “the fact that in-home drinking is still cheaper means that it still has not seen the sort of decrease in penetration evident in the on-trade where penetration fell a staggering 6.4 percentage points from 62 to 56 per cent year-on-year to 2010,” ​note the drinks market analysts.

Wine wins out

Mintel also reports that white wine tops the list of alcohol beverages consumed at home, with 44 per cent of UK consumers saying they have drunk this type in the last six months.

Red wine comes a close second with 40 per cent of those surveyed saying that they indulge in this type, followed by lager (39 per cent), rose (29 per cent) and then white spirits (28 per cent).

However, while volume sales of rose wine (+7 per cent) and white wine (+2 per cent) have increased year on year - sales of red wine have declined 3 per cent - from £522m to £506m following a trend towards lighter and more refreshing wines, note the drinks analysts.

No surprises, they note a gender divide in drinks preference. UK male consumers opt for lager (51 per cent), red wine (42 per cent), white wine (42 per cent), Cider (32 per cent) and Bitter/Ale (30 per cent).

The top five drinks for women are white wine (47 per cent), red wine (39 per cent), rose wine (32 per cent), white spirits (28 per cent) and lager (26 per cent).

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