5 learnings on summer drinking habits around the world

How does warmer weather influence our attitudes to drinking alcohol? We spoke to 3,700 people around the world about how the heat affects what they drink, and when. All respondents were over the legal alcohol-buying age in their respective countries.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

In the UK, Corona is the taste of summer

For brands like Corona, a summer of extended good weather in Britain means more than simply catching a tan. With 1 in 2 people in the UK associating the Mexican beer with warmer weather, it’s little wonder that sales are set to continue in an upward trajectory following the heatwave.

So why is the beer such a hit in the British market? Well, the lightness of the lager could mean it’s seen as more refreshing than alternatives — an attribute more than 8 in 10 look for when purchasing an alcoholic drink in the warmth.

Combine this with Brits also seeing Corona as the most value for money beer brand, and it’s a clear recipe for success in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

In France? Vive la mojito!

For 46% of respondents around the world, cocktails are associated with warm weather. From the caipirinha to the cosmopolitan, they remain a symbol of luxury — so when better to indulge than in the summer?

The sheer number of options on a cocktail menu can often intimidate the casual punter, but this isn’t the case in France. This year, more than 2 in 3 selected the mojito as their favourite — streaks ahead of second-placed Aperol Spritz, which garnered just 7% of the vote.

Looking deeper into the results, consumers in France value flavour, quality ingredients and size of beverage as the most important attributes to consider when purchasing a cocktail — boxes they obviously feel the mojito ticks.

The low-alcohol revolution begins in Russia

As we covered in-depth in a recent article, low- or non-alcoholic alternatives are on the rise around the world — and nowhere more so than Russia.

When it comes to drinking in the summertime, almost 1 in 2 Russians consider beverages with lower alcohol content as opposed to traditional alternatives. This is almost twice as many people as the next most content-conscious nation, France (25%), and considerably higher than their counterparts in Brazil (11%) and the US (10%).

It’s little surprise, then, that Russia is one of the least skeptical regions when it comes to valuing these options, with just 15% considering them ‘pointless’ — lower than the worldwide average of 26%.

Summer is the best time to debut new alcoholic products

Maybe it’s something to do with it improving our moods, but the sunshine certainly proves a fertile testing ground for new beverages. Worldwide, 2 in 3 people say they tend to try new alcoholic products when it’s hot — a figure that rises to 80% in countries such as Brazil.

But, as mentioned earlier, the marketplace is crowded, so brands can’t simply bank on a spell of good weather to help boost their promotional strategies.

One idea? Create something that looks different from the norm. More than half (57%) of respondents agreed they like to try aesthetically-pleasing drinks, with just 18% feeling the opposite.

In a world where social media rules, this is arguably more important than ever for drinks brands to consider — perhaps explaining the sharp rise in Aperol Spritz sales (more on that here).

Stella still not considered ‘Reassuringly Expensive’ by Brits

From 1982 to 2007, Belgian beer Stella Artois aligned itself with premium values, but it also developed something of a negative public image in the UK. Despite these efforts, it appears British consumers are somewhat set in their ways when it comes to perception of the brand — with just 15% considering it to be upmarket.

Peroni was the clear winner on this front, with 65% of people considering it to be an upmarket brand, thanks in part to ‘playing hard to get’ — a strategy that involves not allowing itself to be discounted to ensure ‘super premium credentials’ are maintained.

This won’t bother Stella too much, though — it still remains Britain’s most popular beer, beating Budweiser into second place.


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A quick word on our methodology: The figures in the article are taken from over 3,700 UK Streetbees community members, carried out in August 2018. All of the data was collected by mobile and web surveys, and is accurate to within 3 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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