Young people’s attitudes towards alcohol are changing — but not in the way you think

Streetbees spoke to 1,700 people aged 18–35 around the world (over 21 in the US) to explore how and why drinking habits are evolving.

Laurie Roxby
Apr 17, 2018 · 3 min read
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Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash

The relationship between young people and alcohol is changing.

Young people are drinking more. And they’re drinking less.

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Why are some young people drinking less?

For people cutting back, the main reason is a healthier lifestyle. These are social drinkers, with most of their consumption coming when out with friends and family, or on special occasions. More than 1 in 3 don’t keep any alcohol in their home.

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What about those drinking more?

It’s a different story for those consuming more. A big motivation for drinking isn’t just to lubricate social or special occasions; instead, they are attracted to alcohol’s calming qualities, using it as a means to relax (47%) or de-stress (36%).

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When you tend to drink alcohol, based on whether your alcohol intake has increased or decreased in the last twelve months

So what does this mean for alcohol brands?

This is a complex market for brands to understand. From country to country, consumers claim their consumption is motivated by typical factors such as taste, price and brand. But the actual reasons why people might increase their intake, rather than decrease it, are based on factors related to their lifestyle and emotional states.

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