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Drinkers averse to experimentation, new global survey reveals

Published:  12 October, 2015

Nearly two-thirds of drinkers stay loyal to one or two alcoholic brands, according to a new study of attitudes to alcohol from global media agency, Maxus.

The research also found that only 39% of consumers enjoy experimenting with new drinks and brands - although that figures rises to 51% among young adults.

The report, titled The Drinking Code, is based on interviews with some 6,500 respondents from Australia, China, Germany, India, the UK and the US.

Other key findings include the primary role of alcohol in helping the consumer relax at home. The number one alcohol occasion is "having a casual drink at home", a ritual undertaken by 54% of consumers at least once a week and by 80% at least once a month.

It is more than twice as popular as any other type of occasion and is shared by consumers, irrespective of age or gender.

However, 78% of consumers believe it is important to drink in moderation, with over a third suggesting it should be reserved for special occasions only.

A similar proportion of people - 72% - consider the presence of friends and/or family and the creation of a good atmosphere to be vital for a great drinking occasion.

Other important factors are food, rated as key by 38%, location (31%), the time of day or day of the week (26%), and music (19%).

Although young drinkers are more disposed towards experimentation, 44% nevertheless find the choice of alcohol available overwhelming.

While cost is a key driver for 48% of young people's drinking choices, 56% are willing to pay more for better quality.

Nick Vale, global head of planning at Maxus, said: "Over the last few years there have been wholesale changes in alcohol consumption patterns, and we're seeing the same trends globally. 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."