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Binge drinking more commonly associated with at-home occasions

08 November 2012

  • 42% of people believe adults who drink at-home more regularly drink more than those who drink more regularly in the on-trade
  • This attitude is most apparent among those aged 25-34 years old

London, [8th November 2012] – More than four out of 10 adults in the UK believe that those who drink alcohol at-home more regularly tend to drink more than those who prefer pubs, bars and clubs. Binge drinking is more common among younger adults and can be related to the concept of pre-loading – drinking heavily before a night out to save on costs. As prices continue to rise in the on-trade, this is a trend that will continue.

A total of 42% of UK shoppers believe that adults who tend to drink more at-home end up drinking more than those who drink outside of the home. In comparison, only 21% disagree with this. The results indicate that people believe that heavy discounting in the off-trade, particularly when encouraging bulk buying, is increasing the risk of people regularly exceeding recommended consumption levels.

In particular, those aged 25-34 years old are the most likely to have this attitude (53%). The trend towards at-home drinking has been exacerbated in recent years as a result of rising prices in pubs, bars and clubs, at a time when people are looking to cut back spend on leisure activities when possible. One trend that has emerged as a result of this, particularly among younger adults in their twenties and thirties, is the concept of “pre-loading”, where people will tend to binge drink at-home before going on a night out in order to save money.

Michael Hughes, Research Manager at Canadean Consumer explains: “People – particularly younger adults – do not want to scale back on nights out, but at the same time are finding them increasingly expensive. As such, it is becoming more common for people to meet up beforehand and drink at home, taking advantage of promotions and lower costs in the retail channel and drinking heavily in order to minimise spend later in the evening”.

The findings from Canadean Consumer show that many people associate at-home alcohol consumption with binge-drinking as opposed to moderated consumption. Hughes explains: “As prices in the on-trade continue to rise, pre-loading will continue to be considered a ritual for many before a night out. The problem for manufacturers selling through the off-trade is that they will find it difficult to distance products from the heavy discounting associated with the retail channel. For the on-trade, the concern is that any potential increase in footfall in venues does not necessarily translate to a similar increase in revenue because people are pre-loading beforehand.”

Binge drinking more commonly associated with at-home occasions

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