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UK adults often turn to alcohol before the end of the week

London, 16 October 2012

  • Older consumers are most likely to enjoy one-to-two alcoholic beverages during the week
  • Consumers looking to relieve stress and relax and unwind may be compromising their health

A Canadean Consumer survey has revealed that on any given day, at least three out of ten people in the UK consume alcohol, with an established trend of late mid-lifers and Seniors (those aged 55 and over) being the most likely to drink one-to-two alcoholic beverages every day. The research shows UK consumers are not just turning to alcohol on big nights out, and indeed could be unwittingly drinking more than those who binge once or twice a week.

Although much attention has been focused on the weekend binge drinking culture in the UK, it appears that a considerable number of UK consumers are opting for a smaller volume of alcohol on a more regular basis. Canadean Consumer’s research indicates that alcohol is regularly consumed not just for big nights out, but for an array of reasons such as relaxing and dealing with everyday stresses.

“It would appear that those in their late 40s and 50s are particularly likely to drink a relatively small amount of alcoholic on a daily basis” says Michael Hughes, Research Manager at Canadean Consumer. “Although some consumers associate moderated alcohol consumption with having certain health benefits, it is important that these older consumers who are turning to alcohol either to relax or to relieve stress are not unwittingly increasingly the risk of developing health problems such as hypertension by over-consuming during the course of a week”.

Although alcohol consumption during the week is less common on a Monday, 20% of the population still have one-to-two drinks on this day (rising to 30% of those aged 55 and over). By Thursday, this has risen to 25% of the population (and 31% of those aged 55 and over). Hughes comments: “these figures show that a significant proportion of society does not wait until the end of the week before treating themselves to a drink.”

From a manufacturer perspective, the trend towards more frequent, moderated drinking means that they should have products in their portfolio that are positioned around a “less of the best” ethos – encouraging consumers to trade-up to more premium varieties to make the experience an enjoyable one. It also highlights an opportunity to further promote the importance of responsible drinking, raising awareness of the long-term health implications associated with regularly exceeding daily recommended allowances, and making consumers aware that although drinking can make consumers feel less stressed they might still be compromising their health.

Figure 1: Proportion of consumers who drink "one-to-two" alcoholic beverages during the week (% UK respondents) 2012

Proportion of consumers who drink "one-to-two" alcoholic beverages during the week (% UK respondents) 2012

Source: Canadean © Canadean

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