The latest research from Mintel reveals that Brits are drinking less in the home with usage dropping, but just 29% of those drinking at home pay attention to the alcoholic strength (ABV level) of their drink and it is younger drinkers who are most likely to do so.
The research found that 38% of 18-24 in-home drinkers say that they pay attention to ABV levels compared with 27% of 25-64s. Not only is the overall level of drinking in home in decline, so is the frequency, with a clear shift over the 2006-11 period away from heavy usage. While in 2006, the amount of UK adults drinking in the home stood at 75% - in 2011, this dropped to 71%. Those classed as ‘heavy users’ (those drinking 2 or 3 times a week or more) have also dropped - from 46% in 2006 to 43% in 2010 and just 41% in 2011.
Conversely, it appears that the relatively affordable appeal of in-home drinking is having an effect on the social habits of younger drinkers. 38% of 18-24 yr old in-home drinkers agree that they and their friends are increasingly drinking in each other’s homes instead of going out. This relates to the wider ‘pre-loading’ trend, in which over half (54%) of 18-24 in-home drinkers drink at home before going out to save money, compared with just 7% of over-45s. Reflecting their higher overall usage of alcoholic drinks, men are also more likely than women to drink in home. Of the 74% of male drinkers who drink in-home, 46% drink two to three times a week or more.
Total volume sales in the in-home drinking market fell by 1.7% between 2010 and 2011 to 3.7 billion litres. The value of the in-home drinking market climbed by 3.4% to £13.8 billion between 2010-11, reflecting the rising price of alcohol, driven by duty hikes, VAT and higher production costs.
It appears that the economic climate continues to make an impact on budget conscious consumers when drinking at home. 31% of respondents said they only buy alcohol when it’s on special offer - This rises to 37% of women, which is significant considering they are bigger shoppers. In addition, some 69% of in-home drinkers feel they are saving money if they drink in home rather than out and a further one in five (22%) drink at home before going out to save money. Despite this, 53% of in-home drinkers would pay more for a better quality drink.