Are consumer beer drinking habits changing?

Posted: 18 February 2020 | | No comments yet

FMCG Gurus’ Will Cowling explains how the recent trend of health and indulgence must be reflected in the alcohol industry, but questions whether beer drinkers are actually changing their consumption habits.

Are consumers beer drinking habits changing?

Consumers of all ages are trying to make beer consumption a ‘healthier occasion’. This is something that the alcohol industry needs to respond to, to avoid losing share to other product categories. Older consumers are looking to stay ‘healthier for longer’ and maintain a good quality of life. Consumer Insights show that they recognise excessive beer intake is linked to health problems, but at the other end of the spectrum, younger adults can feel that product positioning within the industry is dated, as they take a more responsible approach to alcohol consumption.

Market trends within the industry is witnessing something of a resurgence when it comes to low and non-alcoholic alternatives, enabling consumers to switch between products rather than abstaining. So, are consumers really changing their drinking habits?

Health and indulgence

FMCG Gurus consumer research shows that beer consumption occasions are becoming more relaxed. Consumer Insights show that 52 percent of global consumers say that they are most likely to drink beer when pairing with a meal. This is highlighted as 75 percent say they drink beer at home or someone else’s house compared to only 45 percent who say they drink beer out of the home. The research suggests further evidence that consumers are adopting a more responsible approach to drink and looking to moderate consumption.

Market trends within the beer industry is witnessing something of a resurgence when it comes to low and non-alcoholic beer alternatives.

When it comes to the type of beer, Lager is still the most popular form with 73 percent choosing this option. Only 13 percent say they opt for non-alcoholic beers and 16 percent for low carb beers. This shows that better-for-you beers, whilst being accepted by a number of consumers, are less popular as they are associated with sacrifice and compromise.

Consumer consumption

FMCG Gurus Consumer Insights show that beer drinkers are looking to moderate consumption. Consumer research from FMCG Gurus showed that 44 percent of global consumers state they have reduced their intake of beer in the last 12 months. The key reasons for this are health and financial issues. The Global Beer survey (2020) from FMCG Gurus shows that 59 percent said they have reduced beer to better their health and 57 percent say they have reduced beer due to financial reasons.

Consumer research shows that 25 percent of global consumers are concerned that beer drinking habits will have an impact on their health.

This highlights how consumers of all ages are becoming more proactive towards their health as they look to maintain a good quality of life. Consumers are recognising the link between all aspects of their health adopting a holistic health approach to their diets.

Consumer research shows that 25 percent of global consumers are concerned that beer drinking habits will have an impact on their health. 62 percent are most concerned about weight gain. Due to consumer being concerned about their weight when drinking beer, more people are becoming aware of the calories they intake. This is highlighted as 29 percent of consumers say they now count calories most to all of the time when drinking.

Ingredient claims

FMCG Gurus research shows that consumers are indicating they would like to see functional claims in beer. 51 percent say they would be interested in high protein claims and 40 percent say they would like to see probiotics. An attitude and behaviour gap exist when it comes to functional claims; when it comes to beers positioned around functional ingredients, those consumers who are interested in such products are currently not making conscious efforts to seek out such products. Natural claims are also seen as important when buying beer. FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that when it comes to Lager, 61 percent of global consumers find natural claims appealing.

About the author

As Marketing Manager of FMCG Gurus, Will Cowling is responsible for managing day to day marketing tasks ranging from campaigns to PR, to managing content on social channels and the website. Understanding the business and the industry is key to providing innovative ideas and producing quality content. He has a strong focus on evaluating consumer perceptions and deciphering insights. 

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