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Press Release: Just under 1 in 5 looking to reduce alcohol consumption following Government announcement of new alcohol guidelines

Guidelines issued by the Government on Friday 8th January 2016 state that men and women should consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. The guideline also state that people should have alcohol free days each week and avoid heavy drinking sessions.

The announcement reflects new medical advice highlighting links between alcohol and illnesses including, cancer and heart disease. The new 14 point limit is the point where there would appear to be an increased risk of dying from alcohol related issues.

Future Thinking, the business intelligence research consultancy and Toluna carried out a survey on 12th & 13th January and analysed the results of over 1800 respondents across the UK, asking whether the new advice would impact on their alcohol intake.

Survey Question:

New Department of Health advice recommends drinking no more than 14 units per week. For example:

1.       A pint of strong beer (ABV 5.2%) is three units

2.       A single measure of spirits (25ml, ABV 40%) is one unit

3.       A 175ml glass of wine (ABV 12%) is just over 2 units

Following this news please select which statement applies to you:

  •  I have reduced my alcohol consumption following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week
  • I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week
  • I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement although it is 14 or less units per week
  • I will not change the amount I drink even though it is more than 14 units per week
  • I will not change the amount I drink as it is less than the recommended amount of 14 units per week
  • I don’t drink alcohol

Results:

Results from the online poll of over 1800 respondents indicate that just under 1 in 5 (18%) have or intend to reduce their alcohol consumption following the announcement, as it is currently more than 14 units per week. 13% will not change the amount they drink even though it is more than 14 units per week, whilst 39% will not change the amount they drink as it is currently less than the recommended amount.

Across different age groups, 30% of 18-34 year olds have or intend to reduce their alcohol consumption following the announcement as it is more than 14 units per week, compared to 15% of 35-54 year olds and just 10% of over 55’s.

Older generations appear less inclined to reduce their alcoholic intake. Just 6% of 18-34 year olds said they will not change the amount they drink even though it is more than 14 units per week, compared to 15% of 35-54 year olds and 16% of over 55’s. Just over 1 in 4 over 18 year olds claim to never drink alcohol.

What does this mean?

Claudia Strauss, Managing Director UK at Future Thinking comments: “Following the announcement by the government, initial indications are that consumers are looking to reduce their alcohol intake. Interestingly it is the younger generations; particularly millennials, who have bought into this, whilst older generations, who freely admit to drinking over 14 units per week, appear less inclined to change their habits. Whilst these results may be an indication that younger generations have less disposable income to spend on alcohol, they also reflect a changing attitude towards alcohol where they have grown up with the associated health risks.”

“These findings need to take in to account the fact that New Year is a time where people inevitably start the year with good intentions after the excesses of Christmas; for example dry January. It will be interesting to see how people control their alcohol intake as the year progresses.”

Overview:

Survey size: 1860

Males: 662 (36%)

Females: 1198 (64%)

18-34: 516 (28%)

35-54: 727 (39%)

55+: 578 (31%)

Table1: Overall view

I have reduced my alcohol consumption following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week 8%
I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week 10%
I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement although it is 14 or less units per week 6%
I will not change the amount I drink even though it is more than 14 units per week 13%
I will not change the amount I drink as it is less than the recommended amount of 14 units per week 39%
I don’t drink alcohol 24%

 

Table2: Overview by age

18-34 35-54 55+
I have reduced my alcohol consumption following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week 16% 5% 4%
I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week 14% 10% 6%
I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement although it is 14 or less units per week 6% 7% 5%
I will not change the amount I drink even though it is more than 14 units per week 6% 15% 16%
I will not change the amount I drink as it is less than the recommended amount of 14 units per week 29% 41% 47%
I don’t drink alcohol 29% 22% 22%

 

Overview by gender:

Males Females
I have reduced my alcohol consumption following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week 7% 8%
I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement as it is more than 14 units per week 12% 9%
I will try to reduce my alcohol consumption in the near future following this announcement although it is 14 or less units per week 7% 5%
I will not change the amount I drink even though it is more than 14 units per week 20% 10%
I will not change the amount I drink as it is less than the recommended amount of 14 units per week 35% 41%
I don’t drink alcohol 19% 27%

Media contacts

John Whittaker, Future Thinking: 01865 336 400; john.whittaker@futurethinking.com
Amy Williams/Karl Wiseman /Lizzy Chesters, Redleaf: 0207 382 4747; futurethinking@redleafpr.com

Future Thinking

Future Thinking takes a consultative approach to market research with commercial focus driving everything we do. That’s why we focus our attention on the three key areas that drive competitive advantage: Launch, Communicate, Experience.

We’re a global company of researchers, marketeers, statisticians, strategists, innovators, creatives and industry experts, integrating qual, quant and analytics through the latest technologies, to deliver research that engages audiences and drives action.

Our mission is to deliver consumer and business insights that tells stories, inspires action and travels within an organisation, long after the debrief.

For more information, visit: www.futurethinking.com or follow us on Twitter: @FutureThinkHQ

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