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Alcoholic Drinks: Young adults receive the most marketing attention

Industry Sector

Food and Drink

Published

10 September 2010

Author

Mike King

Type of News

General

If the alcoholic drinks market had to be summarised with a single threat and a single opportunity it would arguably be these: declining consumption in developed markets; and increasing consumption among the expanding middle classes of emerging markets. Tackling both can be helped with smart consumer segmentations. Alcoholic drinks companies are using these to improve the targeting and take-up of their products, as well as to find the common ground between segments that permit the creation of truly mass global (or at least continental) markets.

In order to counter/benefit from these trends, marketers are appealing to ever more specific consumer segments, as well as boosting the value of sales through premiumization strategies. But in each segmentation covered by this report, there are trends towards homogeneity and trends towards specificity. For instance, to pursue: male and female products versus unisex marketing; youth and senior products versus ageless marketing; Hispanic marketing versus appealing to Mexican immigrants and Caribbean culture separately.

Men account for 64% of alcoholic drinks consumption; women for 36%. Within this total men account for 71% of beer consumption and 64% of spirits consumption, while women consume just a shade over half of the world's wine. The most significant degree of under-consumption in alcoholic drinks is of wine by young adults. This is starting to change as wine companies target this market, just as spirits companies rather successfully started to do 15 years ago.

Young adults receive the most marketing attention, but those aged 25-34 account for 23% of overall consumption, as do those aged 35-44. People in the 45-54 age group drink 17% while those aged 55+ drink 22%. The US Hispanic population is the ethnic group most targeted by alcoholic drinks companies. But even within this group there are subtle sub-segments, such as Mexican immigrants, that respond to even more targeted marketing.

Across all alcoholic drinks markets in the world, the top fifth of income earners accounts for 28% of consumption and the bottom fifth for 13%. Therefore, on average, the richest consume twice as much as the poorest. Over the last thirty years the proportion of alcoholic drink product launches that are premium and above has doubled from around one in 10 to around one in five. There are cycles of activity with annual highs of between 35% and 40%.

Author: Mike King, Analyst

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