April is Alcohol Awareness Month – Trends Of Concern, Online Sales of Alcohol Increasing
It’s officially Alcohol Awareness Month, which means it’s time to share information on the risks and dangers of alcohol use, and also keep an eye on trends that may be disconcerting. Moreover, If it seems like a lot of Americans are imbibing lately (particularly wine) it’s because they are.
A recent poll has found that more than two-thirds (68%) of Americans age 21+ are “regular buyers of alcohol.” This means that nearly 7 in 10 Americans are buying alcohol for themselves or someone else, many times in a given year. The poll took place between November 9-11, 2016.
The Harris Poll, which is responsible for the referenced data collection, is conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc., and “…tap into a representative sample of Americans of all ages, genders, income and ethnic backgrounds. From sports to health, politics to the economy, the Harris Poll reflects Americans’ opinions on a wide range of topics…”
Also, the poll found that an increasing number of people are buying alcohol online. That is, about 8% of adults report buying at least some alcohol online in the last six months. For regular buyers who fell into this category, wine was the most popular purchase (42%) followed by liquor (35%) and beer (29%.)
The survey also revealed that those who purchase online are likely to earn more and maintain full-time employment than in-store only buyers. They are also more likely to be young, male, and married.
Regarding their latest alcohol purchase online, 48% said they intended to consume their product within a week, and 25% intended to begin consuming the product on the day of receipt.
Those who purchase online about half (50%) pick up the purchased product at a store, and 41% have it delivered within hours. Just over one-third state the product will be delivered in 1-2 days.
Many online buyers (especially wine) predict that they will purchase an increased amount of alcohol in the upcoming year, and more than 1 in 10 in-store only buyers state they are going to experiment with purchasing alcohol online in the next year.
Wine An Increasing Problem For 30-Somethings
According to The Harris Poll, Millennials consumed more than one-third (36%) of wine purchased in 2015, or nearly 160 million cases. This number was the highest for any generation….by far. The next group, Baby Boomers, consumed 114 million cases, and Gen Xers consumed just 74.5 million.
Also, Millennials drink more than 3 glasses of wine per occasion. Gen Xers drink 2.4 glasses, and Baby Boomers, less than two. Part of this trend reflects a move from liquor to wine as the most popular at-home drink, which could be considered a more-or-less harm-reductive switch. However, for those who forgo beer for wine, keep in mind that wine alcohol content is 2-3 times that of beer.
That is, you may want to reconsider the standard rule of one 5 oz. glass of wine as equal to one 12 oz. beer – try drinking three 14% glasses of wine per night versus three 5% beers and see how you feel in the morning.
Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month in April “…to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.”
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology