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Binge Drinking - UK - June 2009

Drinking alcohol is engrained in British culture and shows no signs of abating – two thirds of adults drink at least once a week and the government estimates that 10 million people exceed daily limit guidelines.

Mintel last examined British drinking habits in Attitudes Towards Drinking – UK, November 2006, when the alcohol market was facing pressure from legislators and other interested parties because of the social and health problems being attributed to excessive alcohol consumption.

One of the issues examined in that report was the gulf between consumers’ attitudes towards drinking and the raw data showing alcohol consumption and alcohol-related issues on the rise.

This report examines attitudes towards excessive alcohol consumption in more detail given that government resources are being committed to making people aware of the unit content of alcoholic drinks and the physical dangers associated with drinking to excess.

Key themes

  • How have drinking habits changed in the last five years?

  • Is the UK heading towards the government’s aim of a ‘continental drinking culture’?

  • What are manufacturers and retailers doing to combat binge drinking?

  • Who are the main binge drinkers?

  • Has the government’s responsible drinking campaign been successful?

  • Do consumers understand the term binge drinking and are they modifying their behaviour accordingly?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • 'Slow drinking'
              • Don’t fight the culture?
                • Moulding men
                  • Wining and dining
                  • Market in Brief

                    • Are we a nation of bingers?
                      • Only one in seven binge drink
                        • Less, but stronger
                          • On-trade is suffering
                            • Government and industry action
                              • Raising awareness
                                • Looking forward
                                • Drinking Habits and Binge Drinking

                                  • Key points
                                    • The problem of definition
                                        • Figure 1: Knowledge of NHS recommended daily limits, by gender, 1997-2007
                                      • The government walking a tightrope
                                        • Despite the headlines, UK drinking is declining
                                          • Figure 2: Drinking trends of the population, 2004-08
                                        • Binge drinking becoming less acceptable amongst young
                                          • Figure 3: Agreement that the point of drinking is to get drunk, by age, 2004-08
                                          • Figure 4: Adults who drink two or three times a week, by age, 2008
                                          • Figure 5: Adults drinking three to seven times a week and average units per session, by age, February 2009
                                        • Socio-economic group and employment also impact on drinking
                                          • Figure 6: Adults who drink two or three times a week, by socio-economic group and working status, 2008
                                        • In-home drinking is stable, out-of-home is declining
                                          • Higher alcohol content
                                            • Figure 7: Litres of alcohol and of pure alcohol consumed per capita,1990-2007
                                          • Threat of spirits receding
                                            • Figure 8: Trends in consumption of alcoholic drinks two to three times a week, by type, 2004-08
                                        • Economic Impact on Binge Drinking

                                          • Key points
                                            • A taxing time
                                              • Figure 9: Trends in combined excise duty receipts for different types of alcoholic drink, 2001/02-2008/09
                                            • Despite heavy duty, cheap alcohol is on the rise
                                              • Drinking round the clock has not happened
                                                • Figure 10: 24-hour licences, 2007 and 2008
                                              • Tightening of the purse strings
                                                • Alcohol becoming less important to the economy
                                                  • Figure 11: Changing shares of main categories of spend in the UK, at current prices, 1998 and 2008
                                                • More drinks are now non-alcoholic
                                                  • Figure 12: Consumer expenditure on alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, 1998 and 2008
                                              • Demographic Impact on Binge Drinking

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Empty nesters – the new binge drinkers
                                                    • Figure 13: Structure of UK 18+ population, by age and gender, 2004, 2009 and 2014
                                                  • Rising socio-economic group
                                                    • Figure 14: Change in structure of the UK population, by socio-economic group, 2004-09 and 2009-14
                                                • Health Issues and Binge Drinking

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Health issues – alcohol-related deaths are increasing
                                                      • Figure 15: Alcohol-related deaths, by gender, 1991-2007
                                                    • Social effects
                                                      • Figure 16: Nature of behaviours experienced by those who perceive people being drunk or rowdy to be a problem in their local area, 2007/08
                                                  • Frequency of Drinking Alcohol

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Drinking culture shifting to in home
                                                        • Figure 17: Drinking trends, by venue of consumption, 2004-08
                                                      • Blame the men, but watch out for the women
                                                        • Figure 18: Trends for drinking two to three times a week, by gender, 2004-08
                                                      • Growing old disgracefully
                                                        • Figure 19: Trends for drinking two to three times a week, by gender and age, 2004-08
                                                    • Who Drinks and How Much?

                                                      • Key points
                                                          • Figure 20: Drinking behaviour in last three months, in and out of home, February 2009
                                                        • Wine to the forefront of drinkers’ repertoires
                                                          • Non-drinkers
                                                            • One in five drinks too many units
                                                              • Figure 21: Number of units of alcohol drunk in an average week, in and out of home, February 2009
                                                            • Little and often or weekend binge
                                                              • Figure 22: Number of days in an average week that alcohol is consumed, February 2009
                                                            • Four in ten claim to be cutting back
                                                              • Figure 23: Current drinking habits compared to two years ago, both in and out of home, February 2009
                                                            • Drinking more as a coping mechanism
                                                            • Attitudes towards Drinking

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Government acts on attitudes
                                                                  • Figure 24: Attitudes towards drinking, February 2009
                                                                • Moderate drinkers are most aware of government campaigns
                                                                  • Awareness of dangers
                                                                    • The cultural role of drinking
                                                                      • The root of the problem
                                                                        • Money troubles don’t always impact on alcohol consumption
                                                                        • Who Binges?

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Identifying binge drinkers
                                                                              • Figure 25: Propensity to binge drink amongst population, by gender, age, socio-economic group and working status, February 2009
                                                                            • Is consistency key?
                                                                              • Figure 26: Average units per session, by gender, age and socio-economic group, February 2009
                                                                            • Coming of age
                                                                              • Sit back and relax
                                                                                • Figure 27: Attitudes of binge drinkers compared to non-binge drinkers, February 2009
                                                                              • Drinking groups
                                                                                • Figure 28: Alcohol drinking groups, February 2009
                                                                                • Figure 29: Attitudinal groups differentiated, by key statements, February 2009
                                                                              • Cultural bingers
                                                                                • Who are they?
                                                                                  • Marketing message
                                                                                    • Open to guidance
                                                                                      • Who are they?
                                                                                        • Marketing message
                                                                                          • Not to be nannied
                                                                                            • Who are they?
                                                                                              • Marketing messages
                                                                                                • Heightened concerns
                                                                                                  • Who are they?
                                                                                                    • Next steps
                                                                                                      • Helps me relax
                                                                                                        • Who are they?
                                                                                                          • Marketing messages
                                                                                                          • Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Government ups the ante
                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on alcoholic drinks and alcohol-related government campaigns, 2004-09
                                                                                                              • Educating and challenging
                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on alcohol-related government campaigns, 2004-09
                                                                                                              • Restrictions on advertising
                                                                                                              • Industry and Government Initiatives

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Industry
                                                                                                                    • The Portman Group
                                                                                                                      • The Drinkaware Trust
                                                                                                                        • Government
                                                                                                                          • National alcohol strategies
                                                                                                                            • Alcohol labelling
                                                                                                                              • A new retail code
                                                                                                                                • Educational campaigns
                                                                                                                                  • Experiences outside England
                                                                                                                                    • Scotland
                                                                                                                                      • France
                                                                                                                                        • Finland
                                                                                                                                          • Australia
                                                                                                                                          • Companies’ Responsible Drinking Campaigns

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Grocery multiples
                                                                                                                                                • Tesco
                                                                                                                                                  • Morrisons
                                                                                                                                                    • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                                                                      • Asda
                                                                                                                                                        • Manufacturers
                                                                                                                                                          • InBev UK
                                                                                                                                                            • NPD
                                                                                                                                                              • Responsible drinking campaigns
                                                                                                                                                                • Diageo
                                                                                                                                                                  • NPD
                                                                                                                                                                    • Responsible drinking campaigns
                                                                                                                                                                      • Molson Coors (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                        • NPD
                                                                                                                                                                          • Responsible drinking campaigns
                                                                                                                                                                            • Other
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Alcohol consumption, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Trends for drinking two or three times a week or more (both in and out of home), by demographics, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Health Issues and Binge Drinking

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Alcohol affordability index compared to indexed no. of alcohol-related deaths, 2002-07
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Usage and Frequency

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Which drinks people have drunk in the past three months both in and out of home, by demographics. February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Which drinks people have drunk in the past three months both in and out of home, by demographics (continued), February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Which drinks people have drunk in the past three months both in and out of home, by demographics (continued), February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Which drinks people have drunk in the past three months both in and out of home, by demographics (continued), February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: In an average week, how many units of alcohol people normally drink, both in and out of home, by demographics, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: In an average week, how many units of alcohol men normally drink above and below limit, both in and out of home, by demographics, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: In an average week, how many units of alcohol women normally drink above and below limit, both in and out of home, by demographics, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: In an average week, how many days people drink alcohol, both in and out of home, by demographics, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: In how many people drink now, compared with two years ago, by demographics, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes to Drinking

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Which attitudes towards drinking people agree with, by demographics, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Which attitudes towards drinking people agree with, by demographics (continued), February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Which attitudes towards drinking people agree with, by demographics (continued), February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix –The Consumer – Who Binges?

                                                                                                                                                                              • Identifying binge drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Attitudinal groups, by statements, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: How people have changed their alcoholic drinking habits over the past two years, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Average units per day of each attitudinal group, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Attitudinal groups and their proportion of binge drinkers, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Attitudinal groups and what types of alcohol they drink, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Attitudinal groups, by demographics, February 2009

                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                            • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Bacardi-Martini Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • British Beer and Pub Association
                                                                                                                                                                            • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                            • British Medical Association (BMA)
                                                                                                                                                                            • British Retail Consortium
                                                                                                                                                                            • Brown-Forman
                                                                                                                                                                            • Carlsberg UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                            • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                            • Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Department of Health
                                                                                                                                                                            • Diageo Plc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Diageo UK
                                                                                                                                                                            • Drinkaware Trust
                                                                                                                                                                            • Guinness
                                                                                                                                                                            • InBev
                                                                                                                                                                            • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                            • JD Wetherspoon
                                                                                                                                                                            • L'Oréal (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                            • Molson Coors Brewing Company
                                                                                                                                                                            • Pernod Ricard
                                                                                                                                                                            • Safeway Stores
                                                                                                                                                                            • Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Somerfield
                                                                                                                                                                            • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                            • The Portman Group
                                                                                                                                                                            • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                            • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                            Binge Drinking - UK - June 2009

                                                                                                                                                                            US $2,106.04 (Excl.Tax)