US Alcoholic Beverage Occasions Consumer Report 2024
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Consumers are increasingly loosening their connections with traditional alcoholic beverage occasions like relaxation and socializing, especially with the rise of alternatives. By shifting focus to collaboration rather than competition with…

US Alcoholic Beverage Occasions Consumer Report 2024

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Stay ahead of the curve and secure future growth for your business with Mintel’s Alcoholic Beverage Occasions Report. The report provides a data-led understanding of how and why consumers choose to drink alcoholic beverages in the US, with relevant opportunities for brands to appeal.

Topics Analyzed

  • State of the alcoholic beverage market.
  • Leading alcoholic beverage attributes for consumers.
  • Reasons for alcohol consumption.
  • Activities associated with alcoholic beverages.
  • At-home versus away-from-home alcohol occasions.
  • Alcoholic beverage innovation and marketing trends.

Alcoholic Beverage Occasions: Consumer Overview

Consumers are increasingly loosening their connections with traditional alcoholic beverage occasions like relaxation and socializing, especially with the rise of alternatives. By shifting focus to collaboration rather than competition with these alternatives, the beverage landscape can feel more fluid and casual for consumers.

Away-from-home occasions have yet to bounce back since 2020, as consumers now face economic concerns. While strong associations with cocktails and socializing at bars and restaurants remain, the experience must continually feel valuable.

Most consumers drink alcohol at least once a week, particularly younger, higher-income individuals, but physical, mental, and financial health concerns are prevalent as they aim to improve their overall well-being.

Opportunities for brands

Increased casualization across food and beverage categories is also influencing how consumers approach drinking occasions. While mealtime occasions are less prominent with younger consumers, the emergence of new occasions like snacking, and everyday activities presents opportunities to connect during lower-stakes activities.

Alcohol type and brand are not constraining for most consumers, with older individuals more open to trial and pairing suggestions and younger consumers seeking flexibility in mixed ABV and flavor occasions.

Buy your copy of this report today and elevate your strategic understanding of alcoholic beverage occasions.

Meet the Expert

Sydney joined Mintel in 2021 after spending more than 4 years working in higher education. She has a decade of experience in the food service industry, where she gained a passion for following food, beverage, and menu trends. Sydney holds a BA in English Literature from DePaul University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.

Increasingly casual occasions, consumer concern with lifestyle improvement, and the rise of alternatives have all contributed to a shifting drinking landscape.

Sydney Riebe - Mintel Research Analyst
Sydney Riebe
Analyst, US Food and Drink

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • Consumer trends: key takeaways
    • Opportunities
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market context
    • State of the market
    • Consumers still find the routine in alcoholic beverage occasions
    • At home occasions continue to provide more value
    • Graph 1: alcoholic beverage consumption, by location, 2024
    • Market drivers
    • Consumers are increasingly aware of how alcohol impacts their health…
    • …but drinking remains a remedy for increased stress
    • Graph 2: mental health symptoms, 2023
    • Cost is the main deterrent to alcohol consumption
    • The rise of alcohol alternatives is reinventing drinking occasions
    • Market size
    • Alcohol sales begin to level off as consumers reassess value
    • Graph 3: total US sales of alcoholic beverages at current prices, 2018-23 (est)
    • Retail sales of alcoholic beverages at current prices
    • Retail sales of alcoholic beverages at inflation-adjusted prices
    • Market segmentation
    • Beer steals share from wine, thanks to casualized occasions
    • Graph 4: value share of sales of alcoholic beverages, by type of alcoholic beverage, 2018-23 (est)
    • On-premise struggles to return to pre-2020 levels
    • Graph 5: value share of US sales of alcoholic beverages, by location of consumption, at current prices, 2018-23 (est)
  3. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Alcoholic beverage attributes
    • Top attributes set the scene for occasions
    • Beer and wine struggle with taste perceptions among Gen Z
    • Graph 6: alcoholic beverage attributes, by generation, 2024
    • Female consumers need help connecting with premium
    • Reasons for alcohol consumption
    • Alcoholic beverage occasions have weakened in the past five years
    • Graph 7: reasons for alcohol consumption, 2019-24
    • Help consumers unwind at happy hour
    • Focus on infusing fun for younger consumers
    • Graph 8: reasons for alcohol consumption, by generation, 2024
    • Alcoholic beverages and activities
    • Younger consumers add alcohol to more casual occasions
    • Graph 9: alcoholic beverages and activities, by generation, 2024
    • Connect what consumers are doing and drinking at home
    • Give older women a space to socialize
    • Alcoholic beverage attitudes
    • The majority of consumers are flexible when it comes to alcohol and occasions
    • Graph 10: alcoholic beverage attitudes, 2024
    • Help Gen Z make the most of their cocktail experience
    • Alcoholic beverage behaviors
    • Occasions and flavor are alcohol-specific for most consumers, for now
    • Graph 11: alcoholic beverage behaviors, 2024
    • Daypart flexibility can modernize traditional drink associations
    • Graph 12: alcohol consumption behaviors, by generation, 2024
    • At-home versus away-from-home alcoholic beverage behaviors
    • Experience still drives AFH drinking occasions and new trial
    • Graph 13: at-home versus away-from-home alcoholic beverage behaviors, 2024
    • Women get in the spirit in bars and restaurants
    • Millennials want the option to turn it up or down at home
  4. Innovation and Marketing Trends

    • Launch activity and innovation
    • Premium claims are still on the rise
    • Alcohol launches with premium claims
    • Global growth in food pairing suggestions
    • Alcohol beverages with pairing suggestions on pack
    • Emerging flavors in alcohol borrow from popular beverages
    • Alcoholic beverages with emerging flavors
    • Interpreting the map US: emerging flavors in flavored alcoholic beverages, 2024
    • Marketing and advertising
    • Brunch is reviving beer and wine (with the help of friends)
    • Fun follows format
    • Opportunities
    • Multipacks with a range of ABVs can expand occasions
    • Pairing suggestions can move beyond food, to consumer hobbies
    • Find balance when it comes to helping consumers improve their mood
  5. Appendix

    • Consumer research methodology
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms

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