Retail Intelligence

Four in 10 Beer Buyers Never Check Alcohol Content

By Donna Ahern
Four in 10 Beer Buyers Never Check Alcohol Content

With awareness levels of alcohol units not as high as one might expect, it is perhaps no surprise to find over 4 in 10 (43%) beer buyers claiming they never check the alcohol content of the beer they are purchasing. A similar proportion (43%) claim to “sometimes” check the alcohol content, with just 1 in 7 (14%) beer buyers claiming to “always” check the alcohol content.

There has been a reduction in the awareness levels among adults in terms of understanding what exactly a unit of alcohol is, dropping from 88% in 2016 to 84% in 2018. This is one of the findings in our most recent research on behalf of Retail Intelligence, conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+. Central to the research was understanding the role of alcohol labelling and which aspects play the most important roles for consumers.

Those who purchase wine are more likely to check the alcohol content when purchasing, with almost 7 in 10 (69%) wine buyers claiming to check the alcohol content, although just 25% “always” check. Some 6 in 10 (61%) spirit buyers check the alcohol content, but only 16% “always” check the content.

Almost 6 in 10 (57%) adults believe that there needs to be some improvement to how alcohol content is currently displayed on labelling, although the majority of this cohort (47%) feel that it is fairly well displayed but could be improved. There are just 1 in 10 (10%) who feel it is very unclear and in need of significant improvement.

The overall impact of alcohol content being listed on alcohol products appears to be having a somewhat limited affect, being least likely to affect purchase of spirits where just over three quarter (76%) of spirit buyers claim that listing the alcohol content of the product has had no impact on their purchase decision. Almost 7 in 10 (69%) beer buyers claim not to have been affected, with just over 6 in 10 (63%) wine buyers not affected by the alcohol content when purchasing.


For further information and more in-depth analysis in relation the role of alcohol labelling and awareness amongst consumers of alcohol units and how it impacts their purchase behaviour and decision-making process, please contact Robbie Clarke at [email protected] or Empathy Research 

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