Despite widespread understanding of what exactly a unit of alcohol is, only 10% of alcohol drinkers claim to always monitor their consumption, rising to 25% who claim to frequently monitor the number of units they consume. For this research for Retail Intelligence, conducted by Empathy Research, amongst a nationally representative sample of adults 18+, we sought to understand the role played by alcohol labelling in the purchase behaviour of consumers. There is differing behaviour evident in relation to checking the alcohol content of different types of alcohol before purchase. Almost 3 in 10 (28%) Wine drinkers are most likely to always check the alcohol content of their wine before purchase, followed closely by spirit drinkers who claim to always check a quarter of the time (25%), with beer drinkers only claiming to check 15% of the time. Across all three of these alcohol types of alcohol there are high levels who claim to never check, with 30% claiming never to do so.
While clearly outlined on alcohol packaging for the majority, there are relatively low levels claiming that the actual content on labelling impacts on their purchase behaviour. Just over 1 in 3 (35%) claim it affects purchase, with similar levels being shown across purchasers of all three main types of alcohol.
Interestingly, it is those in the 18-24 age group who appear to be most impacted by alcohol content labelling, with high levels claiming they will check the label of alcohol before purchasing, particularly when purchasing spirits.
The labelling itself is for the most part seen to be outlined well on packaging, with 4 in 10 alcohol purchasers claiming it to be clearly outlined and not in need of any improvement. Half of all alcohol drinkers claim labels are fairly well outlined but could do with some improvement. Those aged 55+ are most likely to feel labelling is unclear and in need of improvement.
For further information and more in-depth analysis on the role played by labelling in alcohol purchase, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.
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