Momentive study: Americans plan to cut back on alcohol for the holidays

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Momentive study: Americans plan to cut back on alcohol for the holidays

A third of U.S. drinkers plan to purchase less, or cheaper, alcohol this holiday season

Zoe Padgett

December 16, 2022 | 3 min read

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Key findings:

  • One in four Americans who drink (24%) plan to purchase less alcohol this holiday season, and another 9% plan to purchase cheaper alcohol than usual
  • Nearly half of drinkers (47%) try new brands of alcoholic beverages regularly, including 55% of young adults 21-34, 56% of those making $100,000 or more, and 65% of those who have a drink at least once a week
  • Nearly one in three adults 21+ (31%) have tried non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits, and drinkers are more likely to try them than non-drinkers
  • About half of men (50%) and women (45%) enjoy liquor; beer and wine are more divisive, with 55% of men enjoying beer (vs. 28% of women) and 57% of women enjoying wine (vs. 44% of men)

Americans reduce alcohol spending to fight inflation

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Drinkers may be cutting back on alcohol to save money this holiday season, according to a new poll from Momentive conducted December 9-12, 2022. Among the 67% of Americans ages 21+ who drink, more than one-third (36%) spent less than usual on alcohol in the past 6 months. Those with incomes less than $50,000 are more likely to have cut back (43%; vs. 35% of $50-99k and 27% of $100k+). That trend should continue into the holiday season, with one in four drinkers (24%) planning to purchase less alcohol this holiday season due to inflation, and another 9% planning to purchase cheaper alcohol than usual.

New alcoholic beverages popular with younger, wealthier drinkers

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New types of beverages are making a splash in the alcoholic beverage market. Among U.S. adults 21+ who drink, nearly half (47%) try new brands of alcoholic beverages regularly. The most likely to try new brands include young adults 21-34 (55%), those making $100,000 or more (56%), and those who have a drink at least once a week (65%). 

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Over half of drinkers have tried hard seltzer (54%), but it varies by age; two-thirds of young adults ages 21-34 (66%), half of those age 35-64 (55%), and just one-third of older adults 65+ (34%) have tried it. Those who try it tend to like it, with 55% reporting that they “like” or “love” hard seltzer. White Claw is the most popular seltzer to try (66%), followed by Truly (51%). Other brands trail, with Bud Light Seltzer the next highest at 33%. White Claw is also the favorite; 26% of those who had tried at least one seltzer reported White Claw as their favorite brand, followed by Truly at 20%. 

Canned, ready-to-drink cocktails, another newcomer to the adult beverage market, also prove popular among drinkers; 45% of drinkers have tried canned cocktails. The majority (60%) of those who tried canned cocktails approve of the beverage. Women are more likely than men to have tried canned cocktails (51% vs. 39%), despite the drink resonating equally well among both men and women (61% of women and 59% of men who’ve tried it say they like it).

Drinkers more likely than non-drinkers to try non-alcoholic beer, wine, spirits

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Non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits are making their mark on the adult beverage market as well. Nearly one in three adults 21+ (31%) have tried a non-alcoholic beverage, with drinkers more likely than non-drinkers. Those who drink once a week or more are the most likely to try (44%), followed by those who drink once a month or more (40%), and those who drink less than once a month (29%), while those who never drink (20%) are the least likely to try. 

Gender gap in beer, wine, and liquor preferences

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When it comes to more standard alcoholic drinks, men and women are split on their preferences. While about half of men (50%) and women (45%) enjoy liquor, beer and wine are more divisive. While 55% of men enjoy beer, only 28% of women do. Meanwhile, 57% of women enjoy wine, compared with 44% of men. Vodka (33%) and tequila (19%) are the most popular liquor among women, while men prefer bourbon (31%). Wine also has a gender split, with women preferring moscato (21%) and men cabernet sauvignon (17%). In the beer category, light beer is the top choice among both genders (37% of men and 34% of women).

This study was conducted with our integrated market research panel. Read more about our polling methodology here

Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below:

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