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The European way of drinking is in moderation

The European way of drinking is in moderation

The majority of consumers across the world enjoy alcohol in a responsible and relaxing fashion, according to new research from Datamonitor.

The research reveals that 77.2 per cent of Italians paying a careful attention to the level of their drinking and 24.2 per cent of Germans likely to abstain themselves from drinking alcohol.

European consumers are further away from the image of the dangerous ‘binge drinkers’ too often painted by the media.

Matthew Taylor, Datamonitor consumer markets analyst and author of the report, said, “The excessive over-consumption of alcohol continues to receive plentiful media coverage in a number of countries across Europe, along with the financial and physical costs associated with such behavior increasingly documented. However, this does not portray a fully accurate picture of alcohol consumption."

In the UK, the Government has launched a £10 million campaign aiming to highlight the effects of binge drinking.

The hard-hitting national advertising campaign was unveiled today by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith last June.

The centrepiece of the campaign is two television adverts that graphically highlight the consequences of binge drinking by reversing the sequence of a night out gone wrong.

The campaign is part of a wider package of measures already put in place by the Government since the Alcohol Strategy was published last year to tackle harmful drinking across the board.

The British Crime Survey shows that 46 per cent of victims of violent incidents believed the offender to be under the influence of alcohol and 18-24 year-olds are most often associated with alcohol related offences.

The levels of awareness of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption have increased among many consumers.

Over half of all consumers worldwide are giving at least a high amount of their attention to ensuring that they do not drink too much alcohol in general. This demonstrates that many consumers are taking personal responsibility for their levels of alcohol consumption and some have reduced their intake accordingly.

A substantial difference between the medical definition and the public perception of what constitutes binge drinking has contributed to the hype surrounding such behavior.

Among the medical fraternity, a ‘binge’ is widely agreed to be five or more drinks in one session. The public associates binge drinking with the violent and anti-social behavior widely covered by the media, which is usually the result of some consumers drinking significantly more than five drinks at a time. This gap in perception has helped to spread erroneous fears that binge drinking is a common occurrence for many adults.

Binge drinking behavior does still occur among some consumers, with the weekend being the most likely time for this. However, it is the minority of consumers who participate in this activity and the majority of alcohol consumption takes place within the parameters of relaxing and responsible consumption.

The alcoholic drinks industry can benefit from consumer attitudes to moderate drinking, but manufacturers must remain mindful that their business will remain the focus of some intense scrutiny.

“When promoting alcoholic drinks, European marketers, retailers and manufacturers must be aware that responsible consumption is desired by the majority” added Matthew Taylor.

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