[PODCAST] What are Today's Guests Drinking? It Depends.

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Consumers are no longer as brand loyal as they once were. Their drink choice is often impacted by factors outside of brand names.

What are adults in the United States drinking? It depends.

This is according to the latest episode of The Database, a Nielsen podcast, that first streamed this past Monday. Some consumers are slowing down on beverage alcohol consumption while others have become interested in pursuing health and wellness trends. And sometimes a consumer is all over the brand board because they’re interested in trying something new.


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The hosts of The Database, Katie and Bill, reveal that, according to a Nielsen survey conducted earlier this year, almost half of legal drinking age adults in the United States want to reduce their alcohol intake. The top reason revealed by survey participants was a desire to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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That revelation may be disheartening for bar operators upon first glance. However, changes in consumer behavior provide opportunities for those willing to adapt. As the host pointed out, brands can now leverage terms such as “low-carb,” “gluten-free,” and “organic.” They can also expand their portfolios, introducing products like hard kombuchas to appeal to more health-conscious consumers.

As we have suggested over the course of several weeks, health-conscious guests present multiple opportunities for operators to open new revenue streams. Thoughtful consideration of mocktails and low-ABV drinks, educating guests in the art of drinking well, and new products like waters made from wine grape skins and seeds can help generate more sales, result in more engaged guests, and provide excellent social media exposure.

In the interest of transparency, overall beverage alcohol growth is, as Nielsen says, moderate. On-premise beer volume sales are down 1.6 percent, but on-premise spirits volume sales are up 1.5 percent.

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As if to illustrate the point that today’s consumer behavior has changed, Katie says that she doesn’t have a favorite drink at the moment. Her selection depends on what she’s doing, who she’s with, and the environment in which she finds herself. In this episode of The Database, Katie says part of the fun in drinking for her is trying new things, regardless of what she’s consuming. The best way to get her to keep coming back to a particular brand for a specific beverage? Create a quality product!

Give the podcast below a listen to gain insight into shifting consumer behavior, how occasion and other factors impact consumer beverage choice, and how operators can leverage guest experience to grab their piece of a pie that host Bill says isn’t growing much.


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