US drinking culture

Americans Say Cheers! But Not Always With Beer

Americans love to unwind, and it’s almost never without a good drink in hand. Or so you thought. To put it in numbers, Americans drank close to 8 billion gallons of alcohol last year alone. While that may sound huge, the consumption was still less than the previous two years. Surprising as it may sound, Americans are drinking less alcohol! And it has more to do with health than money. In fact, the average consumer spends on alcohol has increased in the last couple of years as drink lovers increasingly look for quality over quantity.

And if that was not enough, beer seems to be losing its prized position as well. Yet, despite these changing tastes and preferences, there’s no denying the fact that Americans simply love their alcohol. Piplsay dives into the intoxicating world of beverages to find out all there is about the changing trends*.

 

US Alcohol preferences

Gone are the days when Beer was the default choice for most Americans. The frothy drink is the only beverage category that saw a decline of 1.5% last year. Though craft beers continue to remain popular, it’s the legendary brands, especially domestic ones like Miller, Budweiser, Coors, etc that have been hit the worst. Moreover, a lot of beer lovers today seem to gravitate towards the low calorie, low carb variety. Yet, despite the downslide, beer continues to remain a popular choice and represents a whopping 78.3% of U.S. alcohol sales.

Wines seem to have become the preferred social drink in a big way, as clearly revealed by the Piplsay survey. The ‘sophisticated’ drink segment has seen steady growth in revenue and sales over the last two decades. That, there are 13,000 wineries and counting is a clear indicator of its growing popularity in the country. The spirit world continues to lead the way as well, particularly with Mexican beverage Mezcal becoming quite the rage. At the same time, the growing preference for hard ciders, seltzers, and mixed drinks once again reflects the consumer shift towards healthier options.

Caught between the aging baby boomers and a health-conscious millennial generation, the alcohol industry is definitely going through a major churn. Millennials, in particular, are more open to experimenting with their drinks and brands than staying loyal to one. They have also increasingly begun to diversify, choosing their drinks as per the occasion – a cocktail, a brunch or a club party, which may explain the market fragmentation. Also, the ‘America first’ adage seems to have dulled a little with foreign brands gaining good traction alongside the domestic ones. The huge demand for Mexican beer and Tequila, French Wines and Irish whiskey is proof of that.

The alcoholic drinks market in the US is expected to grow by 2.7% annually for the next five years, which underlines its huge scope despite the lower consumption. The good news is:- Americans haven’t stopped drinking; only their choices seem to have changed. And that’s enough, for now, to still say: Cheers!

* Based on 18,650 online responses

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