For decades, beer has been the top selling adult beverage, by volume, in the U.S. But wine has been steadily growing as a favorite drink and now enjoys a market position that threatens beer. In addition, younger drinkers are increasingly turning to wine, a situation that could threaten the future of beer. This trend is almost guaranteed to generate new marketing campaigns.
The news from Gallup shows which type of drink U.S. consumers enjoyed most frequently. The numbers look like this:
- Beer 36%
- Wine 35%
- Liquor 23%
Beer marketers shouldn’t panic yet. When it comes to the core beer demographic, men, 48% still say they most often enjoyed the beverage. And beer continues to be popular in the Midwest where it is preferred by 46% of drinkers. Beer is also the preferred beverage of consumers who earn less than $30,000 annually and those with a high school education.
The survey also revealed that younger consumers showed the biggest shift from beer to wine. Young adults between the ages of 18–34 reported a 23% drop in their preference for beer. Last year, 51% of this group noted that beer was the favored beverage and this year only 39% said the same. Both wine and liquor increased as preferred beverages for young adults.
The Gallup poll didn’t ask consumers why they chose one beverage over another, but it’s a safe bet that beer marketers will be rolling out new campaigns to attract a broader demographic customer group.[Source: Saad, Lydia. Wine Matches Beer in U.S. Drinkers’ Preferences This Year. Gallup.com. 27 Jul. 2011. Web. 10 Aug. 2011]