In Drinking culture. Now & Then by Clyde Mooney

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By Emma Castle

A new study has found that Gen Z adults have a different approach to alcohol, drinking less but drinking better, prioritising experiences, and socialising at home more.

The new generation of drinkers has been found to be more health conscious, more concerned about mental health issues and increasingly worried about the risks that drinking poses to their reputation.

The study, released by UK-based market researchers Red Brick Road and Opinium, says, ‘75 per cent of Gen Z feel it’s important to be in control of all aspects of their life at all times.

‘In an increasingly competitive world, they [Gen Z] view a hangover and sloppy social media presence as a competitive disadvantage,’ it says.

In line with this rejection of binge drinking culture, Gen Z is more likely to want to savour a premium drink – cocktails, top shelf spirits, craft beers and mid-range wines – rather than down a bottle of Passion Pop or share a cask of wine.

The study reports that there has been a 72 per cent increase in the consumption of premium drinks over the last five years.

There has also been a rise in the popularity of paradoxically zero-proof spirits. Brands like Stryyk, which offer an alternative to soft drinks and cordials, are cashing in on young drinkers’ desire to be seen to be drinking for social purposes.

The study has also found that young drinkers are socialising at home more than their forebears. 91 per cent of bar managers said that it was important for their venue to offer experiences that cannot be replicated at home.

So are Gen Z drinkers really just an anti-social bunch of wowsers? Or are they leading the way in health-conscious living and shifting social habits that have been ingrained – for better or worse – for centuries? PubTIC would love to hear your thoughts.