Young people still drink "a lot", research shows

New research has dismissed the notion that today’s young adults are “sober vegans who prefer yoga to clubbing and think drinking is uncool”.

Marketing agency Yes More teamed up with student group Hype Collective to survey more than 1,000 university students on their drinking habits.

It suggested they are drinking less than they were a decade ago, but stressed that figure “is falling from a very high base”.

It said: “Yes, students are drinking less than students from 10 years ago, but they’re still drinking regularly and they are still drinking a lot.

“Many of the traditional media outlets paint today’s students as snowflakes who can’t handle their drink.

“Yet the vast majority of students in the focus groups said that the student union bar or a nearby pub was the most common location for socialising with friends.”

The report also showed students have very little brand loyalty.

It said: “They rarely had a go-to brand and, when they did, it largely boiled down to value for money.”

Around two-thirds of the 1,000 students surveyed said they would be drawn to a brand they hadn’t heard of, with most saying they associated it with higher quality. “Supporting local businesses” and “being adventurous” were also common reasons given for actively avoiding big brands.

The report also looked at students’ attitudes to alcohol- free drinks.

It identified that, although students are drinking less, only a third of those interviewed had tried an alcohol-free beer and very few had purchased one. The same was true for mocktails and other “alcohol replacement” drinks.

A lot of students said they would choose not to drink on a night out from time to time, but in those scenarios they would opt for water or soft drinks.

It also showed that an overwhelming majority (80%) said they wouldn’t feel self- conscious about requesting a non-alcoholic drink and “most students don’t feel peer pressure to drink”, according to the report.

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