Drinking patterns across Europe. Do beverage preferences matter?
For centuries it was easy to distinguish three major drinking patterns based on beverage of choice that pre-dominated across Europe. Wine was spread across Mediterranean, beer drinking prevailed in United Kingdom and Central Europe while spirits were beverage of choice in north-eastern part of the continent. In more recent times, due to growing international trade, tourism beverage preferences tend to diminish their role in shaping drinking patterns. In this presentation we aim to see to what extent new drinking patterns emerge and to what extent remnants of traditional patterns survive.
The data from the Standardized European Alcohol Survey which was implemented in 33 countries in 2021 will be used. Major mode of administration was Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI). Quota samples were selected from panel respondents of KANTAR International. Over 56 thousand interviews were collected with about 1500 respondents in majority of countries. In its section on alcohol consumption a Beverage Specific Quantity Frequency (BSQF) approach was applied. BSQF consists of questions on frequency of drinking of three major types of beverages and usual volume consumed per drinking occasion. In search of emerging drinking patterns two dimensions were considered: number of days of drinking in past 12 months and volume of alcohol consumed per drinking day. At least five drinking patterns emerged from the data based on frequency of drinking and volumes per drinking day. All these patterns tend to be independent of beverage preferences as in most countries no dominant beverage can be distinguished. Despite progressing homogenization of drinking cultures, remnants of tradition still shape how we drink rather than what we drink.