Britons drink less alcohol at home
Britons are drinking less alcohol at home - and less frequently, a study has suggested.
The number of UK adults drinking at home dropped from 75% in 2006 to 71% in 2011, according to figures from research company Mintel.
The amount of those classed as "heavy users", drinking two or three times a week or more, has also dropped from 46% in 2006 to 41% in 2011.
However, just 29% of those drinking at home pay attention to the alcoholic strength (ABV level) of their drink, although younger drinkers aged 18 to 24 are more likely to take this into consideration (38%) compared with 27% of 25- to 64-year-olds.
Mintel senior food and drink analyst Alex Beckett said: "As a nation well-acquainted with booze, most adults have a vague idea of their drink's strength.
"Younger people drink more and are more likely to drink purely to get drunk, so their interest in the strength could relate to pacing their intake or that they're eager to consume the most intoxicating drink.
"But hampered with tighter household budgets, people have cut back on drinking in the home, though it remains the more affordable alternative to drinking in a pub or bar to the detriment of on-trade growth."
Some 38% of 18- to 24-year-olds who drink at home said they and their friends were increasingly drinking at each other's homes instead of going out. Mintel said this related to the "pre-loading" trend of drinking at home before going out to save money, done by 54% of 18- to 24-year-old home drinkers but just 7% of over-45s.
Squeezed household incomes, rising prices and health awareness saw total sales in the in-home drinking market fall by 1.7% between 2010 and 2011 to 3.7 billion litres, said Mintel.
A third (31%) of Britons now only buy alcohol when it is on special offer, the report said. Britons' top five alcoholic drinks are white wine (53%), lager (49%), red wine (48%), rose wine and cider (both 33%) and vodka (28%).