Comax Flavors: Alcohol Flavors, Behaviors

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Comax Flavors has released new primary research on consumers’ behavior, usage and attitudes towards various alcohols. Specifically, this study surveyed consumers about their use of Vodka, Rum, Whiskey/Whisky, Gin, Tequila, Liqueur/Cordial/Schnapps, Cream Liqueur and Crème Liqueur. 

This is the 10th study of the company’s primary market research program. The Alcohol study was fielded in February 2018 with 1,200 U.S. respondents aged 21-70+; half were female and the other half were male.

According to Distilled Spirits Council, spirits sales rose 4% to reach $26.2 billion in the US market in 2017. According to Technavio’s “Alcoholic beverage market in the US 2016-2020” report, the spirits segment, which includes brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey, is growing faster than beer or wine. 

“We recognize that the younger generations’ alcohol preferences and consumption habits are changing as they have more options compared to previous generations,” notes Catherine Armstrong, Comax vice president of corporate communications. “We wanted to better understand the general population’s shift in behaviors towards alcohol.”

Comax has partnered with Amy Marks-McGee of Trendincite LLC to manage the market research program and Costello Creative Group to translate the data into creative, fun and easy-to-read infographics. 

Additional Comax studies include: tea, crackers, bread, sweet baked products, alternative dairy products, yogurt, nutrition and performance products, flavored water, juice and coffee.

Below are just a few of the study highlights. To request a copy of the complete infographic and report, “Proof Is In The Alcohol,” contact carmstrong@comaxflavors.com.

Vodka Findings – Among respondents who consume “Vodka” N=200:

•    70% of respondents drink Vodka mixed with other beverages

•    Juice (77%) and Soda (52%) are the top two products that respondents mix with their Vodka

•    48% of respondents drink Vodka with dinner

•    “Taste” is the second most important attribute after “Price” to drive Vodka purchase intent, according to two-thirds of respondents

•    Three-quarters of respondents drink “Plain/Original,” making it the number one flavor among all generations

•    23% of all respondents drink “Citrus”; among all generations, more than a quarter of Gen Y (32%), Gen X (27%) and Gen Z (27%) drink “Citrus” flavors compared to less than a quarter of the Silent Generation (16%) and Baby Boomers (14%)

•    “Berry” flavors (12%) and “Strawberry” (12%) are equally consumed

•    15% of all respondents drink “Fruit” flavors; among all generations, Gen Z (47%) are the heaviest drinkers compared to Baby Boomers (6%) and the Silent Generation (5%)

Rum Findings – Among respondents who consume “Rum” N=200:

•    80% of respondents drink Rum mixed with other beverages

•    Soda (82%) and Juice (50%) are the top two products respondents mix with their Rum

•    “Taste” is the most important attribute driving Rum purchase intent with three-quarters (76%) of respondents citing it

•    “Spiced” is the number one flavor among all generations, according to 43% of respondents

•    “Plain/Original” (38%) is a well-liked flavor consumed by all generations

•    Among all generations, shy of half of Gen Y (45%) and Gen Z (43%) prefer “Plain/Original” compared to one third or more of Gen X (38%), the Silent Generation (35%) and Baby Boomers (33%)

•    About one-fifth (21%) of respondents drink “Aged Dark” compared to 12% of respondents who drink “Aged Light”

•    16% of respondents drink “Fruit” flavors; among all generations, Gen Y are the heaviest drinkers of “Fruit” flavors (30%) compared to the Silent Generation who does not drink “Fruit” flavors at all

Whisky/Whiskey Findings – Among respondents who consume “Whisky/Whiskey” N=200:

•    Exploratory question of 627 respondents, 38% drink Bourbon and 20% drink Scotch

•    Soda (74%) and Water (29%) are the top two products that respondents mix with their Whisky/Whiskey

•    46% of respondents drink Whisky/Whiskey on the rocks

•    More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents cite “Taste” as the most important attribute driving Whisky/Whiskey purchase intent

•    “Plain/Original” is the number one flavor consumed by all generations reported by more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents

•    13% of respondents drink “Honey” flavors; among all generations, Gen X (21%) are the heaviest consumers compared to the Silent Generation (2%)

Gin Findings – Among respondents who consume “Gin” N=200: 

•    Three-quarters of respondents cite “Taste” as the most important attribute and number one driver of Gin purchase intent

•    58% of respondents drink Gin with dinner while 40% of respondents prefer to drink it with appetizers

•    More than half (53%) of all generations consume “Plain/Original,” making it the number one flavor

•    Shy of a third of all respondents drink “Dry” (32%) compared to more than a quarter (27%) of respondents who drink “Extra Dry”

•    “Peach” (23%) and “Lime” (22%) are consumed by less than a quarter of respondents

•    19% of respondents drink “Apple” flavors

Tequila Findings – Among respondents who consume “Tequila” N=200:

•    54% of respondents drink Tequila as a shot

•    62% of respondents drink Tequila with dinner while 35% drink it with appetizers

•    “Taste” is the most important Tequila attribute driving purchase intent as reported by shy of three-quarters (74%) of respondents

•    “Silver” (39%), “Plain/Original” (38%) and “Gold” (37%) are the top three flavors consumed by all generations

•    A quarter (26%) of respondents drink “Fruit” flavors; among all generations, Gen Z (45%) are the heaviest drinkers followed by Gen Y (28%) compared to the Silent Generation who does not drink it at all

Liqueur/Cordial/Schnapps Findings – Among respondents who consume “Liqueur/Cordial/Schnapps” N=67: 

•    Two-thirds (67%) of respondents drink Liqueur/Cordial/Schnapps with dinner while more than a third of respondents drink it with appetizers (40%) and snacks (39%) compared to shy of a quarter (24%) of respondents who drink it with lunch

•    “Taste” is the number one driver of Liqueur/Cordial/Schnapps purchases with 73% of respondents citing it as the most important attribute

•    About two-thirds (64%) of all generations drink “Fruit” flavors

•    More than a third of all respondents consume “Citrus” (37%), “Berry” (36%) and “Vanilla” (36%) flavors

Cream Liqueur Findings – Among respondents who consume “Cream Liqueur” N=67:

•    Just shy of half (49%) of respondents drink Cream Liqueur with dinner while more than a third of respondents drink it with dessert (40%) and snacks (36%) and more than a quarter (27%) of respondents drink it with lunch

•    “Taste” is the most important Cream Liqueur attribute driving purchase intent according to two-thirds (67%) of respondents 

•    More than half (52%) of respondents drink “Irish,” making it the most popular flavor consumed by all generations 

•    Shy of half of all respondents consume “Coffee” (49%), “Vanilla” (46%) and “Chocolate” (43%) flavors

Crème Liqueur Findings – Among respondents who consume “Crème Liqueur” N=66:

•    More than half (56%) of respondents drink Crème Liqueur on the rocks while half drink it straight up

•    44% of respondents drink Crème Liqueur with dinner and 35% drink it with dessert

•    “Taste” is the number one driver of Crème Liqueur purchase intent with 70% of respondents citing it as the most important attribute

•    44% of respondents drink “Coffee,” making it the number one flavor among all generations  

•    One-third of respondents drink “Raspberry”    

•    Shy of one-third of all respondents drink “Almond” (30%), “Banana” (30%), “Coconut” (30%), “Dark Chocolate” (30%), “Mint” (30%) and “White Chocolate” (30%)

Generations defined: Gen Z born 1996 and later; Gen Y born 1977 to 1995; Gen X born 1965 to 1976; Baby Boomers born 1946 to 1964; Silent Generation born 1925 to 1945

For more information, visit www.ComaxFlavors.com.

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