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Published On: Mon, Jun 19th, 2017

Britons cutting down on drinking as 40% say they are boozing less than a year ago


A record number of adults are consciously cutting back on their drinking, according to new figures. 

Four in ten say they are consuming less alcohol now than they did a year ago, particularly young men who are shaking off their lager lout image. 

The rise of expensive craft beer and posh gin means a lot of younger drinkers are going for quality over quantity when they go out for a drink. 

And supermarket price wars over standard lagers and beers has seen the continued rise of drinking at home rather than going to the pub. 

It means Brits are spending more but drinking less, said The Grocer magazine who commission the annual Harris poll of 1,000 adults. 

This year’s survey found 41 per cent say they have cut down on their drinking, rising to 51 per cent of those aged 25-34 and 55 per cent aged 35-44. 

This compares to 33 per cent in the same poll a year ago. 

One in three women – 35 per cent – are drinking less, compared to 48 per cent of men. 

Lucia Juliano, head of research at Harris, said: “It seems media messages around ill health linked to excessive alcohol consumption are cutting through.” 

More than one in four – 26 per cent – of Brits now drink more at home than they do out of the home while only 13 per cent say it is the other way round. 

Among those who drink too much – defined as going above recommended weekly alcohol limits – it is older Brits rather than teenagers who are the boozy generations. 

Nearly one in five – 19 per cent – of the 45-54 age group and 16 per cent cent of the over 55s admit they drink too much. 

Lucia Juliano added: “Maybe stereotypes of young people binge drinking at the weekend need to be swapped with images of the over-45s regularly downing bottles of wine at home.” 

But while Brits are drinking less they are not necessarily spending less. Sales of expensive craft beers and premium spirits, such as the current fad for gin, are booming. 

This is also a symptom of more drinking at home where people like to keep better quality products either for themselves or guests. 

Who is trying to drink less and who is drinking too much: 

Percentage per age group drinking more than their weekly limit and cutting down on their drinking 

Age group 16-24: 8 per cent drinking too much – 47 per cent cutting down 

Age group 25-34: 14 per cent drinking too much – 55 per cent cutting down 

Age group 35-44: 10 per cent drinking too much – 51 per cent cutting down 

Age group 45-54: 19 per cent drinking too much – 40 per cent cutting down 

Age group 55 plus: 16 per cent drinking too much – 29 per cent cutting down



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