Is Moderation Ending the Party or Just Changing the Party House? 

January 30, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Moderation is perhaps the biggest buzz word going around the global drinks trade at the moment, and, if the latest data holds true, it is only expected to become louder over coming years. IWSR is currently anticipating no- and low-alcohol volumes to grow by a compound annual growth rate of +6% across the top 10 markets up to 2027, mostly resulting from changing consumer health and lifestyle choices. 

This industry shift has been largely driven by younger legal-drinking aged consumers, with the proportion of consumers moderating alcohol intake increasing in 2023 to 75% among Gen Z and 70% among Millenials, a contrast to the 60% moderation among Gen X and 54% among Boomers. 

“More no/low consumers in younger LDA cohorts are moderating in comparison to those in older age groups, who are more likely not to be moderating,” said Susie Goldspink, Head of No/Low-Alcohol Insights at IWSR. 

“This trend is evident particularly in Australia, Canada, Spain, the UK and the US, while markets like France, Germany and Brazil have a more even distribution among cohorts.”

Havas’ latest Prosumer Report, ‘Is the Party Over?,’ takes a closer look at the complicated relationship between the new era of the moderating consumer and party culture. The results, based on a survey of 12,929 legal-drinking aged prosumers (including 505 Australians) across 30 markets, found that 57% of Australians, and 49% of Gen Z, don’t need alcohol to have fun at parties; and that 29% of Australians, and 19% of Gen Z, abstain from drinking when at parties. 

The survey also asked participants about their organised event preferences. 75% said they would be willing to attend a party hosted by a brand, with 59% saying they prefer brand-affiliated parties as they have the means to make them unforgettable. It also found that 62% of Australian Prosumers would prefer brands to invest money into event-organising and parties over traditional advertising, with 56% preferring to buy products from brands that are active in the function space. 

“This latest Prosumer study shows a significant divergence between how different generations party,” said Olly Taylor, Chief Strategy Officer for Havas Creative Group Australia and Havas Labs.

“Partying is certainly not over, but if brands want a ticket to this party, they need to better empathise with Gen Z’s evolved attitude to partying which is very different to previous generations.”

The report also indicated towards the rise of Mocktail bars/menus and the ever-growing no/low social media spaces such as Sobertok as other ways to keep pace with the moderation movement’s more-than-moderate strides. 

IWSR also noted the fact that younger legal-drinking age consumers are steering away from the ‘all or nothing’ consumption approach of old and are now much more likely to switch between alcohol and no-alcohol products when compared to older demographics.

IWSR also found that Millennials are more likely to choose low-alcohol alternatives when moderating, whereas Gen Z tends towards soft drinks instead. For Boomers, water is still the most frequented moderation strategy. 

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