The results indicated variation between countries in levels and trends of the consumption of ready-to-drink mixtures, with price being a factor. Under age drinkers try alcopops relatively “late”, cider commonly being the first beverage to be tried and spirits the last. Minimum age was found to have significant impact on the age when alcohol is first consumed. The most important determinant of the consumption of any alcoholic beverages was the influence of friends who also drink. The analysis did not find meaningful evidence within the drinking patterns of 15-16 year olds that alcopops would have any features different from alcoholic beverages in general. Across the product categories examined, the marketing strategies are similar, highly sophisticated, glamorous and appealing, with emphasis on social media and web sites.
Remember that this is EU data and that very few British schools took part, so it may be different in the UK.
Also of interest, from the same minutes, is a discussion that took place about alcohol advertising and young people:
Ellen Nolte presented preliminary findings from ongoing work by RAND Europe under the EU Health Programme. The study is the first in Europe to use on a larger scale audience demographics and data on advertisement placement to assess the exposure of young people to alcohol advertising through television and online media. Due to the prohibitive price of data acquisition the analysis is limited to three EU countries. The findings so far indicate that 10-15 year olds are disproportionately exposed to alcohol advertising on TV compared with viewers aged 16-24 years or with
adults above the age of 24 years.
And on that subject see Gerard Hasting’s presentation on the impact of alcohol marketing on young people’s drinking in which he reports:
After controlling for confounding variables significant associations emerged between awareness, appreciation and involvement with alcohol marketing at Stage 1 (aged 13) with drinking behaviour at Stage 2 (aged 15):
– earlier age of uptake of drinking
– amount consumed