Many consumers are seeking unique cool and refreshing summer flavors to sip on as the summer season heats up.
New research from the Harris Poll has revealed that consumer beverage preferences tend to change with the seasons. A recent survey of drinking-age Americans has revealed that many are looking for something to beat the heat, as 65% of those polled say that refreshing is what they want from an alcoholic beverage this summer.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 1,975 U.S. adults aged 21+ (1,356 who drink alcohol at least several times a year, “regular drinkers,” and 1,296 who plan to drink alcohol this summer, “summer drinkers”) surveyed online between June 27 and 29, 2016.
Following refreshing, summer drinkers are also looking for fruity (38%), crisp (33%) and sweet (30%) beverages, with about a quarter are also aiming for something citrusy (25%), or frozen/slushy (24%).
“During the summer, consumers are often looking for specific qualities in their adult beverages to help satisfy their summer thirsts. Beverage alcohol manufacturers have introduced a crop of new products that perfectly align with consumers’ summer drinking preferences. This season, the newest products quickly gaining attention across the country include wine in a can, catering to the ‘on-the-go,’ outdoor summer lifestyle, and refreshing hard sodas and seltzers,” said Danelle Kosmal, vice president of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice.
However, flavor preferences do differ by gender. Women are more than twice as likely as men to seek something fruity (51% versus 24%), and they’re also more likely to prefer:
- Sweet (38% women versus 22% men);
- Citrusy (29% versus 20%);
- Frozen/slushy (34% versus 13%); and/or,
- Bubbly (20% versus 11%).
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to desire something natural (23% versus 14% women) or handcrafted (18% versus 9%). While less popular in total compared to other characteristics, men also preferred spicy, smoky or bitter drinks more so than women.
Cheers to the Great Outdoors
When it comes to the summer season, there’s no shortage of outdoor places to enjoy a drink. Nearly six in 10 regular drinkers (58%) are more likely to “day drink” in the summer than any other season and eight in 10 (80%) say they enjoy drinking outdoors at this time of year. An overwhelming nine in 10 adults who plan to drink this summer plan to do so outside in any number of settings, the most popular of which is at a barbeque (65%), followed by a picnic (43%), around a pool (41%) or at the beach (39%). About three in 10 will be tipping it back at a patio bar (32%) or sporting event (30%), with around two in 10 each looking forward to a beverage at a concert/theater (23%) or a festival – beer related (18%) or not (18%). Even outdoor locations that are fewer in number overall were mentioned, such as beer gardens (17%) and rooftop bars (14%).
Some locations are particularly popular among Millennials (aged 21-34), including:
- BBQs (76%);
- Beaches (56%);
- Around a pool (56%); and/or,
- Sporting events (40%)
Summer drinkers’ favorite alcohol beverage to drink between May and August is beer, followed by spirits/cocktails, while some just want “something fruity” or “anything cold and tasty.”
Among those who drink each type of alcohol at least several times a year, substantial percentages of adults 21+ are more likely to enjoy the following during the summer compared to other times of the year:
- Flavored malt beverages (47%);
- Craft beer in a bottle (45%);
- Hard cider (34%);
- Hard soda (33%);
- Hard seltzer (27%); and
- Rose’ wine (20%; rises to 38% among females 21-34).