What’s in your glass? That depends on who you are and where you are


NEW YORK, NY – Whether unwinding after work, catching a drink at the bar with friends, sitting down to dinner at a nice restaurant, heading to a picnic, or going to watch a major sports event – many adults have a favorite drink-of-choice. But just what is that favorite adult beverage? A new Harris Poll reveals that drinking-age Americans’ preferred alcoholic beverages have a lot do with not only who they are but where they are.

When imbibing at home, those who drink at least a few times per year are most likely to tip back a glass of spirits (57%) or beer (56%) followed closely by wine (52%). When out at a restaurant or bar, beverage priorities are largely similar with half preferring spirits (51%) or beer (50%) and 4 in 10 choosing wine (41%). Looking deeper at demographic differences, however, preferences begin to shift.

Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage and Alcohol Practice remarks, “America’s drinking preferences of adult beverages is heavily weighted on situational choices. What’s in their glass really does depend on who they are demographically and geographically, product selection availability and the venue and occasion for which they are making that choice. That ‘who’ and ‘where’ factors into every single choice – either at home, or out of home. In today’s crowded marketplace, where abundant new product choices are being introduced to consumers each day, every beverage is competing to be that selection.”

Not too surprisingly, men and women have different tastes when it comes to alcohol. While men prefer beer whether at home or out, women favor wine at home and spirits while out, with beer being the least likely choice in either venue. By region, the Northeast, South, and Midwest all have a hankering for spirits or beer both at home and out, while Westerners prefer wine in either setting.

LGBT individuals prefer spirits both at home and out, followed by beer, with wine well down the list of their preferences in both settings.

Looking by generation:

• Millennials (age 21-35) turn to beer and spirits at home, but spirits ranks first while out.

• For Gen Xers (age 36-50), beer is king both at home and at a restaurant or bar.

• Baby Boomers (age 51-69) prefer wine and spirits at home, with no clear preference while they’re out.

• Matures (70+), on the other hand, prefer wine no matter where they are.