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Alcohol Industry Spotlight: Integrate data to predict behaviors

Our latest research illustrates the complexity of the alcoholic beverage consumer, with those drinking more likely to continue drinking more and those drinking less likely to drink less in the future.

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Are you looking to understand the changing alcoholic beverage consumer? You may need to use a blend of data sources to give you an understanding of the behavior and sentiment of your critical audiences. The pandemic changed the alcohol consumption of some groups, while others have maintained their previous behaviors.

Our recent study among 1,000 consumers in the United States and United Kingdom showed that those who drank more during the height of the pandemic were far more likely to be drinking even more now, and those who drank less during this time were far more likely to be drinking less now. Overall though, most people are consuming similar quantities of alcoholic beverages compared to before the pandemic.

While certain groups may be “trending” on a consistent trajectory, alcoholic beverage brands have a complex journey ahead to stay relevant to this mixed group of consumers. Our study showed that 33% of those who drank more in the past few months anticipate drinking more at home in the future, perhaps they are looking for more “convenience” drinks that are easy to grab at the store and consume at home, such as pre-mixed cocktails. For those who are drinking less and will continue to do so, it might be time to further explore the boom in low- and no-alcohol options - sales of which are surging in several countries, up to 31% across 10 markets in this IWSR study.

Connecting alcoholic beverage consumer data for better insights

The only way to find out if your specific audience is looking for these drink options is to gather the right consumer insights - and then look at them holistically. For example, connecting transactional data points with behavioral survey data can help give you a better idea of whether you should pursue low and no-alcohol or convenience “grab and go” product development more aggressively. Understanding people relies on bringing together all the intricacies of their individual behaviors, emotions, sentiment, and needs. The days when a single survey questionnaire gave us all the information we needed about our consumers are long gone.

By quickly and seamlessly integrating data from multiple sources, you can start to see the bigger picture of your alcoholic beverage consumer. These sources can include everything from consumer digital activity and touchpoints, plus business data like manufacturing, sales, media, social media, market research, customer feedback, transaction data, and more.

 When you connect your data successfully, you can start to answer questions like:

  • How do the data touchpoints interact with and relate to each other?
  • What data am I missing that could help boost my understanding of my alcoholic beverage consumer audience?
  • How does this data correlate with my own understanding of the alcoholic beverage industry and my business in particular?
  • What can my business do for my audience to engage them and deliver the alcoholic beverage options they seek?

Matching data streams together to answer these questions can be very challenging when using solutions that are not purpose-built for market research data. Some tech platforms do allow researchers to look at multiple data sources on one dashboard, but they aren’t able to connect the sources together - except through time-consuming manual processes. The consumer picture remains fragmented.

Ideally, your technology will integrate multiple data sources, in one view, using labels that match—irrespective of the source. This ideal would be a smart system that works with the researcher to intelligently combine common variables, match relevant items together and integrate new data automatically as it comes in.

Making better decisions in the alcoholic beverage industry means basing those decisions on better data. When you have a single location where all your data is connected, it is easier and faster to interrogate and analyze it so that you can keep up with the needs of your alcoholic beverage consumer. While our data showed behaviors are steady among certain groups, with those drinking more or less continuing their respective behaviors, the audience as a whole is nuanced. Predicting their needs is essential for success, and trusted insights must be based on real data from all the sources.

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