Research: Finns perceive their drinking to be responsible
Altia studied Finns’ perceptions about a responsible drinking culture. The majority of Finns see themselves as responsible consumers of alcohol. They also see the overall drinking culture as developing in a responsible direction. The explanatory variable is thought to be Finns’ interest in a healthy lifestyle, which is also changing the drinking culture in a positive direction.
The majority of Finns see themselves as responsible consumers of alcohol (57% being in complete agreement with the statement and 30% finding it somewhat agreeable). On the other hand, the respondents were of the opinion that their fellow citizens are not necessarily as responsible as they are in their drinking habits (14% being in complete agreement with the statement and 48% finding it somewhat agreeable).
More than half of the respondents think that the drinking culture in Finland is developing in a responsible direction (16% being in complete agreement with the statement and 55% finding it somewhat agreeable). The respondents were clearly of the opinion that Finns’ increasing interest in a healthy lifestyle is also changing the drinking culture to a more responsible direction (21% being in complete agreement with the statement and 59% finding it somewhat agreeable).
Milla Sorsakivi, Altia Groups Consumer Insight Manager, confirms: “We are also seeing this trend, which is actually part of a larger, international trend. Healthy lifestyles, the meaning of exercise and diet, and an individual’s responsibility for their own well-being are issues that consumers feel strongly about. They are also changing the drinking culture in a lighter, more responsible and moderated direction.”
A responsible example given by parents at home was seen as the most important method by which to develop the drinking culture in a more responsible direction. Other important means mentioned included the deregulation of Finland’s strict alcohol legislation, followed by the demystification of alcohol and the removal of its appeal. Thirdly, Finnish people think that the drinking culture will change by itself due to the health boom. The traditional methods for reducing consumption – raising the taxes on alcohol and restricting its availability and advertising – were seen as the most ineffective ones.
A responsible user of alcohol was described as someone who does not try to persuade others to drink alcohol and who only drinks a few units of alcohol at a time and does so in the context of a celebration or a social occasion. Most of the respondents furthermore believe that intoxication is nowadays less acceptable socially than it was before (19% finding the statement completely agreeable and 51% finding it somewhat agreeable).
“This trend is particularly visible among young people. Many studies have concluded that young people are more clean-living than ever before. Smart phones seem to have an impact on the regulation of behaviour. The drinking culture among the generations growing up now is very moderate and considered,” says Sorsakivi.
The respondents had also taken note of the younger generations’ different drinking culture: 18% found the statement that the drinking culture among young people was more responsible than that of previous generations completely agreeable, while 49% found it somewhat agreeable. On the other hand, the respondents do not see alcoholic beverages as an essential part of meals (29% finding the statement completely disagreeable and 20% finding it somewhat disagreeable).
“In Finland, the drinking culture is more closely linked to celebrations, moments spent with friends, and also moments spent alone, relaxing, such as after a sauna, when people typically have one or two units of alcohol. Wines have not made their way to our tables as part of everyday meals. On the other hand, a good dinner is seen as something that also demands quality beverages. It is precisely this question in which we find the most variation on the basis of people’s socioeconomic status,” says Sorsakivi.
About the research
The research was commissioned by Altia and carried out by YouGov. It was conducted in the form of a web survey during 11 May–15 May in YouGov’s consumer panel, which includes more than 20,000 Finns. The target group consisted of Finns aged 18 or older. The formation of the initial sample and the final group of respondents was weighted, so as to be representative of the adult population, based on age, gender and place of residence. The total number of respondents in the final target group was 1,010.
Further information: Milla Sorsakivi, Consumer Insight Manager, Altia, Tel. + 358 40 521 8353