So, Social Media?

With the increased use of social media following the Covid-19 lockdowns, it began to attract more mainstream legal drinking age (LDA) alcohol consumers as well.

As platforms such as TikTok and Instagram become more mainstream within a society, the demographic distinctions of users are likely to become less pronounced. In China, the proportion of alcohol consumers who use TikTok on a regular basis surpassed 75% in June 2021 (up from 70% in August 2020). According to data, more than 30% of Chinese regular alcohol buyers trust social media, a figure that rose to 39% among millennials (aged 25-29) but fell to 27% among Gen-Z. (20-24).

While an increasing number of LDA beverage alcohol consumers are drawn to TikTok and other social media platforms, many continue to rely on friends and family as trusted sources of information and recommendations, rather than influencers and live streamers.

When it comes to recommendations about the spirits segment, friends and family are a more trustworthy source for US consumers.

Meanwhile, 40% said they trusted social media, rising to 52% among younger LDA Gen-Z drinkers (21-24). Millennials in the United States, on the other hand, are not significantly more influenced by social media, with 44% trusting these sources for wine information and recommendations.

While younger LDA wine consumers in the United States are growingly listening closely to endorsers and other online pieces of knowledge, the picture is different in the United Kingdom, where less than 30% of spirits enthusiasts trust social media. Furthermore, when compared to other UK wine drinkers, millennial and LDA Gen-Z consumers are not significantly more influenced by social media. Trust in information provided by a wine blogger or expert is higher at 40%, but friends, family, and colleagues (75%) are by far the most trusted sources of information.

The implication is that, while some social media platforms are inexorably gaining popularity among legal-drinking-age beverage alcohol consumers, fragile levels of trust mean that, even among LDA Gen-Z and millennial drinkers, the most effective marketing strategy for brand owners will remain a multi-channel approach.