How alcohol consumption has changed during the pandemic

Jamie BallardData Journalist
March 25, 2020, 4:00 PM GMT+0

As much of the US self-isolates and people adjust their schedules and daily routines, many Americans’ drinking habits are changing, too.

A March 23 - 24 poll from YouGov finds that among US adults who drink alcohol, 20 percent say they’ve been drinking more than usual over the last two weeks.

But without the parties, concerts, and other social events that often include alcohol, a slightly larger share of alcohol consumers are actually drinking less than usual.

One-quarter (25%) of US adults who drink say that within the last two weeks, they’ve consumed less alcohol than they usually do.

Drinkers between the ages of 25 and 34 (30%) are more likely than older and younger drinkers to say they’ve been consuming more alcohol than usual -- though an equal percentage of this group (30%) says they’ve been drinking less.

Alcohol consumers who live in the western US (25%) are more likely than those drinkers in the Northeast (21%), Midwest (16%), and South (15%) to say they’ve been hitting the bottle more than usual these past two weeks.

What might Americans be drinking during self-isolation?

Data from YouGov Ratings suggests that Jack Daniel’s and Smirnoff are the most popular spirits, with 53 percent and 51 percent of Americans viewing these brands positively. Among beer brands, Guinness (48%) and Heineken (47%) lead the pack in terms of positive sentiment.

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Image: Getty

Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 12,118 US adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (ages 18+). Sample was rebased to exclude respondents who do not ever drink alcohol. Interviews were conducted online between March 23 - 24, 2020.