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Gallup Poll: More Americans prefer Beer to Wine

Posted: Monday, 20 August 2012 11:53

Gallup Poll: More Americans prefer Beer to Wine

August 20 : Drinking habits of Americans tipped more in favour of beer this year with 39% preferring beer while 35% opted more for wines but the general pattern remained the same with 66% consuming alcohol with a national average of a healthy 4.2 drinks per week, according to the annual Gallup Poll which also finds that the older men and women generally prefer drinking wine.

If the drinking habits were compared to the political party system in the USA , it is pretty much a Republican vs. Democrats with beer and wine consumption maintaining a close competition, beer and wine running close but with beer generally having an edge over wine. According to last year’s  Gallup Poll that tracks down the drinking habits of Americans through telephonic poll,  beer and wine were very close to each other as the preferred drinks with 36% preferring to drink beer compared to 35% imbibing wine with 22% still preferring whisky and hard liquor. But this year has seen a jump in the beer drinkers to 39% whereas the wine drinkers remain at 35%.

If on the other hand, there were a 2-party system in India, it would be a neck-to-neck race between the liquor and beer, wine being an also-ran. India continues to be the whisky driven country though the relatively new beverage beer has been catching up fast. According to Pramod Krishna, Director General of CIABC, the apex body of Wine and Spirits in India, the current annual consumption of liquor is 260 million cases out of which 55% is attributed to whisky whereas beer is following it bravely with 250 million cases. The current total wine consumption of 1.6-1.8 million cases is in the ‘also-ran’ category; it would probably lose the security deposit in an election.

The Gallup Poll attributes beer drinking more to the young, with men older than 55 years and women tending to prefer wine. More than half the women (52 %) preferred wine, while only 20%  men so admitted. Interestingly, demographically, East Coast prefers wine while beer lovers are more concentrated in the Midwest.  As introspection,  22% Americans realize that they drink too much sometimes whereas 12% admitted to consuming more than 8 or more drinks during a week.

According to  Gallup, drinking habits vary considerably by gender, race, and age. While roughly equal proportions of men and women say they ever have occasion to drink, men tend to drink more. Specifically, men who drink report consuming an average of 6.2 drinks (in the week before the survey) compared with 2.2 drinks consumed by women. Also, nearly 30% men admit to drinking more alcohol than they think they should, compared to 14% of women drinkers.

Not only are whites more likely to drink than non-whites, but white drinkers report consuming more alcohol than non-whites -- 4.5 drinks on average in the past week among whites, compared with 3.3 among non-whites. US Food Administration advises moderate alcohol consumption which is  defined under the government guidelines as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

The survey also finds that 22% still like whisky and hard liquor. (It appears that the sample might have a lot of Indian migrants for whom East or West, whisky is the best-editor).

The poll was conducted on telephone and surveyed 1,014 adults nationwide between July 9-12. Statistically speaking, for results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4%. Whereas  for the sample of 676 adults who drink alcoholic beverages, the maximum margin of sampling error is, ±5 % points.

Women are advised to watch a short video on the, uploaded by  Huffingtonpost.


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