Alcohol Consumption Statistics UK 2023

Alcohol Consumption Statistics UK 2023

Alongside a loved one, it’s likely that many of us will be entering 2023 holding something else too… and that’s the oh-so important glass of bubbly!

Over the last few decades the UK has seen and been through a lot. But as a nation - we always seem to find a reason to celebrate. And what better way to do this than to indulge in good food and your favourite drink with the people you love.

But what is the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink in 2022? How much alcohol do we consume as a nation? And how have the coronavirus pandemic, economic recessions and other circumstances impacted our drinking habits?

To find out, we conducted a survey of over 2,000 UK adults, analysed more than 300,000 online searches and delved into all of the most up to date research on all things related to alcohol consumption in 2022.

Quick Fire Facts on Alcohol Consumption

Want the juicy facts without a long read? Here are what we consider the most important statistics from our 2023 research:

  • 71.2% of adults in the UK consume alcohol at least once a week
  • 12.5% of adults in the UK declare themselves to be teetotal
  • The UK’s favourite tipsy tipple is white wine, with 21.8% of people surveyed saying they drink it at least once a week
  • This is closely followed by lager, which 21.75% of those surveyed say they drink weekly
  • Red wine takes third place at 20.5% of those surveyed saying they enjoy a glass at least weekly

Alcohol Consumption Survey: What we asked 

Beer? Wine? Gin? Whiskey? Which is really the nation’s favourite? And how often do UK adults drink in 2022? 

To find out which type of alcohol is most loved amongst Brits and how much alcohol we’re consuming going into 2023, we polled 2,000 UK adults using the market research tool Censuswide. The survey was conducted on 1st December 2022 and asked:

Which of these alcoholic drinks do you enjoy regularly (once per week or more)? 

  • White wine
  • Sparkling wine
  • Rosé wine
  • Red wine
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey
  • Lager
  • Bitter
  • Craft Beers
  • Other (please specify)
  • None - I am teetotal
  • Unsure
  • There is no alcoholic drink I enjoy regularly

How often do UK adults consume alcohol?

To find out how many UK adults drink alcohol on a weekly basis, we subtracted the number of people who say they’re unsure of their alcohol preference, teetotal or that there’s no alcoholic drink they enjoy regularly from the number of people surveyed. This revealed that:

  • 71.2% of UK adults drink alcohol at least once a week.
  • Only 13.5% of UK adults who drink, drink less frequently than on a weekly basis.
  • 12.5% of UK adults don’t drink any alcohol whatsoever, stating that they are teetotal.

 

 

Do men or women drink alcohol most frequently?

So it’s clear that us Brits like to enjoy our favourite drinks on a regular basis. But who drinks most often? Men or women? Our survey found:

  • 75.6% of men drink alcohol at least once a week.
  • Whilst just 67.6% of women say they drink this often.
  • Women are more likely to be teetotal than men, as 14.4% of women say they never drink alcohol vs 10.5% of men.

 

Teetotalism Statistics: How many people in the UK are teetotal?

So now we know which gender is most likely to drink alcohol most frequently and how often they do so. But how about those who don’t drink? Which demographics in the UK are the least likely to drink alcohol? And how many UK adults are teetotal in 2023?

Our survey found:

  • 8.4 million UK adults in 2023 are teetotal. That’s 1 in every 8 people.
  • Women are more likely to be teetotal than men, as 14.4% of women say they never drink alcohol vs 10.5% of men.
  • People living in the South West of England drink less frequently than any other UK region, as 68% say they drink weekly or more.
  • When it comes to age, those aged 55 and over are most likely to be teetotal, as 14% say they don’t drink alcohol. This is followed by those aged between 45 and 54, 13% of whom say the same. 

Age

Percentage that are teetotal

18-24

11.57%

35-34

11.59%

35-44

9.69%

45-54

13.31%

55+

13.83%

Which are the booziest UK regions?

Is there a north south divide when it comes to alcohol? Who drinks the most? Is it the Scots, Irish, Welsh or English? Our survey revealed. 

  • The booziest part of the United Kingdom is Wales! Where a staggering 80% of people drink alcohol at least once a week.
  • This is followed by the West Midlands, East Midlands, North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, where more than three quarters of people drink alcohol on a weekly basis.
  • UK regions that drink alcohol least frequently on the other hand are the South West, Greater London and Scotland.

 

Rank

Region

Percentage of people who drink weekly

1.

Wales

80.2%

2.

West Midlands

78.4%

3.

East Midlands

76.7%

4.

North East

76.5%

5.

North West

76.4%

6.

Yorkshire and the Humber

76.4%

7.

Northern Ireland

75.4%

8.

East of England

75.0%

9.

South East

74.5%

10.

Scotland

69.5%

11.

Greater London

69.2%

12.

South West

67.6%

 

For the purposes of the survey, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were categorised as regions, although they are of course countries in their own right.

What is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the UK?

Our survey found that the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink is officially…

White wine! Closely followed by lager.

  • It turns out that UK adults have a real love for white wine, with more than 1 in 5 (21.8%) revealing that they enjoy it at least once a week.
  • Almost as popular is lager, with 21.75% stating that this is a regular drink of choice for them (21.75%).
  • Red wine comes in 3rd place, as 20.5% say they have a glass or more at least weekly (20.5%).
  • Spirits are also up there amongst the nation’s most regularly consumed forms of alcohol, particularly gin, vodka and whiskey (18.5%, 14.3% and 13.4% respectively).

 

The survey also found that:

  • 8% of people enjoy a glass (or two, or more!) of rosé at least once a week, a similar proportion as that of those who drink sparkling wine on a weekly basis (12.3%).
  • Rum is enjoyed weekly by 12.1% of UK adults.
  • And craft beers and bitter are enjoyed by 10.3% and 7.9% of UK adults on a regular basis.

Alcohol preferences amongst men vs women

In films and television, beer and whisky are often portrayed as being masculine drinks, favoured mostly by men. Whilst wine and clear spirits primarily tend to be sipped at by women in pop culture. But just how well does this represent men and womens’ actual preferences when it comes to alcohol? Our survey revealed that: 

  • Hollywood may have been right! It turns out that women enjoy wine more often than men (56.6% vs 47.4%). 
  • Whilst men appear to much prefer lager, beer and bitter, as a staggering three quarters (73.9%) of those that drink these types of alcohol on a weekly basis are men. Meaning that just 26.1% are women.
  • Men also enjoy whiskey more frequently than women, as 73.4% of those who drink it weekly are men.

 

Does our age influence our taste in alcohol?

As we get older and wiser, does our taste in alcohol age like a fine wine? Do we become connoisseurs when it comes to our favourite tipples? Or do we perhaps become less fussy with our drinks choices as we age? To find out just that, we compared young peoples’ responses to the survey with those of older generations, which found:

  • Young UK adults’ most frequently consumed alcoholic beverage is… Vodka! Our survey found that 19% of those aged 18-24 drink vodka at least once a week.
  • Whilst in the 25-34 year old age category, G&Ts appear to be their preferred drink of choice, as 20.6% drink gin on at least a weekly basis.
  • When we reach 35 however, our alcohol preferences appear to switch to less strong options, with lager being the most frequently consumed alcoholic drink by those aged 35 to 54.
  • As we mature like fine wines, our taste buds seem to as well, with more than a quarter of those aged 55+ stating that they drink white wine once a week or more.

  

Age group

Alcohol consumed most frequently

Percentage of age group that drink it weekly or more

18-24

Vodka

19%

25-34

Gin

20.6%

35-44

Lager

29.4%

45-54

Lager

25.7%

55+

White wine

25.2

 

Favourite alcoholic beverage by UK region

Is the Scots’ favourite alcoholic drink really whiskey? And are the Cornish really that into their cider? To find out, we asked each of our survey’s 2,000 participants which part of the UK they were from. Turns out…

  • Scots’ beverage of choice is actually lager, as with that of Wales, the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.
  • The West Midlands on the other hand prefer red wine, as does the East of England.
  • White wine however, appears to be favoured by those in Northern Ireland, the East Midlands, Greater London and the South West. And also by the South East who seem to enjoy both gin and white wine just as frequently as one another.

 

Region

Alcohol consumed most frequently

Percentage of people who drink it weekly or more

Wales

Lager

20.80%

West Midlands

Red wine

25%

East Midlands

White wine

40%

North East

Lager

37%

North West

Lager

26.40%

Yorkshire and the Humber

Lager

23%

Northern Ireland

White wine

29.80%

East of England

Red wine

22.90%

South East

Gin and white wine

Both 23.7%

Scotland

Lager

23.40%

Greater London

White wine

23.10%

South West

White wine

25.30%

 

Google the liquor shop: which drinks do we order online the most?

So now we know that the country’s favourite tipple is white wine. But is this the beverage we order the most online? Or do us Brits prefer getting the best deals on bottles of spirits online or searching high and low on Google for a limited edition pale ale or whiskey? To find out, we took a look at Google search volumes for different forms of alcohol in the past 12 months*. Our analysis found that:

  • The type of alcohol people in the UK search for most online is… wine! As terms related to buying wine (red, white and rosé) online are searched more each month than any other form of alcohol, racking up an impressive 1,300 average monthly searches.
  • This is closely followed by whiskey, which on average is searched 900 times each month in the UK by those looking to purchase it online.
  • In third place is beer, being searched for in the UK approximately 560 times per month alongside the words ‘buy online’.

 

Rank

Alcohol

Average monthly online searches for ‘buy X online’ in 2022

1.

wine

2110

2.

whiskey

900

3.

beer

560

4.

champagne

310

5.

gin

250

6.

vodka

170

7.

rum

130

8.

tequila

110

9.

prosecco

110

10.

cider

100

 

*For our analysis of Google searches, we inputted A Couple Cooks’ list of Alcohol and Liquor Names into the online search analysis tool Keyword Finder. This allowed us to obtain average monthly search volumes for the term ‘buy X online’, with X being each type of alcohol or liquor. It’s important to note that these findings only show which types of alcohol are searched for most online, not which are most bought. We grouped searches for ‘white wine’,rosé’ and ‘red wine’ into the category of ‘wine’.The analysis was conducted in December 2022.

It’s also important to note that these findings do not represent all individuals who are looking to buy alcohol online, as many people may search for a specific brand or retailer as opposed to the terms we’ve analysed.

How did the pandemic impact the UK’s alcohol consumption?

Which alcoholic drinks got us through the national lockdowns of 2020 and 2021? Did we drink wine to help pass the time? Or was it actually the aptly named Corona that helped get us through the highs and lows of the last few years? Our keyword analysis found:

  • Wine was by far the most searched-for form of alcohol online during the coronavirus lockdown. It was also the most popular in the years before and after the pandemic.
  • Before and during the first lockdown of 2020, beer was the second most searched-for type of alcoholic beverage.
  • However, since then, whiskey has taken its place, now officially being the second most popular alcoholic drink amongst those looking to buy booze online. 

 

  • All in all, our study found that from 2019 to 2020, searches conducted by those looking to buy alcohol online more than doubled, before returning to their original rate back in 2021 and 2022.

Which is the most popular type of wine to buy online? White, rosé or red?

As the above chart shows, wine is by far and away the UK’s favourite alcoholic beverage when it comes to ordering online. From crisp whites to elegant reds and harmoniously balanced rosés, wine can both bring us together and divide our opinions. That’s why, once and for all, we wanted to find out for definite which wine is most-loved across the United Kingdom. To do this, we analysed search volumes for the specific terms ‘buy white wine online’, ‘buy rose online’ and ‘buy red wine online’, and found that: 

  • Red wine is the most popular when it comes to ordering alcohol online, accounting for almost 54% of searches for the three types of wine.
  • This is followed closely by rosé, whose online search volumes account for just over 42%.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, white wine is the least popular amongst those searching to buy wine online, accounting for just 4% of searches. One potential reason for this may be that those who are wanting to buy white wine, are simply more likely to search for the broader term ‘wine’, than specify the colour.

Most popular alcohol brands of the UK in 2022

So we’re officially a nation of wine and lager lovers! Who knew? But which brands of alcohol are most popular in the UK?

To find out just that, we inputted a list of 100 of the UK’s biggest alcohol brands into the search analysis tool Keyword Finder. We then extracted this data, which allowed us to determine which alcohol brands are the most popular in the UK amongst online searchers. Our analysis found:

  • The most popular alcohol brand of 2022 is officially Brewdog, being searched online a whopping 181,000 times a month in the UK alone.
  • Our analysis found that the second most popular alcohol brand in the UK is Beefeater, being searched approximately 154,000 times each month.
  • In third place comes the much-loved Irish cream liqueur Baileys, which received an average of 81,000 monthly searches.
  • Brands such as Jack Daniels, Disaronno, Guinness, Malibu, Pimms, Johnnie Walker and Martini also feature amongst the UK’s most popular alcohol brands, followed by the likes of Jagermeister, Veuve Clicquot and Heineken.

 

Rank

Alcohol brand

Average monthly search volume in the UK (2022)

1.

brewdog

181000

2.

beefeater

154000

3.

baileys

81000

4.

jack daniels

75100

5.

disaronno

74500

6.

guinness

67700

7.

malibu

49400

8.

pimms

52100

9.

johnnie walker

41200

10.

martini

39600

11.

jagermeister

38800

12.

veuve clicquot

35800

13.

heineken

34100

14.

glenfiddich

33400

15.

buckfast

32600

16.

bacardi

32800

17.

cobra

29900

18.

southern comfort

30600

19.

tia maria

28300

20.

courvoisier

28600

21.

grey goose

27400

22.

dragon soop

26700

23.

sourz

26700

24.

budweiser

26400

25.

glenmorangie

25200

26.

marstons

25900

27.

hobgoblin

24600

28.

sharp's

24900

29.

kopparberg

24400

30.

wkd

24700

31.

corona beer

23600

32.

dead man's fingers

23000

33.

fosters

23000

34.

thatchers

23400

35.

stella

23100

36.

birra moretti

22800

37.

beavertown

22400

38.

becks

22700

39.

sol

21500

40.

peroni

21700

41.

captain morgan

20500

42.

smirnoff

20200

43.

moet

18600

44.

john smiths

17800

45.

grants

16900

46.

san miguel

16800

47.

staropramen

16500

48.

jura

15600

49.

rekorderlig

15100

50.

gordons

14500

51.

asahi

14000

52.

magnum tonic wine

13400

53.

hen

13600

54.

19 crimes

12900

55.

old mout cider

13400

56.

haig club

12500

57.

carlsberg

12900

58.

bollinger

12400

59.

tanqueray

12100

60.

bombay

12200

61.

barefoot

11700

62.

jameson

11200

63.

carling

11300

64.

lambrini

10800

65.

casillero del diablo

10700

66.

bud light

10800

67.

dark horse

10300

68.

adnams

9900

69.

desperados

10100

70.

echo falls

9800

71.

strongbow

9900

72.

jim beam

9300

73.

freixenet

9200

74.

torres

8900

75.

amstel

8500

76.

coors

8100

77.

tennents

7700

78.

glen's

7900

79.

laurent perrier

7400

80.

kronenbourg

7300

81.

the kraken

7400

82.

red stripe

7200

83.

henry westons

6500

84.

frosty jacks

5900

85.

taittinger

5800

86.

hardys

5500

87.

leffe

5600

88.

whyte and mackay

4900

89.

magners

4200

90.

sipsmith

4200

91.

hendrick's

4100

92.

whitley neill

3400

93.

jam shed

3300

94.

oyster bay

3400

95.

most wanted

3200

96.

the glenlivet

3100

97.

villa maria

3100

98.

la vieille ferme

3000

99.

campo viejo

2900

100.

yellow tail

2800

 

We conducted this keyword research based on the Grocer's list of the biggest alcohol brands in the UK.

How much alcohol does the UK consume compared to other countries worldwide?

Ever wondered where our alcohol consumption rates stand next to the rest of Europe? Or perhaps the United States? Well, wonder no more! We’ve gathered all of the most recent data on alcohol consumption rates worldwide.

  • As of 2019, the country which consumes the most alcohol per capita is the Cook Islands, followed by Latvia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.
  • Of all countries worldwide, the United Kingdom ranks in 24th position when it comes to alcohol consumption.
  • The countries that consume the least alcohol are Somalia, Bangladesh and Sudan.

We hope you enjoyed this roundup of the latest Alcohol Consumption statistics, facts and figures for the UK! To find out more information, facts and updates on all things drinks related, head over to our blog. Alternatively, we have more resources if you'd like to learn more about nuances of fine wine as part of a corporate tasting and how these events work