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Young people and alcohol: taste perceptions, attitudes and experiences
Photo: Getty Images
Drinking alcohol is considered a normative behaviour in adolescence, with adolescent drinkers the majority of consumers for some beverages.
One of the new and increasingly popular beverages are ‘ready to drink’ (RTD) preparations. An RTD is a spirit or wine and a non-alcoholic drink, served in a pre-mixed format.
These RTDs are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among adolescent drinkers. This study aimed to determine the palatability of a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to teenagers and young adults.
A convenience sample of 350 participants was recruited, 70 in each of five age groups. Participants were grouped according to age into 12–13yrs, 14–15yrs, 16–17yrs, younger adults of 18–23yrs, and older adults of 24–30yrs.
Participants tested RTDs and also tested popular alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine.
The palatability of alcohol and the appeal of its packaging increased with age. Given that a large proportion of very young adolescents felt that RTDs were packaged to appeal to them, awareness should be drawn to the way these products are being marketed.
Alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and bourbon are successful at not targeting adolescents and, therefore, attention should be given to the way these products are being promoted and observed in the future marketing of RTDs.