Beer is Again America’s Alcohol Beverage of Choice

According to a new Gallup poll, beer’s lead over wine and spirits has returned to double-digits for the first time since 2002, particularly among adults between the ages of 30 and 49 who tried wine for a few years then shifted back to beer.

The annual Consumption Habits poll, released through Gallup’s Web site, shows that in combined data from Gallup’s 2004 and 2005 Consumption surveys, drinkers between the ages of 30 and 49 were about as likely to prefer wine as beer. Now, drinkers in this age bracket have shifted back to beer, with an average of 47% in the combined 2007-2008 data saying they most often drink beer. Drinking preferences among adults ages 21-29 have remained stable in recent years, with the majority showing a wide preference for beer.

“This poll shows what we’ve always known–that trends will come and go but beer is here to stay,” said Bob Lachky, executive vice president of global industry and creative development for Anheuser-Busch Inc. and leader of “Here’s To Beer,” a two-year-old campaign that toasts Americans’ appreciation for beer. “More Americans are learning–or re­learning–how to appreciate the wide variety of beer styles available and how easy it is to pair beer with all types of food, which is also attracting new adult consumers to the beer category.”

Beer continues to represent the largest segment in the alcohol beverage category in volume and dollar sales, accounting for 56% of all alcohol beverage servings. The Anheuser-Busch-led “Here’s To Beer” campaign was launched to help consumers develop a deeper appreciation for beer while providing tools for retailers and distributors to grow their beer business.

The campaign relaunched its Web site, www.herestobeer.com, in April 2008 with enhanced interactive tools to help consumers learn about beer’s ingredients, styles, the brewing process, the importance of proper pouring and glassware, and how to pair beer with food. The Web site also offers expert tips for food-pairing with videos featuring Food Network personality and cookbook author Dave Lieberman.

HTBMarketing.com, the “members only” site for beer wholesalers, provides downloadable sign making and point-of-sale templates to create attractive in-store materials to elevate and enhance the beer aisle. Beyond the more than 600 wholesalers in the Anheuser­Busch network, an additional 350 members from the ranks of competitive brewers and non A-B wholesalers are also registered members.

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