Youth of today is not merely mimicking the alcohol brand choices of adults, which suggests that their drinking preferences may be influenced by other factors. This finding was revealed by a report comparing the alcohol brand preferences of underage drinkers and adults from the Boston University School of Public Health and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Published online by Substance Abuse, the report is the first to compare brand-specific consumption of alcohol between underage youth and adults.
Several brands that appear to be disproportionally consumed by youth were identified by the researchers. The list of brands included Keystone Light beer, Bacardi malt beverages, Malibu rum, Captain Morgan rum, and Smirnoff malt beverages.
“Underage drinkers are not just adopting the brand choices modeled by their parents or other adults,” said lead study author Michael Siegel, MD, MPH, professor of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. “Other factors are influencing which brands of alcohol young people are consuming.”
The results of this study showed that 15 leading brands among youth had disproportionate underage youth consumption as measured by prevalence, market share, and ratios of prevalence and market share: Smirnoff Malt Beverages, Jack Daniels Whiskeys, Mike’s Malt Beverages, Absolut Vodkas, Heineken, Bacardi Malt Beverages, Grey Goose Vodkas, Malibu Rums, Keystone Light, Patron Tequilas, Corona Extra Light, Jack Daniel’s Cocktails, Burnett’s Vodkas, Bud Ice and Natural Ice beer.
The study revealed that seventeen percent of youth drinkers (ages 13-20) reported drinking Smirnoff Malt Beverages in the past month (the highest of any brand). It was also disclosed that these beverages accounted for close to three (2.9) percent of youth alcohol consumption in the youth survey.