By philipedwards, Dec 27 2017 08:47AM
27th December 2017
At Alcarelle we have explored the attractions and pitfalls of popular alcoholic drink products, and drawing upon modern science we have developed our understanding of what an ideal adult beverage would need to be.
29 million people in the UK consume alcohol1. A student survey from Cambridge University suggested that key reasons for drinking were: having fun, to relax after a hard day, as part of a social routine and to overcome anxiety2. Simply put, most people drink alcohol for relaxation and social stimulation.
Another survey (from the charity Drinkaware) suggests that friends and relationships have the biggest impact on increasing the amount of alcohol which we consume3. Therefore, an ideal alternative product would induce relaxation and conviviality.
Being all too familiar with the attractions of alcohol, the next step to developing an ideal alternative is to consider its pitfalls. So, what motivates people to cut back on their drinking?
I can definitely think of a few foggy (and dare I say) embarrassing memories of the night before, which have driven me to promises of future moderation. But, happily, I am not alone in this and a survey from the British Heart Foundation suggests that 77% of women consider embarrassing themselves in public as strong motivation to cut down4. For me, it follows that the ultimate adult beverage would not so easily overwhelm the body and senses. I hope this would help reduce the risk of embarrassment and maintain some level of self-control.
Further research by the charity Drinkaware highlighted health and financial benefits as key reasons for reducing alcohol consumption3. This means the ideal beverage would need to avoid the detrimental health effects associated with alcohol consumption while still being economically viable.
Research from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies into e-cigarettes has found that a major reason that e-cigs are successful as alternatives to smoking is because they mimic the habitual sensation5. When creating an ideal alcohol alternative, it will be vital to ensure it can be consumed as a beverage in order to maintain a sociable habit similar to consuming alcohol.
So to get the ideal adult product right, both efficacy - for consumer satisfaction -and safety - for consumer health - are vital. The ideal future adult beverage will need to be enjoyed in a sociable environment, enabling relaxation and conviviality. It would also need to leave behind the associated health risks of alcohol, avoiding high levels of intoxication, the threat of cancer, and liver damage, and the all so common hangover.
1.Office of National Statistics, Adult drinking habits in Great Britain: 2005 to 2016
2.Results of Student Alcohol Survey Announced, 2017 University of Cambridge, News.
3.Drinkaware Monitor 2015: UK adults’ experiences of and views on cutting down – an Ipsos MORI report for Drinkaware April 2016
4.Alcohol and heart disease: our exclusive survey, British Heart Foundation, YouGov Plc., 2013
5.Hajek, Peter et al. ͞Electronic Cigarettes: Review of Use, Content, Safety, Effects on Smokers, and Potential for Harm and Benefit.͟Addiction (Abingdon, England)109.11 (2014): 1801–1810.PMC. Web. 21 Sept. 2017.
6.Institute of Alcohol Studies Fact Sheet, The Health Impacts of Alcohol, 2016