Young more likely to quit booze to save cash

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 05:00 26/08/2012
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They are alcohol law reform's main target, but a new survey has found young people are the most likely to decide to drink less to save money.

Generation Y was most likely to cut back and Baby Boomers were least likely, the Canstar Blue Liquor Outlets survey found.

Carried out by Colmar Brunton Australia, 2500 Kiwis were surveyed on their drinking habits and preferences.

One 22-year-old Generation Y respondent said a typical weekend's drinking used to consist of a bottle of wine and more drinks in town with friends, which cost around $30, but she now spent just $10 on one glass of wine.

"Drinking heavily over the weekend became more a chore than a pleasure."

While a new job inspired the change, cash was also an incentive. "It's going into my little travel piggybank."

The survey found 62 per cent of Gen Yers, half of Generation X and 41 per cent of Baby Boomers cut back to save cash.

The Alcohol Reform Bill now making its way through Parliament has been criticised for targeting young drinkers.

Its most contentious proposal is to raise the age of alcohol purchase to 20 for off-licence liquor stores, and to cap ready-to-drink products at 6 per cent alcohol, although the Government has indicated it will let the industry self-regulate levels.

But Otago University national addiction centre director Professor Doug Sellman said young people had been made the scapegoat for a wider problem.

"There is little in the bill that addresses the harm from widespread problem drinking. The fact is that less than 10 per cent of the 700,000 heavy drinkers in New Zealand are under 20."

Pak 'n Save was rated best for customer satisfaction.

Foodstuffs spokeswoman Antoinette Shallue said it had not noticed any significant change in alcohol sales despite the economic downturn.

"Customer demand for beer and wine has remained stable, with no significant shift to cheaper products."

Almost half the respondents said they bought alcohol only on special, and 20 per cent bought in bulk to save money.

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- Sunday Star Times

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