Nielsen: Alcohol Consumers Still Cautious

Consumers remain somewhat cautious about money spent on alcoholic beverages, with nearly half (47%) going to bars or clubs less often than they did before the economic downturn, according to research presented at The Nielsen Co.'s Consumer 360 Conference.

LAS VEGAS — Consumers remain somewhat cautious about money spent on alcoholic beverages, with nearly half (47%) going to bars or clubs less often than they did before the economic downturn, according to research presented at The Nielsen Co.'s Consumer 360 Conference here.

It found that when it comes time to indulge, most are unwilling to cut costs by trading down from their favorite brand. More than three-quarters of respondents said they've not changed their purchase of beer (83%), wine (76%) and spirits (81%) due to price. Of that group, 25% buy less often and 13% buy the same products but wait until they go on sale.

"Although trading down activity dominated the recession discussion, especially among wine consumers, a large segment of consumers stood pat in their price selections," said Danny Brager vice president, group client director, Beverage Alcohol for Nielsen, in a statement.

"That said there is a noteworthy segment of consumers who did trade down, and it appears that we probably won't see much of a trade up comeback from that group," he said.

Three quarters (75%) of wine consumers, 70% of beer drinkers and 66% of spirits consumers who have traded down stated that they plan to buy less expensive beverages even as the economy improves.

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