Why are Japan’s millennials shunning alcohol?
Japan Times -- Mar 22
Some time before the coronavirus outbreak put a damper on this year’s hanami (blossom viewing) parties and other social activities, the media had already noted that the decline in alcohol consumption by younger Japanese has been accelerating. This phenomenon even made the front page of the Nikkei Marketing Journal (Feb. 21).

Citing data from Suntory Holdings in 2019, the article also noted that the market for nonalcohol and low-alcohol beverages such as beer and The Kyoto-based distiller concluded that more people are drinking nonalcoholic beverages not merely as a substitute for alcohol — as would be the case among drivers or expectant mothers — but because they prefer it.

The company noticed that young, salaried male workers, who make up a key segment of its customer base, had begun leaving their jobs at an earlier hour, which, in turn, led to a lower demand for alcoholic beverages accompanying their meals.

So what’s the story? Are Japanese people on their way to becoming a nation of Actually the trend to imbibe less appears to be a worldwide phenomenon. Data from Health Survey for England, for example, shows that there is a strict generational pattern to regular drinking, in that every generation has drunk less regularly than the one that preceded it.

This topic was scrutinized in depth in “Ipsos Mori Thinks Millennial Myths and Realities,” a 2017 study of consumers in 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania conducted by the Paris-based Ipsos research organization. It concluded that “millennials are shunning alcohol at unprecedented levels,” which it qualified as “mostly, but not on all measures or in all countries.”

“Explanations for this range from being more health conscious or being too poor to spend money in the pub to being just plain ‘boring,’” the report noted.

In a separate 2017 study by Ipsos titled “Global Views on Vices,” respondents were asked to agree or disagree with how things will be 10 years hence. Japanese participants who agreed with the statement, “The variety of beer, wine and liquor available to consumers will be greater than today” were ranked lowest of all major markets, at just 27 percent.

What’s more, Japanese also ranked lowest, at 10 percent, in agreeing that “Consumption of beer, wine and liquor will be higher than today,” putting them a full 19 points below second-lowest Germany, at 29 percent. The average in all surveyed countries was 47 percent.

News source: Japan Times
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