What is the Most Popular Alcoholic Drink for Students?
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Liquor, beer, wine, hard seltzers.
These four drinks are arguably the most important drinks to the typical college student.
But out of these four drinks, what do students like the most?
To figure this out we asked 580 college and university students across 49 schools in North America what their favorite alcoholic drink was, and what brand they preferred the most.
Here’s what we found.
Liquor and Hard Seltzers More Popular than Beer and Wine for College Students
According to a Gallup poll with over 1000 adults, beer was the most favored drink in 2018 with 42% preferring beer over wine (34%) and liquor (19%).
However, when comparing with our study, the results differed with liquor being the most popular at 61% favoring it and only 13% favoring beer.
Additionally, as the unofficial drink of summer 2019, hard seltzers have become extremely popular in such a short amount of time.
Sales of hard seltzers have grown about 200% over the past year with 164.3% of that grown happening in July alone, giving the drink so much popularity that it has passed beer as a favorite drink among college students, according to our study.
Male Students 8.5x More Likely to Favor Beer than Female Students
Both genders favor liquor but when it comes to the other types of alcohol, the results were dramatically different.
With hard seltzers and wine, females are more than two times more likely to favor the drinks over all types of alcohol than males.
However, when it comes to beer, 35% of male students favor it above other drinks while on the other hand, only 4% of female students fall within the same category.
Although hard seltzers are growing extremely quickly in popularity, beer still seems to be a favorite among male students.
Favorite Alcohol Brands in College
In addition to asking what students’ favorite alcoholic drinks were, we also asked what their favorite brands were.
Here are the brands that came out on top for each alcohol category.
Top 10 Favorite Beer Brands Among College Students
Of those who chose beer as their preferred drink, the top ten brands in order were: Corona, Bud Light, Coors, Busch, Natural Light, Michelob, Miller, Budweiser, Hamm’s, and Keystone.
The remaining votes were thinly spread out over other brands such as Stella Artois, Guinness, Dos Equis, etc.
Corona comes out as the most favorite beer brand among college students with Bud Light and Coors tailing closely behind.
Top 5 Favorite Hard Seltzer Brands Among College Students
Of those who chose hard seltzers as their favorite drink, the top five brands in order were: White Claw, Mike’s Hard, Natural Light, Smirnoff, and Truly.
The remaining votes were thinly spread out over other brands such as Palm Bay, Seagrams, Bon & Viv, etc.
It’s clear that White Claw currently owns the most share among students and is leading the charge by a large margin compared to other hard seltzer brands.
Top 10 Favorite Liquor Brands Among College Students
Of those who chose liquor as their favorite drink, the top ten brands in order were: Smirnoff, Tito’s, Svedka, Mailbu, New Amsterdam, Jack Daniels, Bacardi, Grey Goose, Absolut, and Hennessy.
The remaining votes were thinly spread out over other brands such as Ciroc, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, etc.
Smirnoff, Tito’s, and Svedka come out as the top three liquor brands by a large margin and since all three of them are also vodka brands, it's evident that vodka is one of the most popular types of liquor among college students.
Favorite Wine Brands Among College Students
Of those who chose wine as their favorite drink, the top brands in order were Barefoot, Black Star Farms, and many other brands that each had only vote such as Merlot, Sea Glass, Arbor Mist, etc.
According to our survey, Barefoot easily leads the charge as the most favorite wine brand among college students.
Despite liquor coming out on top as the most popular alcoholic drink among college students today, there’s a real possibility that beer, wine or hard seltzers will eventually overtake liquor in the coming years.
Especially due to the recent explosion in popularity for hard seltzers, it’s not unrealistic to assume that it will become the next go-to drink for college students sooner than we might think.
The "What is the Most Popular Alcoholic Drink for Students?" study by OneClass is based on survey data collected from 580 college students in the United States and Canada across 49 schools. 180 males, 398 females, and 2 who preferred not to identify their gender participated in the survey. Students were engaged on social platforms. This survey was conducted from October 24th, 2019 to November 18th, 2019.