Knit green logo
Knit Bell Icon | Knit Video Insights Platform & AI Analysis Solutions

NEW: Unparalleled speed-to-insight with Knit’s newest release of AI Contextual Analysis™ for VoC Video & OE Responses

Gen Z and their alcohol consumption

The Latest on Gen Z’s Alcohol Consumption

The world is changing quickly, and much has happened since the pandemic began. It’s crucial to stay current. And while Gen Zers are known to drink less than people in other generations, it doesn’t mean they don’t drink. Nor does it mean that brands shouldn’t pay attention. If anything, it demonstrates the utmost need to understand this generation. 

In Knit’s last check-in on Gen Z’s alcohol consumption, we wrote about some reasons for drinking less and how brands can respond. Today, we’re going even deeper with our latest stats about Gen Z and alcohol consumption. How often do they drink? How much do they actually drink? What are the true reasons for deciding not to drink? And how have Gen Zers changed their behaviors since before the pandemic?

How often does Gen Z drink?

We asked our Gen Zers how often they typically drink alcohol. We found the most common response was 3 days per week (18.6%). The second most common was 2 days per week (16.4%). Overall, half of Gen Zers (50.3%) drink 2-3 days each week or only on the weekends. About one-fourth of all responders (25.3%) drink 4 days per week or more. And only 13.4% say they never drink alcohol. 

There are gender differences. As many as one-third (33%) of male Gen Zers report that they drink 4 times per week or more. Only 17% of female Gen Zers say the same. This goes in line with the overall knowledge about gender differences in alcohol consumption. Men usually report drinking more than women and are also more likely to binge drink.

How much does Gen Z drink?

We also asked our Gen Z respondents how many alcoholic drinks they have each week. One drink is equivalent to one 12oz beer or seltzer, 2oz servings of spirits, or 5oz servings of wine. It’s the most usual to have 1-3 drinks per week (39.5%) but having 4-6 isn’t far behind (34.5%). But 10.9% of Gen Zers who drink have 10 or more drinks per week. So even if they drink less than other generations, Gen Zers do drink alcohol. Knit also has all the juicy details of what’s on their bar cart if you’re curious.

But back to how many drinks Gen Zers have per week on average. The tendency of males drinking more than females continues. Almost half (48%) of female Gen Zers have 1-3 drinks per week, but only about a third (31%) of male Gen Zers have that few. It’s more usual for males to report drinking 4-6 drinks per week (39%). The same is seen when looking at those who consume 7 or more alcoholic drinks in a week. 30% of our male Gen Z respondents do so versus 21% of females. But considering that the CDC puts 8 drinks or more per week as heavy drinking for women versus 15 drinks or more for men, our numbers might indicate that Gen Z females are more likely to be heavy drinkers than their male counterparts. Among our respondents, only 7% of males reported having more than 12 drinks.

Sober curious Gen Z

A lot has been said about Gen Z being sober curious and not drinking as much as previous generations. It’s a trend seen in other countries around the world as well. There are many reasons why. Some blame financial worries or concerns about different social issues. Gen Zers are growing up in uncertain times, dealing with high amounts of stress. On top of that, they are aware of the potential effects of alcohol on their mental and physical well-being. There are also alcohol-free drink options, and it’s more okay to not drink when others do. 

But what did our research show? We asked our Gen Zers who don’t drink alcohol the reason why. And a little over a third (32.4%) say they simply have no interest in drinking. That was the top reason for choosing to be sober. 21.6% said that they don’t like the taste of alcohol. It’s much more common for female Gen Zers who don’t drink to have no interest in alcohol (38%) versus males (25%). Female Gen Zers are also more likely to not like the taste of alcohol (25%) compared to male Gen Zers (20%). But 10% of male Gen Zers do like the taste of other non-alcoholic drinks better, whereas none of our females chose that as a reason to not drink.

Changes since before the pandemic

Well over a third (36.1%) drink more now than they did pre-pandemic. 37% drink the same, and just 21% consume less. So, no matter how alcohol consumption changed during the worst of the pandemic, Gen Zers today are drinking more overall. And age isn’t a factor here since only 5.9% said they didn’t drink before the pandemic because of being underage. Is this the beginning of a change in Gen Z’s attitude toward drinking? Only time will tell. But the trend to drink more is led by male Gen Zers. As many as 43% say their alcohol consumption has increased, while 30% of females report the same.

Want further insight into Gen Z’s alcohol consumption? Maybe even something to look at while you have a drink or two? Watch our free webinar recording about Gen Z & Alcohol. It’ll give you access to the expert opinions you need.

Subscribe for industry insights delivered weekly.

Get all the Knit News you need with access to our free newsletter to stay a step ahead on the latest trends driving the industries of tomorrow.

Share This

Enter your email below to access this video

Enter your email below to access this video