Types of alcohol consumed by adults on last occasion: 2014/15 ABAS

Types of alcohol consumed by adults on last occasi...
01 Mar 2016

The type of alcohol consumed on typical drinking occasions varies by the drinkers’ sex, age and ethnicity (Ministry of Health, 2015). Those who drink at harmful levels have different preferences for the type of alcohol and the price of alcohol purchased compared to other types of drinkers, such as low-risk drinkers (Ministry of Justice, 2014). The Health Promotion Agency (HPA) Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey (ABAS) monitors behaviour and attitudes towards alcohol, focusing on use within the last month and the last drinking occasion. This fact sheet reports the types of alcohol consumed by adults (18-years and over) on their last drinking occasion involving two or more alcoholic drinks.


Respondents to the 2014/15 ABAS were asked about the last occasion they had two or more alcoholic drinks and the type(s) of alcoholic drinks they had consumed on this occasion. The types of alcohol consumed were grouped into seven categories; wine, beer, spirits, ready-to-drinks/pre-mix drinks (RTDs), cider, liqueurs, and port/sherry. The analysis was restricted to adult respondents (18-years and over) whose last drinking occasion was within the last three months (n=2,117). Alcohol type was examined by gender, age group and ethnicity. Only statistically significant differences (p < .05) between groups are reported.

Key Results

• On the last drinking occasion, 69% of respondents had consumed only one type of alcoholic drink, and 23% reported consuming two types of alcoholic drink.

• Wine (52%) and beer (42%) were the two most commonly consumed alcoholic drinks on the last drinking occasion. However, there were differences by gender, age and ethnicity. For example:

◦ Beer was more likely to be consumed by males, and wine by females.

◦ 18 to 24-year-olds were more likely to consume spirits and RTDs, and less likely to consume wine than other age groups.

◦ Consumption of wine increased and spirits decreased from younger to older age groups.

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018