How Drinkaware gained insights into UK drinking behavior by creating bespoke segments with YouGov
June 24th, 2022, Maria Jose Contreras

How Drinkaware gained insights into UK drinking behavior by creating bespoke segments with YouGov



Understand UK drinking habits and behaviors to create effective, targeted communications around reducing alcohol-related harm.


Survey 6,000 UK adults on drinking behavior, create bespoke segments and enhance with additional data from YouGov Profiles.


Granular insight into the target audience segments, enabling the client to optimize their communication and business strategy.


Business challenge

Drinkaware is a charity providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice and practical resources to help people make better choices about their drinking. To support its work, Drinkaware needed reliable research and evidence to understand the contexts, attitudes and motivations behind different types of drinking behavior. Drinkaware also needed to segment the population to target specific groups with differing behaviors and attitudes.


The YouGov Custom Research team ran a comprehensive 15-minute survey gathering data about alcohol and wider health and lifestyle behavior. The survey reached a UK-wide sample size of 6,000 adults aged 18-75 containing 3,500 in England and boosted samples of 1,000 each in Scotland and Wales and 500 in Northern Ireland.

Several standardised research tools were included in the survey, including the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Drinking Motive Questionnaire: Revised Short Form (DMQ-R SF), among others. YouGov applied research expertise and previous experience of Drinkaware research projects and risk behaviours (smoking; CRUK, BHF, ASH, PHE, obesity; CRUK and alcohol; CRUK) to the project. Our data scientists undertook a statistical segmentation analysis to create eight segments within the UK drinking population. This provided Drinkaware with specific segments to target with different messaging.

The segments were significantly enhanced by integrating them with YouGov Profiles, our audience intelligence tool. The segments were matched against thousands of relevant data points such as lifestyle, health and media consumption. This developed a 360° view of each segment and provided a valuable resource for communication activity.


YouGov’s research found:

  • The vast majority of UK adults drink alcohol, with 84% stating that they do so at least once a year, and 13% saying that they never drink alcohol. Around half (52%) drink at least once a week.
  • Alcohol consumption is higher among men, older age groups and higher social grades.
  • A trend of falling alcohol consumption over time. The proportion that reported drinking at least yearly has fallen from 87% in 2014 to 84% in 2017, and the proportion drinking weekly or more often has fallen from 60% to 52%.
  • 26% typically exceed the limit recommended by the UK Chief Medical Officer. The research provided a solid understanding of different types of drinking behavior in the UK, and informed Drinkaware’s work in reducing alcoholrelated harm.

The new segments allowed Drinkaware to fully understand specific groups with differing behaviors and target them effectively. By integrating the segments with YouGov’s living data, Drinkaware were able to deep dive into the segments to effectively inform their business and communications strategy.

“YouGov’s segmentation of adult drinkers in the UK helped Drinkaware understand drinking behavior in the UK in a completely new way. It played a substantial part in the development of our 2017-22 strategic plan.”

- Annabelle Bonus, Director of Evidence and Impact

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