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Monday, February 11, 2013

Brand-Specific Consumption of Alcohol Among Underage Youth in the United States

Little is known about brand-specific alcohol consumption among underage youth, as existing information is collected at the level of alcoholic beverage type. This study identifies the alcohol brands consumed by a nationally representative sample of underage youth in the United States.

We obtained a national sample of 1,032 underage youth, aged 13 to 20, using a pre-recruited Internet panel maintained by Knowledge Networks. Youth aged 18 to 20 were recruited directly from the panel via email invitation. Teens aged 13 to 17 were identified by asking adult panelists to identify a member of their household. The survey assessed the past 30-day consumption of 898 brands of alcohol among 16 alcoholic beverage types, including the frequency and amount of each brand consumed in the past 30 days. Market share for a given brand was calculated by dividing the total number of drinks for that brand in the past 30 days across the entire sample by the total number of drinks for all identified brands.

The alcohol brands with highest prevalence of past 30-day consumption were Bud Light (27.9%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 23.3 to 32.4%), Smirnoff malt beverages (17.0%, 95% CI 12.9 to 21.1%), and Budweiser (14.6%, 95% CI 11.0 to 18.3%). Brand market share was concentrated in a relatively small number of brands, with the top 25 brands accounting for nearly half of all market shares.

Underage youth alcohol consumption, although spread out over several alcoholic beverage types, is concentrated among a relatively small number of alcohol brands. This finding has important implications for alcohol research, practice, and policy.

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