With global lockdown measures putting many people under unique pressure, renewed attention has rightly been paid to the importance of safeguarded health and wellbeing.
As brewers and cider-makers, we don’t just take our social responsibility seriously at times of crisis. While alcohol plays a role in people’s social lives and celebrations, we know that careful stewardship is needed to ensure that remains a positive complement to society. So we have made and progressed global public commitments with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) to help address the harmful effects that alcohol abuse can have, when not marketed or consumed responsibly.
We have supported new global research into the drinking behaviour during the covid-19 crisis, led by IARD and in-market responsibility bodies such as the Portman Group in the UK. It is reassuring to see the results of a survey which shows that, during lockdowns, the vast majority of drinkers are maintaining their previous levels of drinking or consuming less alcohol.
The survey of more than 11,000 people across nine countries by the IARD has found that 84% of drinkers are drinking the same or less, with 30% saying they are drinking less or have stopped. Of the 11% drinking more under shutdowns, 72% plan to revert to their old drinking habits.
In our day-to-day work we, as Asahi, hold ourselves and our partners to the highest standards of responsibility in every message we send to our consumers: in our advertising; in any media; on our packaging; in our marketing and merchandising; in our sponsorships; or in any event we’re involved in. Not just to meet the laws, but to meet the higher standards of industry self-regulation and the evolving expectation of society. It also means collaborating actively with local responsibility campaigns and expert NGOs to achieve positive behavioural change.
As the results of the latest IARD survey pointed out, concern remains for the 5% of survey respondents who said their drinking has led to more problems. Therefore, as part of our long-term commitment, we will continue to support targeted programmes to reduce harmful drinking.
Crucially, for those programmes to be as effective as possible, it is essential that we have access to reliable data about people’s alcohol consumption. Only with reliable information can interventions can be made to target and support those who need help.
*Survey carried out by YouGov for IARD. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th and 21st May 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all country adults (aged 18+).