The Last Round? How to Engage the Next Generation of Mindful Drinkers.

Launching new research into the Alcohol industry and the role the Gen Z are playing in shaping the trends in this market.

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At Red Brick Road, we believe that it is only the organisations and brands that genuinely connect with consumers on their terms who will thrive and survive. Therefore our job as a strategic and create agency is to create Followings.


We love to get under the skin of Followings to understand how they are created and how they are being shaped for the future. The ever-developing nature of Followings has never been more significant than in the world of alcohol. In our work with brands including Jägermeister, Heineken, Magners and Glenfiddich, we have seen how the changing world in which the next generation of consumers are living is altering their attitudes towards alcohol and we wanted to explore how this is going to change the shape and behaviour of their Following.  


So we commissioned new research with Bar Goers and Bar Owners throughout the UK to explore how the next generation of drinkers – Gen Z - is shaping this transformation. Informed by online pop-up communities, quantitative surveys and depth interviews with experts, our report examines the consumer attitudes that are driving new drinking behaviour; how this is already impacting the alcohol trade; and what opportunities lay ahead in marketing to these customers.


We launched our findings to the industry on 30thJanuary. Hosted by the Financial Times’ Drinks Editor, Alice Lascelles, the report was debated by a panel including experts from Google, Red Brick Road and Opinium as well as Gen Z influencer, Brogan Tate.  


For information on the report, please contact




1.         Performance Over Partying


75% of Gen Z feel it is important to be in control of all aspects of their life at all times (vs 49% of Gen Y/X), naming work or study as their number one priority in life, rather than socialising or partying. In a world increasingly difficult to get ahead, they see a hangover, lightened bank account, or a sloppy social media as a competitive disadvantage. 


2.         Holistic Health Awareness


83% of Gen Z feel that mental health is just an important consideration as their physical health (vs 47% of Gen Y/X). Drinking alcohol is perceived as a much riskier activity than usual, creating a greater appetite for moderation.  


3.         Prioritising pageantry over alcohol percentage 


In line with their rejection of binge drinking and embracing quality over quantity, Gen Z are flocking towards premium brands – they’re savouring their drinks rather than getting sloshed on cheaper alternatives. 69% of bar managers report an increased demand for cocktails over the last 5 years and 72% report greater consumption of premium drinks.  


4.         The Rise of DIY Bartending and "Stay-In Socialising" 


Bar managers are concerned that they offer an experience that customers now have the ability to create for themselves – 91% claim it is important to their bars to offer an experience that cannot be replicated at home. Traditional bars are not just competing with other nightspots for Gen Z’s attention – your proposition needs to beat the sheer comfort of socialising in your home with Netflix or Deliveroo. Brought up in an era where catching up with friends occurred through the Houseparty phone app, a Fornite gaming session, or a Reddit messageboard, drinking isn’t the primary bonding ritual for this generation.   


5.         Prepare Setting to be Phone Friendly


Bar managers feel that an integral part of coaxing younger customers into their bar is through maintaining an “Instagram-Ready” look in either the service or setting. 71% say their bars have to be unique these days to attract customers – often capitalising on an Instagrammable feature wall or installation as a calling card that has social currency in online conversations as friend groups plan their night out.


Red Brick Road

Red Brick Road are a 14 year old independent agency based in London's Clerkenwell area. Our proposition is clear and focused: we specialise in creating ideas that get your brand a following. One where people cherish you, admire you and essentially become your media - ultimately generating a higher ROI. Our Team operate at the forefront of trends, tech and ideas. We are obsessed with not only getting our clients strong, game-changing results, but also with seeping their brand into culture and getting them under the skin of consumers. We believe in giving comms a long life, not a shelf-life. A brand without a following gets left behind.