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The Degree of Popular love to Alcohol: Russians told us about what and how much they drink and how much do they spend on alcohol.

  • Tuesday, 04 April 2017

The Degree of Popular love to Alcohol: Russians told us about what and how much they drink and how much do they spend on alcohol.

We conducted a survey studying the preferences of alcohol consumers during the last year.* According to the results, 75% of respondents in the 18-64 age group consumed alcoholic drinks at least once. This percentage is almost equal for both men and women. Most active alcohol consumers are 35-44 years old, least active are older than 54. What kind of alcoholic drinks do Russians prefer? How did the consumer preferences change? How much and how often do they drink? How much do they spend on alcohol? These are the questions that were covered by our survey.

The structure of consumption of alcoholic drinks is as follows (see Image 1):

Image 1. Top 6 alcoholic drinks, last year, in %

Top 6 alcoholic drinks, last year

Sparkling wine and wine were the most popular drinks among the respondents last year. Sparkling wine is traditionally seen as a drink for celebrations and the high frequency of its mentioning can be partially explained by preceding New Year celebrations. The share of active consumers of this drink is almost equal for all age groups except for the youngest on (18-24 y.o.), where the share is much less. Champagne is mostly a “female” drink. Still wines are also preferred by women: there are twice as many female wine consumers as male ones.

Beer holds the third place in the popularity rating of alcoholic drinks. Most active beer consumers are people who are 25 to 34 years old, mostly male. Vodka and brandy are also traditionally preferred by men, especially in older age groups. Whiskey is most popular among younger respondents. Other types of alcoholic drinks were consumed by a much lesser number of respondents.

Respondents noted that there were changes in their alcohol consumption throughout the last year: some of them started to drink more, some less (see Image 2).

Image 2. Change of preferences of Russians who consume alcohol, %

hange of preferences of Russians who consume alcohol

Vodka holds the first place in the rating of decrease in consumption. 15% of respondent who drink alcohol told that they started drinking less vodka. Older men are in the group with the largest share of such decrease. 13% started drinking less beer, 6% drink less cognac, as well as whiskey.

The share of people who started drinking more wine is larger than of those who decreased their wine consumption. For example, in 18-24 age group the share of people who started drinking more wine is three times more than the share of those who decided to drink less wine.

How often and how much do Russians drink? It all depends on the drink. Traditionally, there are drinks for special occasions and drinks for more frequent consumption.

As for wine, most of respondents drink it once a month or more rarely, it is true for about 70% of wine drinkers. The picture is similar for spirits: most respondents drink vodka, brandy or whiskey once a month or less. On the contrary, beer is consumed at higher frequency: about a third of beer consumers drink it once a week or more often, about 40% - from one to several times a month.

Respondents also evaluated their average monthly consumption for each alcoholic drink. We found out that more than a half wine drinkers have up to 0.5 liters of wine per month, a third – from 0.6 to 1 liter, the rest drink more.

The majority of wine purchases are made in 0.75 liter bottles.

About 60% of beer consumers drink up to 2 liters per month, about 1/5 – from 2 to 5 liters. Choosing the package, more than a half prefers the glass bottle, a third prefers canned beer.

60% of vodka consumers drink up to 0.5 liter per month; about a quarter – up to 2 liters. The package which is most in demand here is a 0.5 liter bottle.

As for brandy (cognac), the average monthly consumption for 60% of cases is 250 ml per month. The majority of whiskey drinkers (70%) drink an average of up to 0.5 liters per month.

Respondents also shared their estimates of their average expenditure on a bottle of the drink they consume regularly (Table 1)

Average cost of a bottle, roubles

The biggest average expenditure is for a bottle of whiskey. In this case, the older generation spends the most on a bottle. Also, women usually buy more expensive whiskey than men.

The average price of a bottle of brandy (cognac) is about 930 roubles. The most expensive drinks are usually preferred by people under 24. Also, more men than women choose more expensive brandy.

The price range of a bottle of wine for the respondents is quite broad, with an average of 439 roubles. In this case younger people are ready to spend more on a bottle of wine than the older ones. This tendency is also true for the average cost of vodka or beer: people under 24 usually buy more expensive brands than older age groups.

You can get more detailed information on this topic from our “Analysis of Alcoholic Beverages Market in Russia – March 2016” report.


*Information was collected via telephone survey, which was conducted among respondents of 18-64 years old who consumed alcoholic drink last year in 52 cities in Russia. A total of 1014 interviews were conducted; among these people, 796 consumed alcoholic drinks last year. Survey timing: February-March 2016.

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