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What is Gen Z drinking? What are they thinking? What impacts college students' beverage choices? This report, a study of College Millennial Consumers (CMCs) delivers answers via a survey of more than 1,000 college/university students throughout the U.S. concerning their attitudes toward and consumption of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.

  • 2023 Edition – Published August 2023
  • Data through 2022.
  • 55+ PowerPoint slides with extensive exhibits, charts and tables.
  • Immediate download, PDF and PowerPoint formats, 3-user access.
The Gen Z and College Student Beverage Consumer
What's Inside? View Details

Get superior data, market insights and industry perspective to analyze beverage segments, evaluate opportunities and benchmark performance.

Report Overview  more details

The answers you need

The Gen Z and College Student Beverage Consumer, once again conducted for Beverage Marketing Corporation by Wasserman Next Gen (formerly, Riddle and Bloom), a Boston–based college marketing and insights agency, queries college/university students throughout the U.S. on their various beverage consumption habits and attitudes — thus helping to provide marketers with a map of where the college student consumer may be trending. Through a series of charts and commentary, this insightful beverage industry research report looks at behaviors and attitudes of college age millennial consumers (CMCs) towards a myriad of topics with a primary focus on beverages. Questions answered include:

  • Where do they buy or make their coffee?
  • What is their behavior towards nutrition labels?
  • How much is spent on alcohol and what alcohol segments are most popular?
  • Which beverage do college students view as the most optimal "pick-me-up"?

This report features

This unique report pairs the survey data about the attitudes/behaviors of college students with analysis of the beverage industry which explains the "story behind the numbers." This market report is meant to provide busy executives with a quick but comprehensive view of trends of what the newest set of young adults is thinking and drinking. An ideal report to kick off brainstorming sessions or to set the stage for other further research into the thought processes, concerns and consumption habits of this emerging influential consumer group. In this report, users get a feel for college student attitudes and behaviors towards beverages including:

  • Students' view on food and drink and factors that most influence students' purchase and consumption of beverages
  • Beer and seltzer brand preferences
  • The average amount that students spend on beverages and other items in stores and online on a monthly basis
  • College students' attitudes towards alcoholic beverage types
  • Attitudes towards bottled water and recyclability that would have future implications for the bottled water industry in particular

Next Gen 2023 Census Data

Beverage Marketing Capabilities slide 2

Overview slide 4

Contents slide 5

Demographics slide 6

  • How old are you? slide 7
  • What is your gender? slide 8
  • In what region is the university located where you are currently enrolled in college? slide 9
  • Do you attend a private university or public university? slide 10
  • What are you currently majoring in? slide 11
  • What type of undergraduate program are you currently enrolled in? slide 12
  • What year are you in your undergraduate program? slide 13
  • Are you a full-time or part-time student? slide 14
  • Do you identify as Hispanic or Latino? slide 15
  • Which of the following best represents your racial or ethnic heritage? slide 16

Finance slide 17

  • For each of the items below, please select who primarily pays for the item slide 18
  • How much do you usually spend in the following categories on a monthly basis? slide 19
  • Do you usually purchase items in the following categories online or in store? slide 20
  • How much do you spend weekly on items of non-essential needs? slide 21

Beverages slide 22

  • Which of the following beverages do you recall drinking in the past month? slide 23
  • When selecting beverages to drink, which factor has the greatest influence on your purchase/consumption? slide 24
  • How influential is the recyclability of a beverage's packaging in your decision to purchase that beverage? slide 25
  • When in need of a "pick-me-up", which beverage type are you most likely to drink? slide 26
  • How do you currently consume coffee? slide 27
  • When grocery shopping, do you look at nutrition labels? slide 28

Alcohol slide 29

  • How many days of the week do you drink alcohol? slide 30
  • When you do drink, how many drinks do you consume in a single sitting? slide 31
  • By your estimate, how much do you spend on alcoholic beverages weekly? slide 32
  • Based on your alcohol consumption over the last year, please rank your consumption of the alcohol types below slide 33
  • How often do you consume hard seltzer? slide 34
  • Which of the following drugs have you tried? slide 35
  • Which of the following CBD products have you tried in the past 12 months? slide 36

Wasserman Next Gen slide 37

Next Gen LDA Census Insights

Beverage Marketing Capabilities slide 2

Agenda slide 4

Study Overview slide 5

  • Overview slide 6
  • Respondent Profile | Demographics - Gender, Age, Academic Year, Hispanic/Latino, Ethnicity slide 7
  • Respondent Profile | Demographics - Student Status, Type of Program, Region, College Type slide 8

Key LDA Findings slide 9

  • #1 Peer influence continues to be a top driver of consumer behavior slide 10
    • Importance of Community slide 11
    • Social Media Habits slide 12
    • Brand Trial Motivators slide 13
  • #2 Social media is important, but it's not the only valuable channel slide 14
    • Social Media Habits slide 15
    • Communication & Marketing Tactics slide 16
  • #3 Passion points offer a way for authentic connection between brands and consumers slide 17
    • LDA Student Passion Points slide 18
    • Social Media Habits slide 19
    • Purchase Factors slide 20
  • #4 Quality products influence brand perception and promotion slide 21
    • Brand Engagement slide 22
  • #5 The majority of Gen Z LDAs continue to regularly consume alcohol slide 23
    • Alcoholic Beverage Consumption Habits slide 24
    • Types of Alcoholic Beverages Consumed slide 25
  • #6 Weekly discretionary spending includes alcoholic beverage purchase slide 26
    • Monthly Spending by Category slide 27
    • Spending Habits slide 28
  • Key Findings — Summary slide 29

Wasserman Next Gen slide 30

Have Questions?
Contact Charlene Harvey at 212-688-7640 ext. 250 or via email.