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Why do you drink? A means-end approach to the motivations of young alcohol consumers

Sara Fabbrizzi (GESAAF, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Nicola Marinelli (GESAAF, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Silvio Menghini (GESAAF, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Leonardo Casini (GESAAF, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the motivations of young consumers of alcoholic beverages in order to supply information for the definition of corporate and social marketing strategies. The target of young consumers was chosen because of its association with the choice of consumption behaviours often resulting in health and social issues related to alcohol. The focus on motivations, on the other hand, is justified by the need to assess the contents of appropriate and efficient communication campaigns for both producers and public institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

A means-end approach was used on a sample of young consumers from Tuscany via face-to-face interviews. The interviews were carried out with students who were completing their last year of high school. The results were processed using an MEC analyst software for the construction of the hierarchical value maps and cognitive maps showing the links between products and consumers.

Findings

The results highlighted the perception of a “socialisation” attribute that is stronger when linked to the consumption of beer and spirits; however, wine is still perceived as a non-friendly beverage. The aspect of socialisation underlines both the pleasure of sharing consumption experiences and the dangerous binge drinking behaviour. Thanks to this approach, the study identifies the main elements in the cognitive structure that, if used to define a communication strategy, may guarantee a high degree of efficacy.

Originality/value

The findings of the study constitute valuable information that can be used to prepare stages of communication plans within larger corporate and social marketing strategies. The wine sector can benefit from understanding the motivations that prevent young people from drinking wine and can attempt to fill the psychological and cognitive gap between young consumers and the product. Public institutions, on the other hand, may benefit from understanding the motivations that lead young people towards dangerous drinking behaviours. In turn, the institutions may be able to send appropriate messages within their communication activities aimed at containing such behaviours.

Keywords

Citation

Fabbrizzi, S., Marinelli, N., Menghini, S. and Casini, L. (2017), "Why do you drink? A means-end approach to the motivations of young alcohol consumers", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 8, pp. 1854-1869. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-12-2016-0599

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited