Social Media Users More Likely to Increase Alcohol Use During COVID-19 “Stay-at-Home”

During COVID-19 “Stay-at-Home” orders in the United States, social media users are more likely to increase their alcohol use, finds new consumer research.

IZEA Worldwide, Inc. published the new consumer research “Coronavirus Impacts on Alcohol & Social Media Consumption”. The study examines how the U.S. “Stay-at-Home” orders due to COVID-19 will affect those in the legal age for alcohol use.

IZEA fielded the study between March 30, 2020 and April 1, 2020, as many new “Stay-at-Home” orders were going into effect in the United States. 552 U.S. internet users ages 21 and above who self-identify as alcohol consumers participated in this study. Out of the respondents,

  • 93% indicated that they were either under government orders to stay at home or had made the decision to voluntarily stay at home;
  • 19.4% indicated that they haven’t left their home at all; and
  • 66%  said that while “confined to their home,” they have left their house for items they viewed as “essential.”

Key statistics for COVID-19 impact on alcohol use 

The report examines how the confinement to homes is affecting alcohol consumption and how that specifically correlates to individual social media platforms.

  • In their first 1-3 days of confinement, 47% of respondents say that their beer consumption has increased, followed by wine at 37%, and liquor at 30%.
  • 33% of males say they are consuming more beer since Coronavirus has impacted their life vs. 19% of females.
  • 44% of consumers ages 21-29 say they are consuming more wine vs. 25% of those surveyed of all adults 21+.

The study also finds that social media use has increased due to confinement. Increased social media is in turn affecting alcohol use.

Key statistics for social media impact on alcohol use

  • 54% of TikTok users say they are consuming more beer since being confined to their home for Coronavirus, as opposed to 8% of those who don’t use any form of Social Media.
  • Instagram users are 4.3 times more likely to have increased their consumption of liquor vs. those who do not use Instagram.
  • 43% of Twitch users say they have participated in an online “Happy Hour” since being impacted by Coronavirus, as opposed to 1.4% of those who don’t use any form of Social Media.
  • Over 16% of social media users say they have already ordered alcohol and used delivery, curbside pickup, or drive thru since the Coronavirus impacted their life – and 44% say they are considering using it. 

Big Alcohol: Profit over public health – even during a pandemic

The alcohol industry has caught onto the effect social media use might be having on alcohol consumption and is employing strategies such as online happy hours to keep their profits from falling. This is despite the World Health Organization advising to avoid or reduce alcohol use during this time and evidence suggesting that alcohol weakens the immune system, making people more susceptible to the virus and its complications.

Big Alcohol is already fast adapting to the changing environment through various strategies as reported by Movendi International previously. One main strategy is using social media to target more people and specifically younger demographics – who are increasingly moving away from alcohol and who are using social media more these days.

How COVID-19 Affects Alcohol, Advertising Industries

The addiction epidemic in the United States is already colliding with the COVID-19 crisis. Clearly, the country can ill-afford for alcohol harm to increase which would further heighten the strain on the already over burdened healthcare system.