Online Alcohol Delivery Is Associated With Heavier Drinking During the First New Zealand COVID‐19 Pandemic Restrictions
This paper aimed to assess purchasing and alcohol behavior during the first COVID‐19 pandemic restrictions in New Zealand.
A convenience sample was collected via Facebook from 2173 New Zealanders 18+ years during pandemic restrictions April/May 2020. Measures included: the quantity typically consumed during an alcohol use occasion and heavier alcohol use (6+ units on a typical occasion) in the past week; place of purchase including online alcohol delivery. Descriptive statistics were generated, logistic and linear regression models predicted heavier alcohol use and typical occasion quantity, respectively. Weighting was not applied.
During pandemic restrictions, around 75% of respondents purchased from supermarkets, 40% used online alcohol delivery services (18% for the first time during COVID‐19). Purchasing online alcohol delivery during pandemic restrictions was associated with heavier alcohol use (75% higher odds) in the past week, while purchasing from supermarkets was not. About 58% of online purchasers under 25 reported no age checks. Sixteen percent of those purchasing online repeat ordered online to keep consuming alcohol after running out. Of respondents who had tried to buy alcohol and food online, 56% reported that alcohol was easier to get delivered than fresh food. Advertising for online alcohol delivery was seen by around 75% of the sample. Half of the sample reported consuming more alcohol during the restrictions.
Discussion and Conclusions
Online alcohol delivery during the COVID‐19 pandemic restrictions was associated with heavier alcohol use in the past week. The rapid expansion of online alcohol delivery coupled with a lack of regulatory control requires public health policy attention.