Drinking motives

Authors Jacob Rosendahl , Lenka van Riemsdijk , Klaus Grunert , Johan van Berkel
Published in Consumption culture in Europe: insight into the beverage industry
Publication date 2013
Type Book


Chapter 8 in Comsumption Culture in Europe. This chapter presents an analysis of what consumer in Europe drink and why they drink what they drink. The concept of drinking motives is developed and defined, and analysis of data on drinking motives shows that these can be grouped into two major classes: self-expressive and functional. This distinction is universal and hence applies across Europe. However, the importance of self-expressive as compared to functional motives, as well as the way in which these relate to different beverages, does differ across Europe. Both dimensions are relevant for the motives for drinking non-alcoholic drinks, whereas the self-expression dimension dominates reasons for drinking alcoholic drinks. The Eastern European countries have generally higher scores on the self-expression dimension, indicating that such motives play a bigger role there compared to the other regions. No clear geographical pattern emerged with regard to the functional dimension. Beer and spirits are the alcoholic drinks and tea, water, and juice the non-alcoholic drinks that are related to high scores on the self-expression dimension. Water and juice are the drinks scoring highest on functionality, being mainly related to health, availability, and quenching one’s thirst. The non-alcoholic products scoring low on functionality are coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks. Analysis of socio-demographic differences resulted in only a few effects. Men, lower education groups, and lower income groups are more likely to drink alcohol for reasons other than self-expression motives (such as to quench one’s thirst). Also, the health motive plays a larger role for older people, and the self-expressive and social motives play a larger role for younger people. The chapter closes with recommendations for the marketing of drink products in Europe.


Language English
Published in Consumption culture in Europe: insight into the beverage industry
Page range 306-332