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Here We Go: Top Underage Booze Brands Named

By February 20, 2013

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For the first time, researchers have identified the most popular alcohol brands consumed by underage drinkers and have called for those companies to immediately take steps to reduce the appeal their products have to young drinkers. A relatively few brands dominate the youth market, the researchers found.

It was the first national study to identify which companies profit most from underage alcohol consumption.

Previous studies on underage drinking only asked participants whether they have consumed any alcohol or not, or perhaps the general type of alcohol - whiskey, beer or wine. Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health decided to ask about the specific brands of alcohol underage drinkers were consuming.

They surveyed more than 1,000 underage drinkers from age 13 to 20. They were asked about their past 30-day consumption of 898 brands of alcohol among 16 alcoholic beverage types.

Most Popular Underage Brands

The youth drinkers reported previous 30-day use of the following brands:

  1. Bud Light, 27.9%
  2. Smirnoff Malt Beverages, 17.0%
  3. Budweiser, 14.6%
  4. Smirnoff Vodkas, 12.7%
  5. Coors Light, 12.7%
  6. Jack Daniel's Bourbons, 11.4%
  7. Corona Extra, 11.3%
  8. Mike's, 10.8%
  9. Captain Morgan Rums, 10.4%
  10. Absolut Vodkas, 10.1%

"We now know, for the first time, what alcohol brands - and which companies - are profiting the most from the sale of their products to underage drinkers," said lead study author Michael Siegel in a news release. "The companies implicated by this study as the leading culprits in the problem of underage drinking need to take immediate action to reduce the appeal of their products to youth."

The CAMY report will be the basis for future research exploring the association between exposure to alcohol advertising and marketing efforts and the brand choices of underage drinkers, director David Jernigan said.

Source: Siegel, M. et al. "Brand-Specific Consumption of Alcohol Among Underage Youth in the United States," Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research 7 February 2013.

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