The relationship between alcohol price and brand choice among underage drinkers: are the most popular alcoholic brands consumed by youth the cheapest?

Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Nov;49(13):1833-43. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2014.935790. Epub 2014 Sep 3.


We examined the influence of price on alcohol brand choice among underage youth. Using a national sample of 1,032 youth, ages 13-20, recruited from a national Internet panel in 2011-2012, we compared differences in mean prices between popular and unpopular brands, examined the association of price and brand popularity using logistic regression, and rank ordered the average price of top brands. Lower brand-specific prices were significantly associated with higher levels of past 30-day consumption prevalence. However, youth did not preferentially consume the cheapest brands. These findings indicate that youth have preferences for certain brands, even if those brands cost more than competing brands. Our study highlights the need for research on the impact of brand-specific alcohol marketing on underage drinking.

Keywords: alcohol; alcohol brands; price; surveillance; underage drinking; youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / economics
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholic Beverages / economics*
  • Alcoholic Beverages / statistics & numerical data
  • Choice Behavior
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Costs and Cost Analysis / economics
  • Costs and Cost Analysis / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Young Adult