How preferences for volume-based promotions differ between at-risk and non-problem female drinkers

Steven L. Trawley, Australian Catholic University
Navjot Bhular
Sandra C. Jones, Australian Catholic University, University of Wollongong


Background Previous work has indicated that volume-based promotions encourage greater alcohol consumption. We report on a novel experimental approach that examined whether volume-based promotions, such as “Buy 1 Get 1 Free”, were selected more frequently than a simple 50% price discount among a sample of young adults who were differentiated by their levels of alcohol use. Methods 90 female university students took part in an online survey where they were asked to select either a volume- or price-based deal for alcohol or non-alcohol products. All participants were grouped as either non-problem drinkers or at-risk drinkers based on their response to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). For both product types, all decisions were collapsed into a simple binary outcome variable that indicated whether they preferred volume-based products or not. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression were run to assess the differences in preference for volume-based promotions between the two alcohol groups, for both alcohol and non-alcohol products. Results Participants who were identified for at-risk drinking were significantly more likely to express a preference for volume-based alcohol offers than non-problem drinkers. In contrast, no significant difference was observed for non-alcohol products. Conclusion This result provides the first insight on the possible differential preference for volume-based alcohol promotions between non-problem and at-risk drinkers. This work, and future studies will contribute to the development of policies regarding the regulation of promotions that are likely to have a greater appeal to at-risk drinkers