Beer is harmless, water is not*

The attitude towards beer is rather relative. On one hand, many people speak with confidence about the benefits of the drink. On the other hand, people who oppose the consumption of beer, argue about how bad it is, upholding to the idea that all the arguments presented in favor of this drink are very improbable.

The dream of an average man

One can often hear the joke that men, when they are thirsty, are more likely to buy a bottle of beer rather than water. According to the dreams of the average man, along with a glass of beer he certainly would include fish or salted sausage; and of course, in addition to that, a good conversation must take place. Advertisements for beer represent a tempting image of an overfull, cold glass of the amber-colored drink, and thus it results rather difficult to resist. Beer - it's a good conversation starter, and it also helps to relax and enjoy oneself while drinking a cold glass of beer.

It is interesting to find out the situation of the local beer market, from a commercial point of view. To answer this question, Magenta Consulting Company has conducted the study Magenta National Screening, on a sample of 3,000 respondents in 136 towns and villages of Moldova.

Fig. 1: Assisted awareness (assisted response) of beer brands, N = 2699,%

The study reveals that the brand Chişinău has already entered the category of national brands, whose existence is known to almost everyone. Thus, the proportion of those who associate this beer with the blue label is 88% (spontaneous awareness). Second, according to popularity, is the beer Baltika - the brand was called off by 28% of respondents, during the spontaneous response. Following, are the brandsOld Miller (СтарыйМельник), Tuborg, White Bear (Белыймедведь). In the case of assisted response, the result for the brand Chişinău increases and it reaches 98%. Referring to the brand Baltika - this is known to 70% of respondents. Interesting to note is that in the case of the brand leader there is no significant difference in the popularity level between the urban and rural environment, but in the case of Baltika, the share of rural population that known the brand is 26% lower compared to the urban residents. The same tendency can be noticed in the case of Old Miller (СтарыйМельник) and White Bear (Белыймедведь). It is very unlikely that this phenomenon is related to the loyalty towards the local brands. More likely it is due to the supply of food in rural stores, because rural consumers are less picky about the purchased good. In this case, is this the cause or the consequence of the consumer choices existent, which tend to be more modest in the rural areas than in urban areas. How does one choose which beer to buy? The study revealed that the most important criterion when buying beer - is the taste (74%). Having a reasonable price also plays a very important role: 44%.

Fig. 2: Criteria for purchasing beer, N = 1487,%

Beer - is it for everyone? ...

Contrary to the popular belief that beer is harmless and even sometimes useful, it still contains alcohol and, therefore, there are certain age restrictions for selling it. How is this restriction actually followed and respected? Probably it's worth asking the teenagers this question, which can be seen in the summer evenings in the park, leaning on the bench with their feet up and having fun, while laughing at the jokes of their friends. However, if we refer to the results of this current study, conducted amongst adults, it can be seen that the proportion of those who consume beer rather frequently is 55%. Most of them prefer light beer (74%). Also, filtered beer is more demanded than unfiltered, the proportion being 61% to 28%.

Trademarks are known to us because we buy their products. Or could it be that their popularity is mainly due to the ongoing stream of information that we are exposed to when we walk down the street, ride the bicycle, listening to the radio, or watch TV at night? There is no clear answer to this question. However, in the case of the brand Chişinău, the percentage of those consumers who often buy this beer represents 58%, which is less than 98% of the population who know the brand.

Or maybe Kvas** ?

Debates over the dangers and benefits of beer are unlikely to ever stop. As it is the case of the carbonated soft drinks - despite the huge amount of information broadcasted about the dangers of sodas containing chemicals, new brands still continue to appear on the market and the shelves in supermarkets are always full for the customers. In the case of soft drinks the taste is a very important aspect. For beer - the same situation. Advertising about beer only reminds people about it and suggests how to reduce the thirst. Most likely, as any other alcoholic beverage, beer is consumed primarily for one's own pleasure. However, perhaps it should a delight only for adults - who can make their own decisions and are responsible for their own lives and health. However, beer advertising is very commonly watched amongst teenagers and also at all sorts of festivals and picnics, and in those cases - the advertising should be restricted. Instead of beer, youngsters should opt for  Kvas. Especially because the manufacturing process of these two drinks is practically the same, the advantage is that the later one does not contain alcohol, and taste-wise, a good Kvas, can be enjoyed just as much as beer.

Methodological note: The data was obtained during the study Magenta National Screening. It is conducted quarterly using the omnibus methodology, on a sample of 3,000 people in villages and towns of Moldova, with the margin of error of ± 1.7% and 95% confidence level.

*lyrics from the soundtrack of the movie "It cannot be"

**Kvas is a fermented beverage made from black or regular rye bread