Drunk shopping

12 Mar 2018

According to the ONS, 7.8 million people ‘binged’ on alcohol on their heaviest drinking day. But how many of us binge shop after a night out under the influence? Finder has recently commissioned a survey of 2,000 Brits in February 2018 to find out. The survey revealed that approximately four in five (80.45%) Brits drink alcohol regularly and of those who drink, 45.80% have made spontaneous drunk purchases in the past. This means that an estimate of over one in three (36.35%) Brits (over 15 million) have made drunk purchases in the past. Of those who have made drunk purchases, the total amount spent per person, on average, is an estimated £291.07, equating to approximately £4.46 billion blown on drunk shopping nationally.

Almost one in four (22.87%) drinkers admit to drunk purchasing food whilst 13.80% admit to buying shoes, clothes and accessories. The next two highest categories drunk shoppers spent their money on were gambling at 10.44% and cigarettes at 8.51% of drinkers.


Of those who drink, 47.25% of men and 44.30% of women have made drunk purchases in the past. Men are more likely to make drunk food purchases (19.42%) than women (17.40%) whilst women (13.37%) are more likely to make drunk shoes, clothes or accessories purchases than men (8.75%). Comparing average spend, men appear to be blowing more on average than women, at £364.72 for men versus £213.41 per woman.


It appears millennials could be the most reckless generation in more ways than one. They are the most likely to be making drunk purchases with almost three in five (59.29%) drinkers admitting to this boozy indulgence, compared to 51.70% of Gen Xers and 31.36% of baby boomers admitting the same.

Even though millennials are the most likely to drunk shop, Gen X drunk shoppers indulge on their purchases by spending more money than their younger counterparts. The average total cost of Gen X’s drunk purchases is estimated to be £374.45 whilst millennials are skimping on their drunk purchases at an average total of £182.39. Baby boomers came in between at £317.09.

Drunk smoking is a problem that is estimated to be more than four-times bigger in millennials than baby boomers, with 15.06% of drinkers having purchased cigarettes whilst under the influence compared to only 3.20% of baby boomers and 9.48% of Gen X.

An estimated one in three millennials who drink (33.41%) admit to buying food under the influence whilst only one in four Gen X (24.51%) and 14.24% of baby boomers admit to the same thing.

Our drinking habits

Wine appears to be our drink of choice, with an estimate of almost three in five drinkers (57.99%) consuming at least one glass a week (average of three glasses a week). The average amount spent on any one particular drink type in a week per person is also the highest for wine at £6.08.

Beer comes in second with beer drinkers spending an average of £5.82 per week.

Cocktails get given the boot with an estimate of 39.78% of drinkers having never had this drink before and only 16.84% consuming one or more cocktails a week.


When it comes to beer, men clearly spend more time with a pint in their hand than women. Only one in five (20.14%) female drinkers have an average of one pint of beer a week. In comparison, the proportion of male drinkers who admit to an average of four pints a week comes in at an overflowing 68.01%!

On the flip side, women are more likely to enjoy at least one glass of wine per week (64.31%) than men (51.89%). Although they both average three glasses per week amongst wine drinkers.

Men are spending over three times as much money on beer than women with male beer drinkers admitting to spending an average of £9.25 a week compared to £2.51 a week for women. Therefore, over the course of one year, a woman could potentially save £350 compared to their male counterparts.


When it comes to alcohol consumption, baby boomers are losing the pint downing race on all fronts. Gen X are the leaders when it comes to beer and wine with 52.77% and 61.54% of drinkers having at least one beer or wine a week respectively. As for shots, cocktails and cider, millennials are leading the charge with 44.47%, 31.53% and 34.35% of drinkers admitting to consuming at least one of those drinks per week respectively.

These drinking habits hold true not only in terms of the proportion of each generation that regularly consume each drink but for the average amount spent each week as well. Gen X drinkers spend the highest average amount on beers and wine per week out of all generations, at £7.14 and £6.90 respectively per drinker per week. Millennials again lead the drinking race, spending an average of £5.08 on spirits, £4.25 on cocktails and £3.62 on ciders per drinker per week.

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