Drinking Motives

Drinking Motives

Klaus Grunert (Aarhus University, Denmark), Jacob Rosendahl (Aarhus University, Denmark), Andreas I. Andronikidis (University of Macedonia, Greece), George J. Avlonitis (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece), Paulina Papastathopoulou (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece), Carmen R. Santos (University of León, Spain), Ana R. Pertejo (University of León, Spain), Julio Abad-González (University of León, Spain), Pirjo Laaksonen (University of Vaasa, Finland), Jenniina Halkoaho (University of Vaasa, Finland), Alexandra Kenyon (Leeds Metropolitan University, UK), Lenka Kopicarova (Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands) and Johan van Berkel (Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2857-1.ch008


This chapter presents an analysis of what consumer in Europe drink and why they drink what they drink. The concept of drinking motives is developed and defined, and analysis of data on drinking motives shows that these can be grouped into two major classes: self-expressive and functional. This distinction is universal and hence applies across Europe. However, the importance of self-expressive as compared to functional motives, as well as the way in which these relate to different beverages, does differ across Europe. Both dimensions are relevant for the motives for drinking non-alcoholic drinks, whereas the self-expression dimension dominates reasons for drinking alcoholic drinks. The Eastern European countries have generally higher scores on the self-expression dimension, indicating that such motives play a bigger role there compared to the other regions. No clear geographical pattern emerged with regard to the functional dimension. Beer and spirits are the alcoholic drinks and tea, water, and juice the non-alcoholic drinks that are related to high scores on the self-expression dimension. Water and juice are the drinks scoring highest on functionality, being mainly related to health, availability, and quenching one’s thirst. The non-alcoholic products scoring low on functionality are coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks. Analysis of socio-demographic differences resulted in only a few effects. Men, lower education groups, and lower income groups are more likely to drink alcohol for reasons other than self-expression motives (such as to quench one’s thirst). Also, the health motive plays a larger role for older people, and the self-expressive and social motives play a larger role for younger people. The chapter closes with recommendations for the marketing of drink products in Europe.
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8.2. The Concept Of Drinking Motives

Consumers do not spontaneously have an urge to drink water or consume expensive cocktails. Consumers are considered to be driven to act, purchase or behave due to stimulation from internal motivations and external factors. In this chapter, we concentrate on internal motivations.

It is important to note the difference between the elements of instinct and motivation. Whilst both elements are individual responses, instinct is an automatic, involuntary response to external stimuli. Instincts are inborn in an individual; for example, an individual attempts to catch a ball when one is thrown towards them, the reflex action to catch the ball is an instinct. Motives, however, are planned and voluntary reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way. Motivation is much more complex than a reflexive, instinctive action, as it is an individual phenomenon that is an intentional act, thought through, planned and initiated. Motives, therefore, are the desire to fulfil a need. In order to fulfil the need an intentional act or behaviour is required (Hagger, Chatzisarantis & Harris, 2006). Motivations are triggered by both internal stimuli and external factors. For example, internal stimuli could be ‘I am thirsty’. Thirst may drive a consumer to purchase a bottle of water. An external factor that motivates an individual to act, purchase or behave in a certain way can be ‘created’; for example, the smell of freshly ground coffee may drive a consumer to buy a cup of coffee.

Considering the example ‘I am thirsty’, the consumer is in an actual state of ‘being thirsty’. The consumer’s desired state is to be ‘not thirsty’. Therefore, there is a drive to drink. During this stage the consumer feels a state of tension between the actual state, ‘thirsty’, and the desired state, ‘not thirsty’. This process is illustrated in Figure 1. It can be seen that when no tension occurs, an individual’s desired and actual states are the same. However, when there is a difference between the actual state and the desired state, a tension is created which forms a gap between the actual state and the desired state. Consumers, therefore, are driven to fill the gap in order to satisfy their need: a motivational process occurs (Hofmann, Friese & Roefs, 2009; Sheth & Mittal, 2004) which begins with a stimulus, which in turn creates arousal or drive, which pushes a person to act or behave in a certain way to arrive at the desired state (Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard, & Hogg, 2007).

Figure 1.

Actual state and desired state

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