Young adult drinkers are becoming more discerning about what they drink in these difficult economic times, according to research from Mintel.

The research, revealed at Mintel’s Future of Alcoholic Beverages conference, found that while 68% of 18 to 24 year-olds have bought a premium drink in the past year, 71% of those say they are likely to buy fewer premium alcoholic drinks due to rising prices.

However, 75% said they are only willing to pay more if they can easily taste the difference from cheaper equivalents. On a positive note, 45% of younger drinks still choose quality over quantity when buying alcohol.

The report highlights some significant differences between 18 to 24-year-olds and the adult drinking population as a whole when it comes to the question of what would encourage them to spend more on alcoholic drinks.

Among 18 to 24 year-olds, 44% would be encouraged to spend more if there were added flavours, while for the population as a whole the proportion is 19%

In addition, 39% of young adults would spend more if they believed there was more “purity” in the drink, and 38% would do so if it was a limited or special edition. For the general population the proportion is 29%.

More than one in three (35%) of younger drinkers would spend more if there are gifts attached (overall population: 19%), and 30% would do so if the drinks use rare ingredients (general public: 17%).

Meanwhile, 47% of 18 to 24 year-olds think there should be more information available for people about drinking in moderation.