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Scores, out of a possible 100, based on weighted averages of 2,766 responses (graphic) EUROPEANS KNOW THEIR LIQUOR BUT INSTEAD SIP MINERAL WATER

By Published on .

While mineral water is the most commonly consumed drink among western Europeans, Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky and Heineken beer are the most popular or most recognizable alcoholic brands in the region, according to a survey commissioned by Time-Life International.

The survey, "Time Drinks Survey 1994," measures consumption and purchasing habits for different types of beverages and also examines the awareness, familiarity, perceived image and unprompted advertising recall for 40 spirit producers and 12 beer companies.

The survey gives both Guinness' Black Label and Heineken beer a score of 75 out of a possible 100 on the familiarity scale, the highest of any alcoholic beverages in any category across Europe. Carlsberg beer gets 72, Seagram's Chivas Regal 70, Carlsberg's Tuborg beer 67% and Guinness' Johnnie Walker Red Label 66 Guinness's Gordon's Gin had 64, Hiram Walker's Courvoisier cognac and Remy Cointreau's Remy Martin cognacs 62 each. Of the remainder, only Seagram's Martell cognac came in higher than the 50 mark.

The survey finds that spirits, particularly whisky are bought most often in duty free shops. Danes (91%), Swedes and Swiss are most likely to buy spirits at duty free outlets, and that Swedes (65%) are most likely to try new brands.

It concludes that drinks most frequently consumed are mineral water (66%), wine (60%), beer (46%) and whisky (16%). The frequency rate for consuming champagne and port is 9%, sherry (7%), cognac (6%), gin (6%), schnapps (5%), liqueurs (3%) and vodka (3%).

Overall, people under 25 prefer mineral water, the report says, with beer in second position, ahead of wine. The over 45s prefer wine, followed by mineral water and then beer. The under 20s drink more gin and schnapps than any other spirits but the over 45s drink whisky most frequently, says the report.

Answers of 2,766 respondents, Time readers in 11 Western European countries, were weighted and averaged to develop scores for each brand.

European Data & Research Ltd., Henley, conducted the survey by questionnaire from September through October in Germany, France, Italy, the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. Not a probability study, there was no relevant margin of error.

The survey can be purchased from Louise Williams, Time International Marketing, Brettenham House, Lancaster Place, London WC2E 7TL. It comes in two parts, the spirits section for $357 and beer for $223.

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