What’s Next for Women & Alcohol: Change the Influencer Culture

As we have all seen in recent months and years, social media influencers, Instagram influencers, to be more specific, have taken it upon themselves to promote alcoholic products to other women. They do this through partnerships with alcohol companies, wineries, and breweries across the globe. But maybe instead of influencers marketing for alcohol companies and receiving payment, they should do the same thing for the promotion of alcohol awareness and education among women. I mean we are living in an age where women are constantly saying ‘let’s build each other up,’ so what better way than to spread education on the use of alcohol for women by women?

Take a look at the list below for 3 ways female influencers can use their platform for marketed alcohol awareness education rather than product marketing for big alcohol!

Partnerships with public health-oriented organizations

About 84% of Instagram influencers are women who have built a strong follower-base through their online content. Companies like, Truly Hard Cider and RumHaven, have partnered with ladies of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise to promote their products. These promotions are usually completed through #ads or #sponsored to increase awareness among people like us of their products and latest site promotions.














Sources: @ashely_iaconetti and @hannahg11

But maybe instead of ad promotions for alcoholic products, influencers could partner with organizations like UN Women or CDC Foundation. Both publicly funded organizations that share public health-related content on their Instagram’s and work each day with government, private, and public partners to create and protect policies for the health, safety, and security around the world. If influencers like Hannah G. or Ashley I. [pictured above] could partner with these not-for-profit organizations to share alcohol awareness education rather than marketing for big alcohol, as a society, we could get ahead of the women and alcohol epidemic and promote healthier lifestyles, much like what some influencers already do with small fitness companies.


In 2016, a woman named Louise Delage became a viral Instagram sensation, where she posted a photo each day featuring herself and an alcoholic beverage. Delage’s account quickly reached more than 10,000 followers and received about 50,000 likes on each post almost overnight. But to everyone’s surprise, this account was all fiction, created by a French addiction support organization called Addict Aide, to bring awareness to the subject of women and alcohol in France. Alcohol and women is not a topic of discussion in France culture, according to Julien Leveque, French strategic advertiser. He also mentioned that French women are too often targets for alcohol marketing and as a result have begun drinking too much, a universal theme seen among alcohol and women.

Source: @shalomelambert

While this may be an unorthodox way to bring awareness to alcoholism among women, it was very effective. The creation of this account shows all of us how alcoholism does not discriminate and how social media allows some of us to hide our addictions in plain sight. With more than 10,000 followers, all of them were surprised to learn that Delage was addicted to alcohol, since posting photos and videos of yourself and friends drinking alcohol has become a cultural norm.

In addition to promoting alcohol awareness education in partnership with not-for-profit organizations, influencers could participate in the #ALCOHOLAWARENESS campaign to share their own struggles and further the education of alcohol among women in order to help others like Louise who may be struggling with alcoholism in plain sight.

So, what is next for alcohol and female influencers?

Challenge yourself and your followers

  • Challenge yourself and your followers to talk about how alcohol affects your physical and emotional health.
  • Challenge yourself and your followers to experience life events without using alcohol as a social clutch.
  • Challenge yourself and your followers to share education on the negative effect’s alcohol causes, like depression, negative affect, cognitive fuzziness, or nausea.
  • Challenge yourself and your followers to get personal about how alcohol has affected your life and your loved ones.
  • Challenge yourself and your followers to participate in a ‘dry month’ where no alcohol is involved in your day-to-day and share your experiences on your Insta-stories or feed.

Since social media will never go away in our current culture, it is important that we continue to support and uplift each other as women. Female influencers who use their social media platforms in order to educate about alcohol rather than market for big alcohol companies will provide us with longer and more productive lives filled with the things we love the most.

Source: @drinkershelp

COVID-19, the Global Alcohol Industry, and Women

With the current state of the world during these unprecedented times of the Coronavirus pandemic, more women have turned towards alcohol to help them cope with this so called ‘new normal.’

What is the current state of the global alcohol industry?

In order to stabilize the U.S. alcohol market from the closure or to-go only orders of restaurants and bars caused by the shelter-in-place restrictions during the months of March and April, a 22% increase in sales across all alcoholic beverage categories is necessary. The United States’ alcohol market was not the only alcoholic market to face negative implications due to COVID-19, the world’s wine industry risks permanent changes with a 35% reduction of on-premise wine consumption in Europe, as well as a 50% decrease in wine sales across the entire European continent. While there have been decreases in on-premise alcohol sales due to Coronavirus, maybe out of fear of alcohol running out, much like Clorox wipes and toilet paper, there was a 50% increase in global alcohol sales during the close of March 21, 2020 compared the same week in 2019.

This is not the first-time women from around the world have turned to alcohol to cope with traumatic experiences. Economic events like the 2008 global financial crisis led to an increase in overall alcohol use. And other events such as terrorism, mass shootings, and natural disasters have also all led to an increase in alcohol use, on the global, national, and local levels. But the Coronavirus pandemic is creating new stressors where women are fearful that they or someone they love may be infected or maybe they are struggling to navigate this ‘new normal.’

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Alcoholic Beverages Market 2019-2023 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Source: Business Wire. Pre- and post-COVID-19 market estimates-alcoholic beverages market 2019-2023, demand for superior alcohol to boost growth, technavio. 2020. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200417005297/en/Pre-Post-COVID-19-Market-Estimates-Alcoholic-Beverages-Market

How are women turning to alcohol during these unprecedented times?

Researchers have found that 1 in 5 British women are increasing their alcohol consumption during the pandemic, while 1 in 3 have decreased their consumption. With many women working from home, homeschooling their children, and practicing social distancing, home alcohol delivery sales have increased dramatically. There has been an estimated 300% increase in global alcohol sales in March compared to January.

The increased stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic has caused many women turn to alcohol to relieve their stress, reduce their sometimes racing heart rates due to anxiety, and potentially cause sedative effects in order to wind-down from the day and sleep well. While the sedating and stress relieving effects of alcohol may seem intriguing and helpful, they are actually harmful to women’s cognitive abilities, sleep cycles, and can aid in the increase of negative interactions and tensions in the home.Source: DailyMail.com. Pray for parents! Stressed-out mothers and fathers share hilarious memes as they struggle to keep children busy during coronavirus self-isolation. 2020. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8130525/Stressed-parents-share-hilarious-memes-struggle-children-busy.html

Are alcohol companies targeting women during the Coronavirus crisis?

Women who utilize Facebook, Google, and Instagram, have been seeing different ads than they normally would have if COVID-19 did not exist. For example, many women, myself included, have been seeing new ads for alcohol delivery and Instagram Live Happy Hours with influencers and alcohol brands. Targeted ads for alcohol have increased by 350% in Australia,Quarantinis” have gained in popularity in the U.S., which are martini’s made from gin and Emergen-C, and virtual Happy Hours are happening all over the globe.

Source: eExtra News. Emergen-C, Aviation American Gin respond to ‘quarantine’ drink. 2020. https://eparisextra.com/living/emergen-c-aviation-american-gin-respond-to-quarantini-drink/

A virtual Happy Hour I have seen specifically target women is one where they can have a cocktail at home and virtually explore Highclere Castle, the famous and historic castle where the infamous “Downton Abbey” series and movie were filmed. One of the aims of this Happy Hour is the advertisement of Highclere Castle Gin, targeting fans of “Downton” and the Royal Family, to drink like a Royal, as the event is hosted by the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, who reside in the castle.

Source: Highclere Castle Gin Spirits. 2019. https://www.instagram.com/p/B1UcjriHDI0/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Globally, are women drinking more than before COVID-19?

In short, yes. As previously mentioned, 1 in 5 British women have increased their alcohol consumption since the beginning of the pandemic; 70% of Australian women reported drinking more than they normally would; and 26% of American women said they are drinking during work hours. But South African women are not drinking at all, as the government instituted a prohibition in order to decrease community spread of COVID-19 in order to keep about 5,000 trauma hospital beds free for Coronavirus-related care.

At the end of the day, while COVID-19 has decreased the on-premise sale of alcohol globally, sales for home delivery have increased drastically. Women from all over the world who are now working from home, homeschooling their children, and making all of their own meals in order to practice social distancing have been targeted by online ads and contributing to this increase are home alcohol delivery and increased drinking rates. Hopefully these increased rates in drinking due to COVID-19 will not create increased rates of alcohol use disorder in women, but only time will tell.