Mums beat dads to it: new research shows mums are first to talk to their children about alcohol Back to news

18th September 2013
  • Mums nationwide are leading the way in starting conversations with their children about alcohol and responsible drinking.
  • AB InBev UK has conducted research to build understanding of how parents approach the subject of responsible drinking with their children.
  • This comes as it launches a new partnership between Family Talk UK, its online platform, and the Alcohol Education Trust to help 100,000 parents talk to their children about alcohol.

LONDON, 16 September 2013: Mums are most likely to bring up the subject of alcohol and responsible drinking with their children according to new study published today by AB InBev UK, the world’s leading brewer. Exposing a parental divide, almost two thirds of mums (59%) polled said they had initiated a conversation with their child compared to fewer than half of dads (47%).

Mums also found it easier to have the conversation. One in five (18%) dads found talking about alcohol with their children difficult or very difficult, compared to just 9% of mums. This may explain why more than one in ten dads nationwide leave it to their other half to have the conversation, and nearly the same number leaves it to a grandparent.

Interestingly, the research found that children are more likely to approach their dads (21%) to talk about alcohol than their mums (19%).

Key findings and regional variations

  • The average age at which parents talked to their child about alcohol was just after their tenth birthday.
  • While mums lead the way, of those polled one in five mums (22%) and one in three dads (32%) hadn’t spoken with their children about alcohol.
  • Mums in the East Midlands were the most proactive, with 73% saying they had tackled the subject head on and initiated conversations about alcohol with their child.
  • Of all the parents surveyed, mums in the South West (88%) and South East (86%) were most likely to have talked with their child about alcohol, irrespective of who raised it. Among dads, East Anglia led the way with 81%.
  • Mums in the South West and dads in the East Midlands were the most approachable, with 28% and 27% respectively saying their child had approached them to talk about alcohol.
  • Parents in the North East and North West are among the least likely to have spoken with their child about alcohol.

This third annual survey of parents marks the start of a new partnership between Family Talk UK – AB InBev’s online platform developed with the Mumsnet community where parents can share experiences and advice about discussing alcohol with their children – and the Alcohol Education Trust (AET).

The partnership will combine Family Talk UK’s online reach, with the AET’s expertise and relationships with parents via secondary schools to reach 100,000 parents over three years as part of AB InBev’s commitment to promoting responsible drinking.

The partnership has also enabled the AET to appoint a new training co-ordinator to work with parents in the North East of England.

Commenting on the research and partnership with the Alcohol Education Trust, AB InBev UK President, Inge Plochaet, said:

“Our own research and other independent expert studies have shown time and again that parents are the ones who have most influence on the behaviour of their children. This is why it is so important that they talk to their children about responsible drinking.  But that doesn’t mean these conversations are easy. As a mum, I know myself how difficult talking about alcohol with my children can be. That’s why I’m delighted that through our Family Talk UK programme we are able to partner with the Alcohol Education Trust to help more parents talk to their children about alcohol. ”

Helena Conibear, Founder and Director of the Alcohol Education Trust, said:

It’s encouraging that nearly two thirds of mums are proactively talking to their children about alcohol, especially as research tells us just how important mums are as role models. But the research shows that there is still more work to do to reach those parents who haven’t spoken with their children about responsible drinking and to ensure all parents have the right information and facts at their fingertips. It’s crucial that both mums and dads feel comfortable and knowledgeable having these conversations. Our new partnership with Family Talk UK will mean that more parents can get the important advice and support they need via”

This year’s study and the new partnership builds on two years of previous research, conducted as part of AB InBev’s Family Talk UK programme. Family Talk UK is available at

For more information, please contact:

Hannah Robinson
E: [email protected]
T: 0207 842 0136 / 07912 028 048

Michelle Norman
E: [email protected]
T: 01582 397 568 / 07748 284 997


Notes to editors

Supporting statements

Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet, the parenting site that helped launch Family Talk UK, commented:

“We know that parents are really keen for advice on what to say to their children about alcohol. Using first hand experiences from mums and dads on Mumsnet’sTalk forums we have worked with Family Talk UK to provide practical tips on how to have honest, realistic conversations with children about responsible drinking. Hopefully this new partnership will help even more parents to talk about responsible drinking with their children.”

Anne Foster, Director of Marketing and Communications at alcohol education charity Drinkaware, said:

“Children become aware of alcohol at a young age – often as young as seven. That’s why it’s so important for parents to talk to their children about alcohol. Today’s research is encouraging, but it also shows there is still more to do to help parents feel comfortable when talking to their children about alcohol. Along with Family Talk UK and the Alcohol Education Trust we are supporting more mums and dads to do this through practical tips and advice via”

The partnership

  • The partnership between Family Talk UK and the Alcohol Education Trust will run for three years, with the aim to reach 100,000 parents as part of AB InBev’s commitment to promoting responsible drinking.
  • Family Talk UK is an online forum where parents can share tips and advice about discussing alcohol with their children.
  • The Alcohol Education Trust has appointed a dedicated parent training co-ordinator (who is both a parent and teacher) in the North East of England where alcohol-related harms are high2.
  • The co-ordinator will provide expert advice and support for parents through talks in schools, advice leaflets, online communications and newsletters.
  • This work will support the Alcohol Education Trust’s key goal of delaying the age at which children have their first whole supervised drink.

AB InBev UK and responsible drinking

  • In the UK AB InBev’s work on responsible drinking focuses on four main areas: supporting alcohol education; providing information and training; offering choice; and working in partnership.
  • The launch of this new partnership coincides with AB InBev’s fourth annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day, a day dedicated to promoting the importance of responsible drinking among employees, customers and consumers.
  • More information on its work can be found here.


  1. OnePoll – commissioned by AB InBev UK – interviewed 1,000 parents in the UK with children aged 8-18 between the 23rd August and 27th August 2013.
  2. As a region, the North East has the highest alcohol-specific hospital admissions: 107.72 per 100,000 population 2007/8 – 2009/10) and 1,521 admissions of under 18s between 2008/09-2010/1 (Local Alcohol Profiles England). In the North East over half (51 per cent) of pupils aged between 11 and 15 have ever drunk alcohol compared to under a third (31 per cent) in London where the proportion who have ever drunk alcohol is lowest, combined figures for 2011 and 2012 (“Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2012, the Health and Social Care Information Centre.)

About Anheuser-Busch InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). It is the leading global brewer, one of the world’s top five consumer products companies and recognized as first in the beverage industry on FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired” companies list. Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years and our portfolio of well over 200 beer brands continues to forge strong connections with consumers. We invest the majority of our brand-building resources on our Focus Brands – those with the greatest growth potential such as global brands Budweiser®, Corona®, Stella Artois® and Beck’s®, alongside Leffe®, Hoegaarden®, Bud Light®, Skol®, Brahma®, Antarctica®, Quilmes®, Michelob Ultra®, Harbin®, Sedrin®, Klinskoye®, Sibirskaya Korona®, Chernigivske®, Hasseröder® and Jupiler®. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s dedication to heritage and quality originates from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, with origins in St. Louis, USA since 1852. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, Anheuser Busch InBev leverages the collective strengths of its approximately 150,000 employees based in 24 countries worldwide. In 2012, AB InBev realized 39.8 billion USD revenue. The company strives to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World. For more information, please visit:

About the Alcohol Education Trust

The Alcohol Education Trust has a very specific role – to provide alcohol education in different ways, to students age 11 – 18 (via schools) and their parents. With teachers and parents as trustees, the AET works to ensure that parents have as much information as possible at their fingertips to help answer awkward questions, be aware of the law and guidelines and to help their children make the right choices about alcohol as they get older. Parents can sign up for tips and advice via:

The Trust supports schools in reaching parents by hosting ‘talking to kids about alcohol’ sessions across England. Teachers can also send home an advice booklet when alcohol lessons are delivered Sessions can be booked or leaflets ordered by contacting [email protected] .

For teachers, the Trust provides free evaluated, evidence based, imaginative and adaptable resources, films, worksheets and lesson plans to ensure the provision of informative and engaging lessons on alcohol in PSHE and science for KS3 and KS4.

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