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The Chicago Tribune reports that alcoholic beverage manufacturers are rethinking many of their marketing plans in view of new research that suggests “women are closing the drinking gap, consuming more alcohol at restaurants while making most of the purchasing decisions for at-home consumption.”

The story says that “statistics show women have been ordering more drinks. Alcohol servings in restaurants to women increased by 9 percent in 2009, and 3 percent in 2010, according to NPD Group, a market research firm, while servings to men decreased 4 percent in 2009 and 6 percent in 2010. Men still consumed about 10 percent more ... Women make 65 percent to 70 percent of the alcohol-purchasing decisions for at-home consumption.”

The shift in purchasing trends are nudging manufacturers to create new flavors that will appeal to women, often skewed to sweeter combinations that they think women will want.

Gary Stibel of the New England Consulting Group tells the Tribune that there may be a sobering fact behind the shift - that previously two-income households have been turned into one-income households by the recession, and since men were hit by the downturn to a greater extent than women, it has left women in the position of having to buy the booze.
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