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This Is America's #1 Favorite Beverage Right Now, Data Says

Most of us want to indulge during these stressful times.

Odds are, your food and drink habits have changed quite a bit in the past year. Maybe your morning Starbucks latte has been replaced with a cup of drip coffee from home. You're likely eating out less and trying out some new recipes in your own kitchen. But it seems we've all stuck to the one consumer habit unchanged by the pandemic: drinking Coke.

According to the results of a Brand Intimacy COVID Study conducted by New York City marketing agency MBLM, the number one feeling that consumers are looking for in a beverage during these uncertain times is indulgence, and Coca-Cola provides that in abundance. (Related: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts.)

A survey of 3,000 Americans examining how people relate to different brands ranked Coca-Cola as the #1 brand in the beverage category. The questionnaire asked consumers to sort brands according to how connected they feel to them, to rate the brands based on different positive attributes, to reflect on how their feelings about the brand have changed during the pandemic, and more.

It turns out that, while indulgence is by far the top quality that we're looking for in our beverage choices right now, nostalgia and fulfillment are also super important to us. While Coke was the clear most-loved brand, the number two and number three picks were a little more surprising—Jack Daniel's and Mountain Dew respectively. You might not think of Mountain Dew as an especially fulfilling beverage, but the data has spoken.

The survey also showed that the beverages seems to have less overall brand loyalty than other categories like fast food or retail, with loyalty to specific brands being more prominent among men than women.

Of course, it's worth remembering that just because you feel an emotional connection to a drink, doesn't mean you should always opt for it. The risks of drinking too much Jack are pretty obvious, and Coke was rated as the most indulgent, because it's just that—a great treat in moderation, with considerable health risks associated with everyday consumption.

If you're looking for drinks that will make you feel good both in the moment and down the line, you might want to choose one of these expert-recommended 6 Best New Drinks to Try for Mind and Body Benefits. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Clara Olshansky
Clara Olshansky (they/she) is a Brooklyn-based writer and comic whose web content has appeared in Food & Wine, Harper’s Magazine, Men's Health, and Reductress. Read more
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