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industry focus

Booze sales down

Theories that more people would reach for the bottle to get them through the global pandemic and lockdown restrictions have proved unfounded as alcohol sales across the world actually shrank, according to new figures. 

Euromonitor International’s global data from over 100 countries found that consumers bought 15.8 billion fewer litres of alcohol beverages in 2020 with sales volumes declining by more than 6 per cent.

President and chief executive of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) Henry Ashworth said, “Despite reports of people rushing to stock up on alcohol in supermarkets, pictures of empty shelves, and fears that people would drink more when confined to their homes, these sales figures definitively show that less alcohol was bought in 2020.”

However, a note of caution was struck as despite the decline in global sales volumes, the data shows that certain populations were still drinking at dangerous levels in the previous year, a factor that highlights the importance of delivering appropriate support to those who have suffered the most during the pandemic.

YouGov surveys for IARD in May and November 2020, found that around 86 percent of drinkers consumed the same amount or less alcohol during the lockdowns, respectively.

“Although the majority of drinkers continue to consume alcohol at moderate levels, we recognise that the pandemic reinforced harmful drinking patterns for some people.” Ashworth added.

“As societies begin to reopen it is essential for private, public, and civil society to come together to ensure that targeted and appropriate support is available for those who need it most.”

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