alcohol moderationBusiness

Global alcohol sales plummet

New data from Euromonitor International shows alcohol sales in most of the top 20 markets worldwide dropped in 2020 amid on-premise closures and social restrictions. Total volumes were down 15.8-billion-litres, but Australia was one of five countries where consumption rose.

Euromonitor International worked with YouGov to survey 11,678 adults (aged 18 and over) online from May 13-21, 2020.

A second sample of 16,657 adults was surveyed between October 30 and November 11, 2020. The data over both periods was collected from more than 100 countries.

The top markets for alcohol sales by volume were China, the US, Brazil, Germany and Russia. China reported a year-on-year alcohol sales volume decline of 8.5% between 2019 and 2020, according to the data, while the US was down 0.6%. Brazil grew 4.1% over this period, but Germany fell 5.2%, and Russia rose by 1.7%.

Alcohol sales in Australia were up 1.3%.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) said the results provided further evidence that the vast majority of consumers were drinking the same or less alcohol during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Henry Ashworth, IARD president and CEO, 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 figures definitively show that less alcohol was bought in 2020.

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

“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.”

Top 20 markets by alcohol sales volume Global alcohol sales volume year-on-year growth 2019-2020 
China -8.5% 
USA -0.6% 
Brazil 4.1% 
Germany -5.2% 
Russia 1.7% 
Mexico -7.2% 
Japan -5.9% 
United Kingdom -10.1% 
India -19.0% 
Spain -14.4% 
France -8.0% 
Vietnam -14.0% 
Poland -5.9% 
Italy -8.5% 
South Korea 0.4% 
South Africa -20.4% 
Canada 0.4% 
Argentina 2.7% 
Australia 1.3% 
Thailand -9.3%

Roy Morgan data shows alcohol consumption fell in Australia in 2020

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