Alcohol sales in the UK fall despite rise in home drinking | Industry

Alcohol sales fell in 2020 when prolonged closures of pubs and bars halted the rise in domestic drinking during locksmiths and more people got a taste for non-alcoholic options.

Healthcare providers have issued the warning about increased alcohol consumption among troubled drinkers during the pandemic, and home delivery services have been identified as a particular risk to addicts. . But figures coming next week are expected to show that British drinkers bought less alcohol during the year to early October, a period that included more than six months of coronavirus restrictions. .

The annual market report from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) shows that beer sales fell 10% and wine sales fell 5% as more online orders failed to close swathes of the hospitality sector.

“It’s a myth that people are drinking more during lockouts,” said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale. “With so many pubs and restaurants being forced to close and ban large gatherings, people are not drinking as much as they would in normal circumstances. ”

Supermarkets, which have been open throughout the pandemic, have been selling alcohol while building the lost trade of hospitality outlets. Alcohol sales in supermarkets rose a third in the three months to the end of November compared to the same period last year, according to data company Kantar, with surface liters particularly popular before Christmas.

Gin sales in the retail sector also rose, surpassing £ 1bn for the first time, according to data released by WSTA on Friday. Overall, gin sales fell when retailers confirmed they could not lift all the slump from closing pubs and bars, with UK annual gin revenue £ 400m higher lower than 2019, at £ 2.2bn.

While retailers have invested, pubs have forecast year-over-year revenue will fall by up to 90% in December, a month that could making up a quarter of profits in a typical year.

Successful figures released during the pandemic have led to a sharp drop in trade at host venues across the UK.

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Pete Brown, chairman of the British Beer Writers Association, said: “In a crisis like this, if your drinking is driven by stress and anxiety, it will definitely get worse, and sufferers need help. But they are not helped when this is falsely painted as a widespread, social problem. When you look at the whole data, instead of building on it selectively, we are twice as many drinking less than drinking more, and that is evidenced by figures for total alcohol sales. ”

While sales of alcohol have declined overall, sales of non-food alternatives, including 0% tequila, rum and whiskey, have been on the rise. The “no-and-low” alcohol segment, partly driven by lower drinking levels among young people, has increased sixfold since 2015 according to Distill Ventures, a start-up of drinks backed by Diageo, owner Smirnoff and Guinness.

Sales of non-alcoholic spirits rose 30% in the UK last year, data from analyst firm Nielsen showed. The UK was the most mature market in the world, with 42 brands, 11 of which launched in 2020.

Distill Ventures expected more non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits during “dry January”, when some people forgot to drink alcohol.