Cus­tomers lose thirst for beer

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

PEO­PLE around the world are drink­ing less beer, fuelling a global dip in al­co­hol sales.

Rus­sians are drink­ing less vodka as their econ­omy de­clines, while the Amer­i­cans have fallen out of love with cider.

One of the few drinks to see an in­crease in de­mand was gin, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Wine and Spir­its Record.

The global mar­ket for al­co­holic drinks fell 1.3% last year, driven by a 1.8% fall in beer sales.

After sev­eral years of ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity, cider sales also slammed into re­verse, falling 1.5% on the back of a 15.2% slump in the US.

The over­all fall in al­co­hol sales across the world is far greater than the av­er­age dip of 0.3% over the past five years.

Sev­eral ma­jor economies among them China, Rus­sia and Brazil – three of the world’s big­gest beer mar­kets – have en­dured a slow­down.

Sales of beer fell 4.2% in China, 5.3% in Brazil and 7.8% in Rus­sia.

A 4.3% drop in vodka sales was largely driven by a 9.3% fall in Rus­sia.

But amid the wider de­cline, the gin in­dus­try is boom­ing, with global sales ris­ing 3.7%.

Bri­tons bought the equiv­a­lent of 40 mil­lion bot­tles or 1.1 bil­lion gin and ton­ics last year.

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