Lockdown: 80% of people worldwide don’t drink more alcohol
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Lockdown: 80% of people worldwide don’t drink more alcohol

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Over eight in ten people are drinking less or the same amount of alcohol as before the lockdown, according to the results of a global survey published on Friday.

84% of drinkers are not drinking more than they were before the lockdown, and almost one in three have cut down on their consumption or stopped completely, shows a survey of more than 11,000 people in Australia, South Africa, Mexico, France, United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and New Zealand, conducted by YouGov for the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD).

In major European markets, the numbers are even stronger, with 87% of French drinkers and 88% of German drinkers indicating that they are drinking the same amount or less than they were before the lockdown.

“Despite some misleading reports which focused on bulk buying of alcohol in retail stores at the start of lockdown, this survey adds to the clear evidence that the vast majority of people are continuing to drink responsibly and that many have cut down substantially or stopped altogether,” said Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE, which is a member of IARD.

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Data from the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis group, which is forecasting double-digit declines in alcohol sales throughout 2020 and very slow recovery to pre-crisis levels, supports the results of this survey.

Another survey conducted in May 2020 showed that consumers intend to spend significantly less money on alcohol in future, with “net spending intent” down 18% in Belgium, 20% in Denmark, 29% in Italy, 33% in France and 43% in Poland.

“The fact that restaurants and bars have been closed across most of Europe for months has had a massive impact on how and whether people choose to drink,” said Adam. “Our work to address harmful drinking and the importance of responsible consumption of alcohol will continue, as will our investment in responsible drinking initiatives across Europe,” he added.

“However, we must also work with governments and with our colleagues in the hospitality and tourism sectors to do whatever we can to help get these businesses safely back on their feet,” Adam said.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times