Beer Drags Down US Alcohol Consumption Numbers For 2017

Despite gains in wines and spirits, alcohol consumption in the US dropped in 2017 for the second consecutive year, with overall volumes dragged down by declining beer sales…ouch!

Preliminary data provided by the IWSR (the world’s largest database on the beverage alcohol market) shows that the volume of total alcohol consumption last year declined by -0.2%.

Although this decline might seem slight, it’s still more than double the volume lost in 2016….and that’s not good.

More concerning to us is the fact this accelerating slump can be ENTIRELY attributed to falling beer sales in the US, which continued to slide by 0.5% in 2017 dragging down the overall alcohol consumption number in the process.

On the other hand, spirits volumes grew 2.3%, and wine by 1.3% in 2017. But because of beer’s overwhelming 79% share of total alcohol consumption, these gains were not enough to make up the difference.

The IWSR blamed the decrease in total alcohol consumption on a “slow-building trend of moderation or not drinking at all.” And although it went unmentioned, we can’t help but wonder if the growing number of states that have legalized recreational pot sales wasn’t also a factor.

While volumes may have declined, the Drinks Business notes is that alcohol values continue to rise, with consumers drinking less, but spending more on what they are drinking.

The IWSR went on report that premium-and-above offerings currently make up 33% of the spirits category and 22% of the wine category in 2o17, compared with just 12% and 2% back in 1990.

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