Booze consumption falling

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol consumption, Drinking culture, Alcoholic beverage

Drinkers are consuming less alcohol since the start of the Licensing Act, dramatic new figures have revealed. Alcohol consumption, in the on and...

Drinkers are consuming less alcohol since the start of the Licensing Act, dramatic new figures have revealed.

Alcohol consumption, in the on and off-trade, fell by 3.3 per cent in 2006 - the largest drop in 15 years - according to the British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA's) Statistical Handbook 2007. In total, alcohol consumption has dropped by 5.3 per cent over the past two years and levels are now the lowest for five years.

The BBPA claims the decrease is down to people "beginning to heed the responsible drinking message". Mark Hastings, the BBPA's communications director, said the figures "challenge the myths and common misconceptions around Britain's drinking culture".

"While a small minority continue to use alcohol in an irresponsible way, it's clear that the change in the nation's licensing laws hasn't unleashed an apocalyptic 'free for all' in alcohol consumption," he said.

Martin Jones, licenses at the Angel Inn, in Royton, Oldham said the figures mirrored his own experiences. "Trade is definitely down during the day," he said.

Explaining the decrease, he said he had been forced to put his prices up because of the spiralling costs of utilities.

The analysis, based on figures from HM Revenue and Customs, also reveals a shift in the types of drink being consumed:

  • Beer as a proportion of alcohol being drunk has fallen from 60 per cent in 1980 to 43 per cent last year
  • Wine's share has rocketed to 29 per cent, compared to 14 per cent in 1980.
  • Spirits now account for 20 per cent compared to 24 per cent in 1980.

The figures also show that 12 other countries - including France, Germany and Spain - drink more than the UK.

Related topics: Legislation

Property of the week

The Hazeldene Hotel

- Tenancy

The Hazeldene Hotel is opposite the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green. With 11 letting rooms, it is in a prime location to offer fantastic...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more