The Telegraph, 12th May: For the first time this century, we are drinking less alcohol

Thanks to SHAAP for their weekly media monitoring.
This article was taken from The Telegraph 11th May

Global alcohol consumption has declined for the first time this century amid the slump in oil and commodity prices, currency volatility and economic headwinds in China.

The volume of alcoholic beverages drunk in 2015 fell by 0.7pc to 248bn litres as the worldwide population imbibed 1.7bn litres less than the year before, according to Euromonitor International.

This follows an increase of 0.2pc between 2013 and 2014 and is the first decline since Euromonitor started tracking this data in 2001.

China recorded a 3.5pc decline amid economic difficulties and a clampdown in extravagant lifestyles.

The Asian powerhouse is the world’s biggest alcohol market, at almost twice the size of the US, and accounts for around a quarter of global consumption.

China’s growth slowed last month to its weakest pace since the financial crisis and Shanghai stocks continue to languish far below pre-summer sell-off levels.

Alcohol consumption in Russia and Ukraine fell by 8pc and 17pc respectively as political tensions, economic sanctions and tumbling oil prices took their toll on the countries’ economies.

“While terms such as authenticity and craftsmanship are losing traction, the trajectories of sophistication, moderation, perceived exotic credentials, accessibility and aspirational attributes remain the key driving forces fuelling pockets of buoyancy,” said Spiros Malandrakis, senior alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor.

“Premium English gin, Irish and Japanese whiskey and dark and non-alcoholic beer are the flag bearers of growth and it is no coincidence that those also happen to be the segments gaining further momentum with the ever-important millennial demographic in mature western markets.”

Euromonitor expects alcohol consumption to recover this year, rising by 1.3pc to 251.3bn litres.

Russia’s shrinking alcohol market spelt bad news for vodka, which relies on Russia for around a third of its global sales.

Globally, vodka and rum were among the worst performers, while tequila and bourbon remained at healthy levels and a resurgence in cognac helped boost the spirits sector by 0.8pc.

Cider consumption jumped by 4.5pc although beer lost 1.3pc as young consumers turned to “aspirational” and “exotic” alternatives