Alcohol Sales Dry Up

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Jan 22, 2019

Americans, especially young ones, are drinking less, and alcohol providers are responding with non-alcoholic alternatives, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal’s research showed that overall alcohol consumption has declined over the last two years, 0.8% last year and 0.7% in 2017. Beer consumption was down 1.5%, and while wine and spirits consumption rose, their growth rate is continuing to decline. In terms of pure alcohol consumption, per-capita rates have declined from 10.3 liters in 1980 to 8.7 liters in 2017. Various factors have been suggested for the decline, including health consciousness among millennials and the increasing availability of marijuana as an alternative.

Major brewers and distillers are looking at non-alcoholic beverages to appeal to the abstemious generation. Anheuser-Busch InBev last year created the position of head of nonalcoholic beverages to oversee alternatives like Prohibition, a no-alcohol version of Budweiser, and Hiball energy drinks. Diageo is marketing Seedlip, a no-alcohol alternative to spirits like gin, with the slogan “what to drink when you’re not drinking.”

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