Projections announced at the world’s biggest wine and spirits fair, Vinexpo, show that Britons will drink 53 million fewer litres of wine and spirits by 2016. That’s the equivalent of one bottle per person per year.
Even wine-loving France, which has the biggest market for wine the world over, is forecast to see a 3% drop in sales over the next four years. This will follow the 7% decline we saw between 2007 and 2011.
Have the government health warnings finally sunk in, or are we simply too strapped for cash to keep up with tax rises?
Chairman Xavier de Eizaguirre believes it’s a combination of both. In Britain tax accounts for over half the price of a bottle of wine, and a staggering 80% of a bottle of vodka.
Now David Cameron is trying to introduce a 45p minimum price per unit in a bid to crack down on Saturday night binge drinking.
The reasons for tax rises are clear – alcohol-related illness costs the NHS around £3 billion a year and results in millions of deaths. In 2010, 4,503 men and 2,272 women died as a result of alcohol-related illnesses. In 2011, those figures increased by 1.4 and 1.8% respectively.
Mr Eizaguirre said rising costs and increasing health concerns means: “People are drinking less on a regular basis but drinking better on an occasional basis.”
It seems our habits are improving as we shun large quantities of cheap alcohol in favour of reasonable quantities of premium alcohol on special occasions.
For more information regarding the devastating effects of alcohol abuse and details on how to get help, please visit our page on Alcoholism.
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