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Alcohol consumption in US dropped for second year straight in 2017, says report

/ 06:04 PM January 13, 2018

Image: istock.com/olivierblondeauvia AFP Relaxnews

The rising popularity of moderation and abstinence in the United States, where wellness and self-care have become a growing obsession, are cited as some of the reasons for declining alcohol consumption across the country in 2017.

In a preliminary report from the United Kingdom-based International Wine and Spirits Research group, analysts estimate that alcohol consumption in the U.S. dropped by 0.2 percent in 2017 for the second consecutive year.

The loss marks more than double that of 2016, and represents a decrease of 17.6m gallons, or 7.4m nine-liter cases.

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“The decrease in total beverage alcohol consumption is directly related to the slow-building trend of moderation or not drinking at all,” reads the report.

“Signs of health and wellness permeate the industry with increasing frequency. From all-natural ingredients to low-ABV to zero-proof mocktails, consumers are clearly gravitating toward ‘healthier’ drinking experiences.”

A market research report from Euromonitor International predicted this drop last year, citing the revision of health guidelines, the introduction of punitive taxation, advertising restrictions and the rise of abstinence as a lifestyle choice for the growing “anti-alcohol” rhetoric.

According to preliminary figures for 2017, beer took the biggest hit from the rise of teetotalers, with consumption sliding by 0.5 percent.

Spirits and wine, on the other hand, enjoyed growing popularity, rising +2.3 percent and +1.3 percent respectively. Their growth, however, weren’t enough to make up the difference in volume due to beer’s overwhelming market share (79 percent) of total beverage consumption.

American consumers were particularly fond of bourbon, rye, malt scotch, tequila mezcal, brandy and cognac in spirits, while still wine grew a modest one percent.

Thanks to the soaring popularity of prosecco, however, which rose 23 percent, sparkling wines also saw strong growth. JB

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