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Drastic fall in alcohol consumption

3 September 2010

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The heaviest fall in the consumption of alcohol in more than 60 years was witnessed in 2009, an industry body has revealed.

People in the UK drank less booze last year compared to the previous year, leading to the biggest annual decline since 1948.

Data revealing the amount of alcohol sold by producers and importers into the UK market was provided by HM Revenue and Customs for the findings.

According to recent data from the Office of National Statistics, 39% of men and 31% of women drink more alcohol than daily guidelines recommend.

The BBPA, which represents the brewing and pub sector, said the data showed a 6% decline in total alcohol consumption in 2009, making it the fourth annual decline in five years.

UK drinkers are now consuming 13% less alcohol than in 2004, with consumption remaining below the EU average.

UK taxes on beer remain among the highest compared with other countries and are the second highest duty rate in EU – 10 times higher than in Germany and seven times higher than in France, the organisation said.

Other statistics published in the BBPA Statistical Handbook 2010 show beer is by far the pubgoer’s favourite tipple, making up 60% of all alcohol sales in pubs, hotels, and restaurants.

Wine is in second place at 17%.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

British Beer and Pub Association