Alcohol consumption continues to plummet, finds BBPA Handbook

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer

The average price of draught lager has been £3.30 so far in 2013, with draught bitter slightly cheaper at £2.87
The average price of draught lager has been £3.30 so far in 2013, with draught bitter slightly cheaper at £2.87
UK alcohol consumption dropped by 3.3 per cent last year and is now at the lowest level this century, according to a new industry stats handbook released by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The BBPA believes its 2013 Statistical Handbook supports the Government’s decision to pursue a partnership approach on alcohol, as the drop in alcohol consumption demonstrates the comparative benefit of targeted rather than broad measures, based on Treasury returns.

“The continuing fall in alcohol consumption challenges the inaccurate perception that Britain has a general issue with alcohol,” said the organisation’s chief executive Brigid Simmonds. “There are specific problems which require targeted solutions in partnership with the industry.”

The Handbook found the average price of draught lager to be £3.30 in 2013, with draught bitter slightly cheaper at £2.87.

Brewery boom

While alcohol consumption is falling, there has still been a growth in the number of breweries,​with 1,113 operational in Britain by the end of last year. The number of large breweries remains stable.

“It is positive for the nation that there is a continued increase in the numbers of breweries,” added Simmonds. “At the same time, despite the cut in beer duty, Britain’s consumers are still subject to the second highest tax rates for beer in the European Union – holding back growth for the wider sector.”

The BBPA’s new Handbook went on to support the findings of the 2014 Cask Report;​that cask ale has lost its image as an ‘old man’s drink’ and now appeals to a broad range of drinkers.

As such, cask ale has continued to increase its market share, despite a fall in overall volume of 1.1 per cent.

Other findings from the BBPA’s 2013 Statistical Handbook: -

  • Alcohol-influenced offences fell by 12 per cent in England and Wales during 2012.
  • Beer is the only category with majority of sales made through the on-trade.
  • Despite the beer duty cut earlier this year, the tax is still 61 per cent higher than it was in 2000.

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