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US alcohol consumption declines for second year

Total alcohol consumption in the US has fallen for the second consecutive year despite positive growth from spirits, according to data released by the IWSR.

US alcohol consumption levels fell for the second consecutive year in 2017

Alcohol consumption levels were down 0.2% in 2017 compared to the previous year, dropping to 17.6 million gallons, or 7.4m nine-litre cases. This is more than double the decline seen in 2016.

Spirits consumption rose 2.3% in 2017, and wine sales were also on the up with a 1.3% growth in volume sales.

However, these positive performances were unable to offset the -0.5% decline of beer, which controls 79% of total beverage alcohol in the US.

The IWSR said the decline is “directly related” to the “slow-building” trend of moderation or abstaining from alcohol.

They noted consumers are favouring low-abv and alcohol-free mocktails, and “clearly gravitating” towards healthier drinking experiences.

Within the spirits sector, whisky showed the greatest growth (3.9%) – particularly among Bourbon, rye, malt Scotch, Irish and Japanese styles.

The non-whisky category grew 1.7%, spearheaded by Tequila, mezcal, brandy and Cognac.

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