Australian Bureau of Statistics data on retail sales of alcohol products during 2020 are not the full story, says Alcohol Beverages Australia CEO Andrew Wilsmore.
“We need to remember the hurt that’s been suffered by pubs, clubs and restaurants and cafes – where a quarter of total alcohol sales occur – and were either closed or suffered severe trading restrictions during the same year.
“Thousands of jobs were lost and once proud venues forced to shut and the lack of international tourists to Australia has also seen a total collapse in duty-free sales.
“Those groups trying to suggest Australians have been drinking to excess during Covid lockdowns have got it wrong. Several studies, including the ABS, have shown that not to be the case, and combined with the reduction in on-premises sales, total alcohol consumed is predicted to be less than other years.
“The Federal Government has already forecast a slump with the most recent Federal Budget predicting a 15% reduction in tax receipts from falling wine sales and a 10% reduction in beer sales in 2021-22.
“Packaged liquor sales are a value number, rather than a direct indicator of volume. Australians have modified their drinking habits during covid and are choosing to spend a little more on a premium product, or are conscious of their wellbeing which has seen the sales of zero-alcohol products more than double.
Tony Ritchie, Media and Communications Director
Ph: 0407 002 704