The survey of 11,678 people across nine countries (Australia, South Africa, Mexico, France, the US, Germany, the UK, Japan and New Zealand) was conducted by YouGov for the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.
It found that 84% of drinkers are not drinking more than they were before and almost one in three have cut down on their consumption or stopped completely.
The numbers are even stronger in major European markets, with 87% of French drinkers and 88% of German drinkers now drinking the same or less than before the lockdown.
“Despite some misleading reports which focused on bulk buying of alcohol in retail stores at the start of lockdown, this survey adds to the clear evidence that the vast majority of people are continuing to drink responsibly and that many have cut down substantially or stopped altogether,” said Ulrich Adam, Director General of IARD member spiritsEUROPE.
This survey is supported by data from the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis group, which forecasts double-digit declines in alcohol sales throughout 2020 and a very slow recovery to pre-crisis levels.
It’s also supported by McKinsey’s May 2020 Survey of Consumer Sentiment which showed that consumers intend to spend significantly less on alcohol in future, with ‘net spending intent’ down 18% in Belgium, 20% in Denmark, 29% in Italy, 33% in France and 43% in Poland.
“The fact that restaurants and bars have been closed across most of Europe for months has had a massive impact on how and whether people choose to drink,” Ulrich Adam continued, “Our work to address harmful drinking and the importance of responsible consumption of alcohol will continue – as will our investment in responsible drinking initiatives across Europe – but we must also work with governments and with our colleagues in the hospitality and tourism sectors to do whatever we can to help get these businesses safely back on their feet.”