Non-alcoholic beverages - Corona reinforces the trend

The consumption of alcoholic beverages, which had been declining for years, continued to fall during the Corona pandemic. The temporary closure of restaurants and the cancellation of major events were apparently not fully compensated for by consumption in the home environment - despite falling consumer prices.

Healthy beverages instead of alcohol
© Photo by silviarita on Pixabay

Apparently, people don't have to drink their world away during the crisis and several lockdowns. On the contrary, for years - regardless of Corona - health and wellness have been in the foreground - even when it comes to beverages. Mineral water, fruit juices, smoothies and wellness drinks have been booming for years. 

Beer consumption per capita, down -5.4% from 2019, showed the steepest drop. This means that in 2020, every male and female inhabitant consumed on average just under five liters of beer less than in the previous year.
The closure of the catering trade and the ban on contact may have had a particular impact here - the after-work beer in the pub or the party with friends was cancelled, as were the beers with other fans in the soccer stadium, at festivals or large concerts.  This is consistent with the finding that beer sales were particularly down during the lockdown months. A beer alone in front of the TV isn't half as much fun as a few beers in a social setting.

By contrast, the lack of private celebrations, major events and New Year's Eve parties is hardly reflected in the figures for sparkling wine. At around -2.1%, the decline was in line with the average annual decrease already seen since 2013. Prices for sparkling wine, prosecco, and champagne fell by an average of 1.2% in the 2020 pandemic year, which was more pronounced than the prices for other alcoholic beverages. This may have induced one or the other to treat themselves to a Prosecco outside the range. And toasting just the two of you with sparkling wine on birthdays, wedding anniversaries, New Year's Day, etc. is not unusual, but common. 

The decline in alcohol consumption during the pandemic is also reflected in spirits sales, which fell slightly by -0.9% compared to 2019. However, a look at the past ten years shows significant fluctuations, so only part of the decline is likely to be due to the Corona crisis.

This decline in alcohol consumption is primarily due to the measures taken to contain the Corona pandemic. This does not appear to have been fully offset by consumption in the home environment.

In addition to the already existing trend toward health, wellness and corresponding beverages, many people developed a desire to stay healthy and fit, especially in the Corona year, in order to be able to face the virus in the best possible condition if the worst should come to the worst.