The real consumption trend during the pandemic


There seems to be an impression that Europeans are over consuming alcohol during the pandemic and in the self-isolation circumstances. But is this really the case?

First thing’s first – there needs to be a distinction between sales figures and the actual consumption, thus taking into account stockpiling effects which occurred especially at the beginning of the crisis.  Secondly, the current economic reality shows that those selling products on-trade are registering significant losses which cannot be compensated by e-commerce or off-trade sales.

These trends are also reflected in recent consumer surveys. Collected survey data from McKinsey have also shown that Europeans are planning to spend less on alcohol in the near future: “net spending intent” on alcohol was down by 18% in Belgium, 20% in Denmark, 29% in Italy, 33% in France and 43% in Poland. A study by UCL University in Belgium shows that 46% of 6.500 respondents reported a stable level of alcohol consumption and 29% reported they were drinking less than before the lockdown. In Germany, 1 in 5 consumers says they have reduced purchases (March survey results by Appinio). According to Santé Publique France,  almost a quarter of French people have reduced their alcohol consumption.