Global Alcohol Sales Decrease for First Time in Last Two Decades

Sales of alcohol decreased worldwide in 2015 for the first time since the market research firm Euromonitor International began tracking sales in 2001, CNN reports.

The overall volume of alcohol consumed fell by 0.7 percent worldwide in 2015, while sales in dollar terms rose by about 2 percent. Economic slumps in major emerging markets appear to be a factor in the decrease, the article notes.

Alcohol consumption in China—which drinks more alcohol than any other nation—dropped 3.5 percent last year. Brazil’s alcohol consumption decreased 2.5 percent, while Eastern Europe fell by 4.9 percent. Brazil is facing a severe economic slump and political scandals, while fighting between Ukraine and Russia has impacted alcohol sales in Eastern Europe.

North America had a 2.3 percent increase in alcohol consumption, while the rate remained steady in Western Europe and Australia/New Zealand.

According to Euromonitor’s alcoholic drinks analyst Spiros Malandrakis, rum and vodka were the worst performing drinks in 2015. In contrast, consumption of premium English gin, Irish whiskey, Japanese whisky and dark beer has increased.

“It is no coincidence that those also happen to be the segments gaining further momentum with the ever important millennial demographic in mature Western markets,” Malandrakis wrote in a blog post.