Alcohol Sales Plummet

What’s up, beer drinkers of America? Bloomberg notes that “take-out sales of alcoholic beverages tumbled 9.3 percent in the fourth quarter, the steepest drop since the U.S. Commerce Department started compiling data half a century ago,” and a drop four times greater than the overall fall in consumer spending. Most of that was due to the 14 percent drop in beer sales.

The website fivethirtyeight.com posted this chart last week, and although the scale sort of dramatizes the extent of the drop, it’s still clear that in the past 40 years alcohol sales have never fallen more than 4%.




Fivethirtyeight suspects it’s a type of conspicuous nonconsumption:

a manifestation of Calvinist guilt over both the present failures of the economy and its prior excesses. A deliberate effort to deny oneself pleasure.

We wouldn’t know, because we’re still buying beer like it’s 2006.

“U.S. Consumers Driven Away From Drink Spending: Chart of Day “ [Bloomberg]
“Beer No Longer Recession-Proof”
(Photo: a4gpa; chart: fivethirtyeight.com)