Alcohol Consumption and Recession

Alcohol Sales Climb During Recession
1/16/2002

As Americans face tougher times from a slowing economy, they are
consuming more alcohol, Reuters reported Jan. 12.

“People are drinking more, because people tend to drink more during
tough times,” said JP Morgan beverage analyst John Faucher. “That fits
into the current environment, both from a September 11 standpoint as well
as from an economic standpoint.”

Typically, sales of alcohol increase during recessions. According to
industry figures, spending on liquor has risen in recent months. Data
also shows that more people are consuming alcohol at home rather than in
restaurants.

“I would agree with the theory that people have been drinking more,”
said Davenport & Co. analyst Ann Gurkin, who follows a number of
beverage companies.

Industry watchers also note that consumers are buying “top-shelf”
liquors. Marketers speculate that people are trying to give themselves a
relatively low-priced luxury like a single malt Scotch or bottle of
champagne, while foregoing a vacation or a new car.

“People continue to trade up for the most part,” said Gray Ottley of
Silver Creek Distillers.

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