I know I am definitely drinking more during lockdown, as the days seem to blur into a continuous, ‘what day is it?’ week. It’s like holidays, but I’ve got too much work to do and can’t leave the house (so very shit holidays).
It appears I’m not alone, as figures from Wine Intelligence out now note that Australian wine consumption is slightly down, but not commensurate with a big drop in drinking. In other words, while restaurants, bars and clubs (where we would normally drink) may be closed, we’re still drinking in a similar frequency, just at home.
The only group that is drinking less according to those figures is generation Z, which theoretically matches up with an audience historically more likely to be drinking ‘out’ in pubs/clubs. But is it that clear cut? The divide isn’t just in age groups, it also comes down demographics too, with wealthier suburbs more likely to be spending less according to this article.
Overall, traditional retail figures suggest that consumption is slightly down, however, excepting the mad panic buying that took place in the last weeks of March and into April, with this article hinting that alcohol spend is 10% down on last year. Conversely, online alcohol spend is way up, with anecdotal reports I’ve heard from two different retailers hinting at rises of well over 60%.
Just to complicate the situation, this article notes that alcohol spend is 35% up but also spending less on discretionary products. Wine and beer are essential products, right?
For a more broader context, you have info from the USA which notes that our spend on food and drinks hasn’t changed, it has just moved from restaurants and bars into food and bottle shops.
With so many conflicting stats out there I’m keen to hear what you think – are you drinking more during lockdown? And if you so, are you spending more or less per bottle than usual?
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We’re probably drinking a little more what with broader evening hours at home and staying up later. I’ve spent hardly any money on wine and instead have focused on what I have. Because we don’t drink with our friends at the pub we now buy more beer from the shops and drink at our Zoom meetings – after going for our obligatory run. Gin and rum have featured in our drink mix ever since finding litre bottle of Boodles (45% abv!) for only $30 and a relatively dry high proof (57.1%) Guyanese rum. I am also dipping into my Scotch collection. Hmm, after writing all this may be “drinking a little more” is probably an understatement given that we felt it necessary to insert dry days into our schedule.