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13-08-2010, 16:25
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There's an interesting pair of graphs (http://markwadsworth.blogspot.com/2010/08/changes-in-uk-beer-and-wine-consumption.html) on Mark Wadsworth’s blog showing beer and wine consumption in Britain from 1961 to 2005. For some reason, they’re in “short tons”, which is a measure of weight, not volume (I think there are around 7 barrels in a short ton), but the message is very clear. Wine shows a constant, steady growth, but equally, just look at the way beer consumption grew up to its peak in 1979. Since then, it has declined, with a sharp fall in the early 80s when so much thirst-inducing heavy industry was eliminated, but not catastrophically so. Indeed, since around 1992, it just seems to have bumped along at a roughly constant level. Compare that with the table I posted recently (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2010/08/more-hard-truths.html) showing a decline of over 40% in on-trade beer sales since 1997. So it would appear there hasn’t been a massive overall fall in beer sales, but rather a substantial shift from on- to off-trade consumption.

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