2016 was a rough year for a lot of people, and, it turns out, also for the alcohol industry.

According to a report from the International Wine and Spirits Record, the overall global alcohol market shrunk by 1.3% (avg. decline for the previous 5 years was 0.3%),  which was mostly blamed on the 1.8% drop in beer sales.

Cider sales, which had been a growth area, were down 1.5%, with wine and spirits sales relatively flat at -0.1% and 0.3%, respectively.

Reasons For The Decline

Although economic growth is normally associated with increased alcohol consumption, and global GDP was up 3.5% last year, some larger economies were experiencing a slowdown. Beer sales in China fell 4.2%, in Brazil, 5.3%, and in Russia, 7.8%. In any case, industry watchers will be monitoring the sector closely for any indication of a continued slide, as that could indicate a need for a major shift in strategy.

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