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What do Americans spend on alcohol?

on 22/06/12 at 9:01 am

Booze News

The amount we spend on beer, wine and spirits hasn’t changed much in 30 years, but where we spend it has.

What percentage of your spending goes toward booze?

If you’re an average American consumer, 1% of your spending is dedicated to beer, wine and spirits — or about $1 of every $100, NPR reports, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure hasn’t actually changed much in the past 30 years.

What has changed, however, is where we spend that money. In 1982, Americans spent 24% of their alcohol dollars in bars and restaurants, and 76% at retail stores. By 2011, the bar and restaurant share had jumped to 40%, and retail had fallen to 60%.

This doesn’t mean Americans have been drinking out a lot more, but rather that the cost of doing so has increased, NPR says, citing a 79% increase in alcohol prices in restaurants and bars between 1982 and 2011, adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, the cost of alcohol in stores decreased 39% over the same period.

Consumers’ beverage of choice when drinking at home has also changed somewhat. The largest percentage of retail dollars still went for beer: 47.7% in 2011, compared with 48.9% in 1982. However, spirits, which captured 34.6% in 1982, accounted for only 12.6% in 2011. Wine purchases jumped from 16.2% to 39.7%.