Taste for tipple on the decline

(REUTERS) - A not so happy hour for the booze industry.

A new survey shows that people around the world are drinking fewer alcoholic beverages.

According to the International Wine and Spirits Record, the global market shrank 1.3 per cent in 2016. That's following declines in previous years.

Pints of beer and cider are falling out of favour, while wine and spirits sales are also slipping. But drinkers are thirsty for British gin - indicating a demand for niche products.

Chris Beauchamp, Senior Market Analyst, IG, said: "You've seen that sort of desire to move towards the higher end in terms of products, both in terms of craft beer and in spirits. So as long as they keep pushing that end of the spectrum, they might be relatively immune from this downturn in beer sales."

The IWSR report says beer sales were down more than four per cent in China, Brazil and Russia.