The latest data from national wastewater monitoring has shown that Australians have continued to drink responsibly throughout the pandemic.

According to the latest National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report, which was released today, the levels of alcohol in wastewater has remained within the ranges observed prior to the start of the pandemic.

Alcohol Beverages Australia CEO, Andrew Wilsmore, says this indicates that despite alarmist statements from anti-alcohol activists, Australians are continuing on a long term trend of responsible drinking.

“Those groups trying to suggest Australians have been drinking to excess during COVID lockdowns have got it wrong. This latest report joins several other studies, including the ABS, which have shown that not to be the case, with Australians continuing to drink responsibly through the pandemic,” Wilsmore said.

“Australia’s drinking culture is now one of moderation, with per capita consumption at 50-year lows.”

Throughout the pandemic, spikes in liquor retail sales have been used by some to claim that Australians were drinking more. However, Wilsmore said that the closure of the on-premise meant that this was not the case, and predicts this will be reflected in the numbers as restrictions continue to ease and venues can reopen.

“As Australia starts to hit its 80 per cent national double vaccination targets, it should be unsurprising that we will now see a shift from at-home consumption back to our hospitality venues with sport back on, dancing allowed and musicians preparing for concerts and events,” Wilsmore said.

“Australians have missed the social interaction that these occasions bring, and it will be a much-needed shot in the arm for our hospitality and tourism sectors who have been one of the hardest hit from the pandemic.

“Instead of trying to create a false sense of concern, Australian deserve a pat on the back for changing our culture to one where moderation is the norm.”

Want to hear more about the state of the industry from Andrew Wilsmore? Tune into Alcohol Beverages Australia’s presentation at the Bloody Big Drinks Summit, available on-demand with an all access pass until October 2022.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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