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South Africa

South Africa ranks fifth globally in alcohol consumption

───   TSHEHLA KOTELI 09:32 Tue, 31 Oct 2023

South Africa ranks fifth globally in alcohol consumption | News Article

"South Africa stands at the fifth spot worldwide in alcohol consumption, with the average South African drinker consuming 30 litres of alcohol annually."

Almost half of South Africa’s adult population consumed alcohol in the past month, with majority’s preferred choice of alcoholic beverage being beer.

A report compiled by Eighty20, a Cape Town-based consultancy firm, details the alcohol consumption habits of South Africans. There is a notable gender disparity in the consumption. Among males, 62% drink some form of alcohol on a weekly or monthly basis, in contrast to 36% of females. When broken down by specific categories, 72% of beer consumers are male, along with 70% for brandy and 66% for whisky.

The preferences among females differ significantly, with champagne and flavoured alcoholic beverages having a 58% female consumption rate, bottled wine at 51%, and boxed wine at 49%. It's worth noting that despite the male dominance in beer consumption, three of the top five alcohol brands have a significant female consumer base, with at least 50% female consumption.

South Africa holds the fifth position worldwide in alcohol consumption, with the typical South African drinker consuming 30 litres of alcohol per year. This figure falls behind neighbouring countries like Namibia and Eswatini, where annual alcohol consumption stands at 33 and 34 litres, respectively. In 2023, the leading alcohol preferences for men comprise beer, gin, cider, liqueur, and boxed wine.

A decade ago, the top choices also included whisky and brandy. Meanwhile, women in 2023 share the same top categories as men, except for gin, which is replaced by flavoured alcoholic beverages. 

A decade ago, reflecting the economic climate, women's top five choices included champagne and bottled wine. Notably, the flavoured alcohol category has witnessed significant expansion, experiencing substantial growth, particularly among women.

OFM News/Tshehla Koteli

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