Beer consumption up in Russia during pandemic

22:16, 18 November 2020
Beer consumption up in Russia during pandemic Photo: Sergey Bulkin/

Beer sales in Russia in the summer of 2020 turned out to be the most impressive of the last three years. Although excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to health, Russians bought it zealously, the Beer Association said in a report.

According to the Association, sales grew by 6.2% compared to the summer of 2019 and even 5.5% compared to the same figures of 2018. The World Cup, held in Russia in 2018, also contributed to the beverage's popularity in the country.

Experts note that beer sales increased in Russia during the self-isolation period amidst the coronavirus pandemic. From February 2019 through February 2020, the average increase in sales in liters was 3%. But the growth was almost twice as much or 5% over the next three months, from March to May 2020, TASS reports.

At the same time, even the rising beer prices could not stop Russians from drinking more. The Association's data also evidence this: from January through August, retail beer sales in Russia grew both in volume (by 5.9%) and in monetary terms (by 6.5%). However, according to the Association, the average price per liter remained at 98 rubles ($1.29).

The variety of beer brands increased from 2,442 last year to 2,908 in 2020.

The Association notes that in 2019, the industry returned to the indicators of 15 years ago and reached the production capacity of 2003-2004. Excise deductions from beer production equaled to about 153 billion rubles (just over $2 billion), which is 41% of the total tax in the entire alcohol sector, which includes vodka, wine, and low-alcohol beverages as well.

Indonesian authorities have returned to discussions on banning alcohol in the country, reported earlier. Three Islamic political parties support the initiative.