Will the Alcohol Industry Implode in 2024?

Mar 22, 2024by Andrew Lowry

The COVID-19 pandemic brought HUGE profits to the alcohol industry because during the shutdown, people decided to do two things with their money: (1) spend lavishly on wine, beer, and spirits (and MJ), and (2) fix up their home (while drunk).

Now we are 4 years from the start of the pandemic and the alcohol industry (aka drinks industry) is CRUMBLING. Every business is recording record low numbers. 

So what's going to happen to alcohol? What are some of the causes of its eventual implosion in 2024? 

Well, firstly, let's get this fact straight: IT'S NOT GOING TO IMPLODE!

Why? Because this "huge" downturn in the alcohol market is not actually a downturn at all. Yes, year over year compared to 2021-2022, the alcohol industry is doing poorly. But, if we compare the numbers to PRE pandemic, the alcohol industry as a whole is doing pretty good for itself.

Consumers are simply not being over consumers like they were during the pandemic. Who didn't drink more than normal during those weird times? Seriously, if you got through the pandemic without booze, how did you do it?

Currently, though, the alcohol industry is being made out to look really bad. Anti-alcohol (prohibitionist) parties are capitalizing on this economic "downturn" and filling the media with all the reasons why alcohol is bad for you, and why the new generation is going clean, and why everyone is switching to non-alcoholic beverages. 

Simply put, all this is just speculation at best. 

Arguments to the above claims:

  • Yes, alcohol is bad for you, obviously, but hopefully we aren't consuming alcohol for the wrong reasons or in excess. Alcohol can be an amazing thing for culture, community, society, etc. when used responsibly. 
  • We simply do not have sufficient data to know if the next generation is drinking less. One huge reason that data is insufficient is because NOT ALL OF THEM ARE EVEN 21 YET. Obviously their numbers are down (and we hope). 
  • Yes, the non-alcoholic drink space is taking away some market share from the alcohol industry, but that does not mean that the industry is crumbling. The people who buy NA are split into two camps: (1) the people who already don't drink alcohol, and (2) drinkers of alcohol. More often than not, these NA beverages are purchased by DRINKERS of alcohol. They aren't now drinking less alcohol (they are drinking the same amount), but just spending more on beverages as a whole because they enjoy craft beverages. NA beverages rarely convert an alcohol drinker to an abstainer because they are just so good that it convinces them that they hate booze. 

Thanks for reading. This was just a short little rant with little to no revisions to let you all know that the drinks space is just fine and that consumption and purchasing behaviors are normal (when compared to pre-COVID times). Comparing any financial success or failure to the anomaly that was COVID would be like comparing Barry Bond's pre-steroid HR numbers to his post-steroid HR numbers.....something was obviously happening that wasn't normal. 

Keep drinking wine, responsibly! We drink wine because we love the craft, we love the taste, we love the conversations had around the bottle, we love the community, NOT because we need the alcohol.