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Finns are drinking more at home

The hospitality sector is expanding, but bars and restaurants are selling less alcohol. Total consumption held steady in 2016, which means people are drinking more at home.

Silja Serenaden myymälä.
Imports of alcohol by travelers, including cruise passengers, have been on the rise. Image: Ari Lahti / AOP

New figures from the National Institute of Health and Welfare-THL, show that per capita consumption of alcohol remained steady in 2016. THL reports consumption last year at the equivalent of 10.8 litres of pure alcohol for every inhabitant over the age of 15, the same level as during the previous year.

However, there was a shift towards the consumption of more personally imported alcohol, as well as a drop in alcohol sales by bars and restaurants.

Bringing more back

THL reports that Finnish residents travelling abroad last year brought back 4.9% more drink in terms of pure alcohol, a 13.3% increase measured in litres imported. Overall, travelers brought home a total of 81.5 million litres of alcoholic beverages.

In contrast, sales in Finland by licensed premises declined 1.8%, measured as pure alcohol. Sales by bars and restaurants accounted for 10.3% of total consumption.

THL's figures also show a difference in consumption by Finns at home and while out on the town. Wine, in particular, is a more popular drink at home.

Around 15% of the alcohol consumed in bars and restaurants is in the form of wine. At home, wine makes up 20% of alcohol consumption. The situation is reversed when it comes to beer - 54% of beer is consumed on licensed premises.

Less hard stuff

Light wines and beer have gained ground in recent years, while recorded consumption of high-alcohol content drink has fallen. In 2016, beer accounted for 49% of all alcohol consumption, light wines for 19%.

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