Americans Are Now Drinking More Alcohol At Home Than Before

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 02 Apr 2020 14:37

Americans have been drinking a lot more alcohol since we’ve all been stuck inside, and they’re not the only ones doing so.

Reports have been released this week that alcohol sales in the US has risen by a whopping 55% in the week commencing March 16.


According to US data information company Nielsen, there had been a rise of 75% in the purchases of spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails compared to this time last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales were up 42%.

Nielsen also found online alcohol sales were up a staggering 243%.


People in the United Kingdom are also splashing the cash on alcohol. In the first three weeks of March the UK spent an extra £160 million on booze. This amounted to £356.5 million over the week to 21 March, rising from £252.5 million the week before, The Grocer reports.


Retail chain company BWS reported that lager was the most popular alcohol purchased followed by white wine, red wine and white spirits like vodka and gin.

At the other end of the spectrum, some places are banning the sale of alcohol.

Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, has banned it in the hope of it reducing violence against children with families being made to say at home. The ban started Saturday March 28 and is believed to be until at least April 15.


According to reports, domestic violence cases had unfortunately seen an increase in recent weeks.

Speaking about the decision, Kim Kielsen, the Prime Minister of Greenland, said: ‘In such a situation, we have to take numerous measures to avoid infection. But at the heart of my decision is the protection of children; they have to have a safe home.’

South Africa has also banned the sale of alcohol following its decision to go into a 21-day lockdown from March 28.


The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in South Africa released guidance, as per The South African, explaining one of the reasons for the decision was that it would reduce the spreading of the virus because alcohol ‘reduces a person’s ability to exercise the social distancing and personal hygiene required’.

They also said that alcohol lowers peoples’ immune systems therefore makes them more susceptible to the virus, that the combination of alcohol and ‘cabin fever’ would increase domestic violence and that banning alcohol would drastically reduce the strain on emergency services.

While it may seem like a good idea to turn to a tipple during stressful and anxious times, the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed it an ‘unhelpful coping strategy’.

The WHO understands people may turn to drinking during a crisis, but Dr Aiysha Malik, a technical officer at WHO Europe’s mental health and substance abuse department, has warned it may ‘make things worse’.


Alcohol Change UK’s chief executive Dr Richard Piper advises that people should stick to 14 units a week, or less.

As per the Independent, Dr Piper said:

While keeping off licences open is consistent with clinical advice to protect those who are physically dependent on alcohol from going into dangerous withdrawal, they wouldn’t want to unintentionally send the message that alcohol is ‘essential’ to all our lives.

It’s important that the government, alcohol producers and retailers keep reminding us that it’s best to stick to 14 units a week or less.

You can find more advise on alcohol, mental health and coronavirus from Alcohol Change UK here.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Alcohol, America, Anxiety, drinking, greenland, Self-Isolation, South Africa, Stress


The Grocer and 2 others
  1. The Grocer

    Coronavirus: crisis drives £160m additional spend on supermarket booze

  2. New York Post

    Americans are drinking a crazy amount of alcohol during coronavirus lockdown

  3. The South African

    SA’s alcohol ban explained: Why booze is barred during lockdown