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Publication, Part of

Statistics on Alcohol, England, 2018 [PAS]

Official statistics, National statistics

National Statistics

Part 7: Expenditure and affordability

Information on purchases and expenditure on alcohol have been taken from Family Food which is published by Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and is based on data collected by the Living Costs and Food Survey.

The affordability of alcohol uses information on alcohol price and retail price indices taken from the ONS publication: Focus on Consumer Price Indices and households’ disposable income data published by ONS in the Economic and Labour Market Review.

Purchases and expenditure on alcohol

£43 per person was spent on food and drink (including alcoholic drinks and food eaten out) per week in 2016/17 in the UK. Taking inflation into account, this was 1.1% more than 2015, and 0.1% more than 2013.

In real terms, between 2013 and 2016/17 spending on all household food and drink fell by 0.5% and eating out expenditure rose by 9.4%. Household spending on alcoholic drinks rose by 2.8% over the same period, and that bought for consumption outside the home also rose by 1.7%.

Alcohol intake rose 7.7% in 2016/17 to 9.7 grams of alcohol per person per day. Eating out purchases accounted for 28% of total alcohol intake in 2016/17.

In 2016/17, eating out intakes of alcohol were 38% higher than in 2013 and up until 2014 showed a significant downward trend.

Alcohol intake from eating out purchases declined 35% between 2001-02 and 2016/17.

1.‘Household’ covers all food that is brought into the household.  ‘Eating out’ covers all food that never enters the household.

2. There is a range of evidence to suggest that self reported alcohol consumption in surveys is less than actual consumption.



Affordability of alcohol

Long term trend

In the UK since 1980 alcohol has become 64% more affordable1.


Last ten years (2007 to 2017)

Over the last ten years the price of alcohol has increased by 33%2.

The price of alcohol increased by 0.8%3 relative to retail prices, whilst real disposable income per adult increased by 1.9% over the same period.

As a result, alcohol has become 1.1% more affordable since 20074.

1. For more information see Appendix B: Technical Notes .

2. Based on Alcohol Price Index.

3. Based on Alcohol Price Index Relative to Retail Price Index (all items).

4. Based on Affordability of Alcohol Index.



Expenditure on alcohol purchases

Expenditure on off-trade1 alcohol compared to total expenditure2

UK household expenditure on alcohol has more than doubled to £19.9 billion in 2017, from £9.3 billion in 1985.

However, alcohol expenditure as a proportion of total household expenditure has fallen to 1.5% over the same period, from 3.8% in 1985.


Average weekly expenditure on alcohol3

Average weekly household expenditure on alcohol was £8.20 in 2016/17.

People in the 50-64 age group spent the most, with an average of £11.00 a week.

The lowest weekly expenditure was by those aged under 30 and 75+ with an average of £5.00.

1. Includes purchases at supermarkets, off licences etc.  Excludes purchases in pubs, bars, restaurants etc.

2. Current Prices 

3. Across all households.

Last edited: 11 February 2019 5:13 pm