Skip to main content
Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.

Publication, Part of

Statistics on Alcohol, England 2020

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

In 2017/18 the amount that an average household spent on all food and drink, including alcoholic drinks and food eaten out was £45.31 per person per week. When inflation is taken into account, the amount spent was 0.3 per cent more than 2016/17 and 3.8 per cent more than 2014.

Since 2014, purchases of alcoholic drinks for household supplies have increased by 16%, whilst purchases of alcoholic drinks bought for consumption outside the home increased by 6%.

Alcohol intake was 10.5 grams of alcohol per person per day in 2017/18 which is an increase of 17.7% since 2014. Eating out intakes of alcohol accounted for 26% of total alcohol intake in 2017/18 and were 37% higher than in 2014.

Affordability of alcohol

Long term trend

In the UK since 1987 alcohol has become 74% more affordable. Appendix B (Technical Notes) provides information on how this is calculated.     

Last ten years (2009 to 2019)

Over the last ten years the price of alcohol has increased by 28% (based on the alcohol price index),

The price of alcohol decreased by 5% relative to retail prices (based on the alcohol price index relative to retail price index). Disposable income per adult increased by 7% over the same period.

As a result, alcohol has become 13% more affordable since 2008 (based on affordability of alcohol index). 

Expenditure on off-trade alcohol purchases

Expenditure on alcohol compared to total expenditure

UK household expenditure on alcohol has almost doubled to £20.0 billion in 2018, from £10.4 billion in 1987.

However, alcohol expenditure as a proportion of total household expenditure has fallen to 1.5% over the same period, from 3.4% in 1987.

Note;  household expenditure is based on current prices. It includes purchases at supermarkets, off licences etc. but excludes purchases in pubs, bars, restaurants etc.

Average weekly expenditure on alcohol

Average weekly household expenditure on alcohol was £8.70 in 2017/18.​

People in the 65-74 age group spent the most, with an average of £10.60 a week. ​

The lowest weekly expenditure was by those aged 75 or over with an average of £5.60.

Last edited: 25 February 2020 2:29 pm