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French are drinking less often than European neighbours

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-10

The bottle of wine remains an important fixture at French dinner tables and cafés, but new figures reveal it is not as ubiquitous as it once was.

New studies show that the frequency of alcohol consumption in France has decreased to an all-time low, with French people drinking less often on average than their European neighbours.

Only 10 percent of people in France say they drink an alcoholic beverage on a daily basis, compared to 14 percent of the population two years ago, according to a new study by Entreprise & Prévention, an alcohol-awareness group in France that is funded by the alcoholic beverage industry.

While 96 percent of households in France say they still regularly purchase alcohol, its consumption has continued a gradual downward trend, with households buying an average 1.4 litres less in 2014 than they did in 2008, according to a parallel study by KantarWorld Panel, a Paris-based market research firm.

The tendency is also observed for outings to cafés, bars and restaurants, KantarWorld Panel’s survey showed. Only 20 percent of French people questioned said they regularly patronize drinking establishments, compared to 33 percent of people in England and 48 percent of Spaniards.

When French customers go to a bar or a café, 44 percent say they always order an alcoholic beverage, compared to 48.3 percent of patrons in Germany and 55.2 percent in Spain.

The new figures were revealed amid a succession of campaigns by organizations and health officials against abusive drinking.

WHO DRINKS MORE?

1. Moldova                  18.22*
2. Czech Republic     16.45
3. Hungary                   16.27

15. France                   13.66

17. United Kingdom    13.37

23. Germany                12.81

30. Spain                      11.62

*Pure alcohol consumption among adults (age 15+) in litres per capita per year, 2005-2011. Source: World Health Organization

Prévention Routière, an anti-drunk driving association, last week launched their “Before I Die” campaign targeting youths. The group said driving under the influence of alcohol remained the leading cause of fatal accidents for people between 18 and 24 years of age in France.

Inpes, France’s national health education organisation, said in November that while consumption had been in steady decline over the past 60 years, France remained one of the largest consumers of alcohol worldwide and that episodes of dangerous binge drinking were on the rise.

Date created : 2014-04-10

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