A new report by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has confirmed more alcohol is flowing into the homes of Australians than ever before, causing concerns for increased harms to families and communities.
Reviewing newly released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade data, the report found a $3.6 billion (29 per cent) increase in alcohol retail turnover in Australia between 2019 to 2021.
Total alcohol retail sales for 2021 was $15.9 billion, while December was the highest month on record at $2.1 billion. These figures exceeded alcohol retail turnover for 2020 by more than $300 million.
Alcohol retail sales consistently increased from 2019 to 2021 in all Australian jurisdictions that report data (New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory).
FARE CEO, Caterina Giorgi, said that at the same time many families in the community are experiencing increased stress from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol companies are shamelessly pushing their products into Australian homes.
“Far too many Australians are negatively impacted by family violence, mental illness, chronic health conditions, injury and death, and all are made worse because of alcohol,” Ms Giorgi said
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, there are indications more people are needing help because of alcohol harms. At the same time, alcohol companies have used the pandemic as a marketing opportunity.
“Many Australians are doing it tough, while alcohol companies are making super profits.
“Action is needed from Governments to address the predatory marketing practices of alcohol companies. Without it, companies will continue to push more alcohol into homes, increasing the risk of alcohol harms to families and communities.”