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Cheers to the drinkers among us

01 October 2010

The results of's latest survey with its annual alcohol index produce many surprises, reports DAVID STRYDOM

We all love a drink. Well, most of us do, anyway. We don't need - the grocery shopping and comparison site - to tell us that with its annual alcohol index. But the fact is the index gives us more than just a revealing glimpse into how much we really drink: it tells us exactly what we're drinking - and also which of us are imbibing the most.

East Anglians, for instance, drink 25% above the national average (they spend £381.55 per household annually) while the Welsh consume the least, spending 10% less than the national average. Annual UK online alcohol spend reaches £381.55 per household.

East Anglia fully deserves its top slot - if 'deserves' is the right word - as closer examination reveals people spend more than the national annual average of £305.24 in every single category of alcohol.

But the country is divided along even stranger lines when you look at the types of alcohol involved. For instance, the index further reveals people in the North-East spend the most on alcopops although they spend less than the national average on wine and spirits. They're ranked the UK's fourth most boozy region overall.

When it comes to the strong stuff, people in the East out-drink people in the South-East by more than 100%, spending on average £128.93 per household on spirits, compared to £64.14 among their Southern counterparts.

They out-drink South-Easterners by 100% and spend on average £128.93 per household on spirits, compared to £64.14 among their Southern counterparts.

People in the South-East could claim to be more sober when it comes to how much alcohol they buy, as they spend the least across three of the five categories analysed (alcopops, cider, and spirits). However, they far exceed the national average on wine, spending an average 23% more per household than the average, and a whopping 53% more than the Welsh.

In fact despite spending the least in three categories, and well under the national average in a fourth, the wine consumption of people in the South-East pushes them into third place overall for alcohol consumption.

"The recent controversy over cheap alcohol, particularly around events such as the World Cup, is likely to mean overall spend on booze goes down", says Jonny Steel. "With the supermarkets getting on board and supporting minimum pricing for alcohol, we expect to see a significant drop in the number of promotions on alcohol with supermarkets offering record numbers of deals on food and soft drinks."

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