The alcohol market in Lithuania is shrinking, and this is true for both legal and illegal sources of alcohol. Experts say that both alcohol consumption and sales are falling, and they had some insights into why this might be happening.
Why is Lithuania's alcohol market shrinking?
© Shutterstock nuotr.

“First of all, the shrinkage of the beverage market is tied to demographic indicators – Lithuania's population is falling. However, alcoholic beverage sales are dropping a bit faster. We're also observing trends in the illegal alcohol market and we're seeing shrinkage there as well. We think that the trends indicate that people are gradually drinking less. This is good. It could be linked to improvements in the economic situation or with a general improvement in people's moods,” said Romas Apulskis, president of the Legal Business Alliance.

Though alcohol production has not changed, alcohol sales in Lithuania are dropping. Last year was the worst in a decade, when sales of all legal types of alcohol fell by 3 percent. Compared to the peak of alcohol sales in 2007, the alcohol market has shrunken by exactly one fourth.

The only beverage whose sales have increased is wine. Natural fruit wines, which are classified as more of a luxury product, enjoyed a 5-percent increase in sales from last year, and an increase of 15 percent compared to 2007. However, this increase did not outweigh falling sales for other beverages. The greatest fall in sales was in fortified wines, which fell by a fifth.

Compared to the pre-crisis period, the greatest drop in sales have been for hard liquor – especially for vodka. Last year, almost 40 percent less hard liquor was purchased than in 2007.

The illegal alcohol market shrunk by almost one fifth, but it still occupies 22 percent of the entire market. Black market alcohol sales have been falling for the past four years, but experts believe that this may soon change. New regulations on legal alcohol may increase growth in the black market.

“The shrinkage we see in the black market is good. However, we must keep in mind that this won't last forever. If something were to happen, if we were to regulate that market or if the economic situation were to worsen, the black market would once again grow,” said Vytautas Žukauskas, vice-president of the Free Market Institute.

Some of the new legal proposals for stricter regulations of alcohol sales include a shorter window of time to sell alcohol, the restriction of alcohol sales to special stores, and limits on alcohol advertising.

|Populiariausi straipsniai ir video

Lithuania's Devold says could make 100,000 medical coveralls by late summer

Norwegian-owned Lithuanian textile manufacturer Devold says it could producer around 100,000...

Tax revenue 15 percent short of target in March

The Lithuanian central government's tax revenue fell around 15 percent short of the target in March,...

Avia Solutions Group bought Bluebird Nordic

On the 24th of January 2020, Avia Solutions Group signed an agreement with BB Holding EHF for the...

GetJet Airlines set to lay off 370 employees

Lithuania's wet-lease and charter services provider GetJet Airlines has given lay-off notices to 370...

Avalanche of ideas developed in 'Hack the Crisis' hackathon

One of the most important tasks for hackathon organizers was to identify the most pressing issues,...

Top news

President signs into law tougher penalties for breaking quarantine rules

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has signed into law a legislative package introducing tougher...

811 coronavirus cases in Lithuania

On Sunday morning, there were 811 COVID-19 cases in Lithuania. 10 deaths related to the novel...

Lithuania's Devold says could make 100,000 medical coveralls by late summer

Norwegian-owned Lithuanian textile manufacturer Devold says it could producer around 100,000...

10th coronavirus death reported

Another patient infected with COVID-19 died in Lithuania on Saturday, bringing the country's death...

Lithuania no longer allows cars from Russia, Belarus to enter

A ban for passenger cars to enter Lithuania from Belarus and Russia have come into force on...

|Maža didelių žinių kaina