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Published:  23 July, 2008

Global consumption of alcoholic drinks has increased at a slow but steady rate' over the past two years, according to the latest research from industry analysts Zenith International. Consumption rose 2.7% in 2002 to reach 192 billion litres, and by an estimated 1.7% in 2003 to 195 billion litres. Overall, alcoholic drinks claim a stable 14% share of total beverage consumption, similar to milk drinks, but well behind hot drinks and soft drinks. Consumption per person is hovering at around 31 litres per year. Among the other findings in the 2003 Global Alcoholic Drinks Report are that China is on course to overtake the US as the world's largest alcoholic drinks market, and that Western Europe has the highest individual consumption, averaging 118 litres per person in 2002. North America was second, with 98 litres per person, followed by Eastern Europe (64 litres) and Latin America (48 litres). Zenith forecasts that global consumption will rise gradually to 210 billion litres by 2007'. All alcoholic drinks sectors should experience growth, with beer edging further ahead of both wine and spirits'.