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Published:  23 July, 2008

The Drink Pocket Book 2002, compiled by NTC Publications in association with AC Nielsen, has been published, priced 35. It claims to be the definitive guide to the UK drinks market. The book notes the decline in the number of traditional pubs owned by smaller, local breweries and an expansion of nationwide pub chains. This has affected drinking habits. The most dramatic changes in terms of what people drink in the UK are related to FABs (flavoured alcoholic beverages),' it states.The last couple of years have seen vast increases in the numbers of spirit mixed drinks available, such as Metz, coupled with a decline in alcoholic carbonates, such as Hooch.' The Drink Pocket Book 2002 adds that while beer remains British consumers' favourite drink, it is losing share, most noticeably in off-licences - down 4.1% last year compared to an 8.9% rise in spirits and a slight rise in wine share. The greatest drop in beer consumption is among 25-34-year-old men, which must be worrying for brewers and beer brand owners.