This from Jeremiah McWilliams at Lager Heads on the ways in which economic woes are changing consumer spending on alcohol.
The short version is that people are spending less --- ie, hunting for "value --- and that they don't plan to revert to old habits once the recession ends.
I've got another take on it: maybe people are simply coming to their senses. (No pun intended.) Let's face it: in the past decade or so, alcohol makers have come up with zillions of ways to part fool from their money. "Premium" vodkas. Appletinis. Nauseating "mixers." Other wierd shit-in-a-bottle-that-tastes-horrible-but-costs-lots-and-therefore-must-be-good.
And of course the alcohol makers came up with the stuff because, ya know, there were plenty of fools (armed with credit cards) ready to be parted from said money.
The report also notes that people are spending less on alcohol when they go out. But again: perhaps people are simply wising up. I mean, did anyone NEED to visit bars with a $300 cover charge?
Answer: No. (*1) So --- perhaps "reduced spending" on alcohol is simply evidence of increased wisdom.
*1: I'm reminded of a scene in a Sopranos episode when AJ complains that he's always broke because he goes out every night and the Big Name champagne he's expected to buy every at nightclubs sets him back a few hundred bucks.