Tasteful tipples outstrip binge boozing

Finns are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes in alcohol, choosing Champagnes and sparkling wines over beer and hard liquor, according to a national health body. As well as an increased interest more tasteful tipples such as Rosé, bottled long drinks are also flying off supermarket shelves.

Valvira, the national Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, said that while people drank slightly less overall in Finland this year compared to last, consumption might exceed recent records if alcohol tax is not raised. Drinking rose in 2004 when alcohol tax was cut by a third, and since then Finns have rarely drunk less than 10 litres each a year.

According to Valvira, this year Finns have drunk an average of 10 litres of booze each. “The total consumption was 10.5 litres in 2007 and last year it was 10.2, so it dropped a little,” said Lennart Wahlfors, Chief of Data Administration at Valvira.

Wahlfors concluded that price control seems to affect alcohol consumption more than any other stimulus, adding that without further tax increases, Finns will continue to hit the bottle hard.