Analysts say the alcohol industry is reliant on harmful drinking behaviour. 

While booze brands often try to paint themselves as advocates of responsible alcohol use, a new study says big drinkers are a large part of the companies’ bottom lines.

Analysing data from the International Alcohol Control study, a New Zealand-led research team found that, in higher income countries, heavier drinking occasions (eight or more drinks) made up about half of total alcohol sales.

Meanwhile, in middle-income countries, the figure was closer to two-thirds.

The authors say this shows there are conflicting interests between international alcohol corporations and public health

“Their framings of alcohol consumption and harms allow them to argue for ineffective measures, largely targeting heavier consumers, and against population wide measures as the latter will affect moderate drinkers,” the study says.

The full study is accessible here.