31.10.2016 | Estimated 2 minutes reading time | Print this article

World Savings Day Novel Research

Beer and Wine: Do they mirror saving habits?

We may assume that because wine is more expensive than beer, it is bought more often by the better-off, who are in turn able to set aside a greater share of their income as savings. Yet figures on wine and beer consumption in Europe suggest otherwise: Top beer-consuming countries save on average markedly more than countries that gladly gulp wine.

Since 2006, the average household saving rate of the top-3 European beer drinking countries: The Czech Republic, Austria and Germany is at 14.5% substantially higher than the 12.1% average household saving rate of top wine-drinking countries Slovenia, France and Portugal.  Is this just a coincidence?

It is telling that a survey of 25 European countries split into traditionally-beer producing and traditionally-wine producing, reveals that during the latest decade the average household saving rate of brewers is 9.6% versus just 7.8% of winemakers.

Does this mean that beer-drinking is conducive to frugality?

European policymakers would be wise not to rush and recommend wine-drinking as a means to spur spending. Alcohol-consumption reflects a complex interplay of historical, political, economic and climatic factors that determine saving rates far more directly than anyone‘s preference for beer or wine. However, if you want to increase your household savings it might be a good idea to reduce your consumption of vintages (an affordable bottle of Château d’Yquem is priced on Amazon at EUR 345,88) and switch to premium beers instead.

Cheers and happy World Savings Day!