Alcohol consumption in Lithuania is on the increase, even though more people drink only occasionally and consume a wider variety of beverages, according to a survey of the Baltic population by the market research company NielsenIQ. Similar trends were observed in Latvia and Estonia.

Ilona Lepp, Nielsen’s Baltic head, says the number of alcohol consumers in the three countries has increased compared to a few years ago.

“If we compare the 2018 consumer behaviour survey data to those of this year, we see that alcohol consumption has not decreased, but increased,” Lepp said in a press release on Thursday.

“Although we [Lithuania] are no longer ranked by the World Health Organization as number one in Europe in terms of alcohol consumption per capita, the number of alcohol consumers in our country is increasing, only they drink less often and choose a wider variety of alcoholic beverages,” she said.

This year’s survey shows that 29 percent of people in Lithuania aged between 20 and 64 consumed alcohol at least once a week, up from 27 percent in 2018, 65 percent at least once a month, up from 62 percent, and 92 percent at least once a year, up from 88 percent.

In Latvia and Estonia, the percentage of those consuming alcohol at least once a week is slightly higher than in Lithuania, but the other two figures are slightly lower.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Lithuania, with at least 35 percent of 20-64-year-olds drinking it at least once a month, followed closely by wine (33 percent). The top five list also includes whiskey (13 percent), brandy (12 percent) and vodka (11 percent).

Latvians drink wine, bitters and cognac more often, while cider and gin are more popular in Estonia.

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