Total sales of alcoholic beverages in China were US $105.0 billion in 2009, a growth of 8.1% from 2008. On-trade* sales of alcohol in 2009 were reported at US $ 51.6 billion, with beer accounting for 40% of sales, wine 28%, and spirits 32%. Off-trade sales of alcoholic beverages in China were slightly larger than on-trade sales and reached US $53.4 billion. Sales through off-trade channels were broken down as follows: beer accounted for 45%, wine 11%, spirits 43%, and other alcoholic beverages (including cider/perry and ready-to-drink/high-strength pre-mixes) 1%. Alcoholic beverages were affected slightly by the economic downturn in late 2008 and early 2009, in terms of volume sales. Consumers and businesses reduced expenditures on entertainment, which affected on-trade sales. They also tightened their budgets at home, which affected off-trade sales. However, sales appear to have returned to normal and volume growth has been observed. Beer is the largest and most successful sector within alcoholic beverages. Economy lagers account for 89% of beer sales, based on volume, although domestic standard lager has seen the most significant growth. As a result, manufacturers are focusing on promoting domestic standard lagers in order to increase profits.
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