My eyebrows raised when I read two articles in the Trinidad Express, today, Boxing Day 2007, the one headlined, Drivers told go easy on liquor and,the other, Alcohol sales soaring
My curiosity whetted (no pun intended!), I decided, there and then, to do a little analysis, to determine, exactly, how much alcohol Trinis who drink, actually drink.
Noting what unnamed importers had boasted in the "Alcohol sales soaring" article to wit,
"...Indications from the nation's 10 major importers of alcoholic drinks are that people are buying a whopping 25 per cent more than they did last year..."
"...Official figures are not yet available but an idea of just how much is being drunk can be gleaned by these figures from last year when more than 500,000 cases of rum, 250,000 cases of whisky and 70,000 cases of wine were imported...",
I browsed the internet, gleaning more statistics to help me find the answers. What I found so boggles the mind (again, no pun intended!) that I must share with the wider community the information I found. In interpreting that information, in addition to the rules I've highlighted in the tabular report, I assumed the following:
- That the adult population of Trinidad and Tobago is 990,352 (according to EBC for the 2007 General Elections);
- That fifty percent (50%) (495,176) of those adults drink alcoholic beverages (if the number is smaller, the picture is worse!);
- That, during any given year, ninety-one point six seven percent (91.67%) or, eleven-twelfths (11/12) of the alcoholic beverages available to be consumed are in fact consumed prudent sellers will hold a one-month inventory at all times);
- That local rum production is equal to what is imported (conservative, very conservative estimate on my part);
- A bottle of rum or whisky holds 750 ml (discounting the fact that many larger capacity bottles are on the shelf);
- A bottle of beer or stout holds 275.5 ml (thanks, Leo, for that bit of info!);
- That a case of rum or whisky contains twelve (12) bottles (before the case is opened, duh!); and
- That a case of beer or stout starts off with twenty-four (24) bottles.
|YEAR||TYPE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE||No. OF CASES AVAILABLE TO BE CONSUMED||No. OF BOTTLES AVAILABLE TO BE CONSUMED||No. OF BOTTLES CONSUMED PER DRINKING ADULT PER YEAR||No. OF LITRES ACTUALLY CONSUMED PER DRINKING ADULT PER YEAR|
|2006||Local rum (Estimated @ 100% of Imported rum)||500,000||6,000,000||11.11||8.33|
|2006||Local beer, stout (750,000 cases per month brewed)||9,000,000||216,000,000||399.86||110.16|
|2006||Imported beer, stout (Estimated @ 15% of Local beer, stout)||1,350,000||32,400,000||59.98||16.52|
|2006||Local wine (Estimated @ 50% of Imported wine)||35,000||420,000||0.78||0.58|
|2007||Local rum (Estimated @ 100% of Imported rum)||625,000||7,500,000||15.15||11.36|
|2007||Local beer, stout (Estimated @ 25% more than 2006 figure)||11,250,000||270,000,000||545.26||150.22|
|2007||Imported beer, stout (Estimated @ 15% of Local beer, stout)||1,687,500||40,500,000||81.79||22.53|
|2007||Local wine (Estimated @ 50% of Imported wine)||43,750||525,000||1.06||0.80|
Of course, the consumption details become more intoxicating or diluted if one juggles the number of drinkers. Pun intended.
It now comes home to me what the carouser means, when he sings:
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas!"