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What is the alcohol industry?

The alcohol industry can be defined in different ways, with no agreed settled definition. The term is most commonly used to refer to corporations engaged in the production of alcoholic beverages. However, broader definitions also exist. The World Health Organization, for example, refers to “developers, producers, distributors, marketers and sellers of alcoholic beverages”.[1] Alcohol researchers have observed that:

The alcoholic beverage industry includes producers, wholesalers and distributors, point-of-sale operators (whether licensed or not) and hospitality providers such as hotels or cafés that serve alcohol. Its production and distribution arms are allied closely with agriculture, trucking, capital goods manufacturing and packaging industries.[2]


Next: Who are the major participants in the alcohol industry?

[1] World Health Organization (2010), Global Strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol

[2] Jernigan, D. H. (2009), The global alcohol industry: an overview, Addiction 104 (Suppl. 1), p. 6