French drinking: tradition or dependence?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to primarily identify the reasons behind the cultural shift which has taken place in France over the past few years regarding alcohol consumption, and concentrates on distinctive population categories in order to highlight characteristics of, and changes in, drinking behaviour amongst male, female, youth and senior drinkers. Design/methodology/approach – The author reviews the current governmental and medical statistics mainly using French publications; findings are further supported by interviews with French bar owner-managers. Findings – French society has changed over the past decade with authorities curbing more efficiently long established drinking patterns. Advertising alcohol is highly legislated in France; yet current governmental campaigns do not seem to affect the youth population. French alcohol consumption remains one of the highest in the world, and whilst binge drinking is not as widely reported as in neighbouring countries, it is nevertheless on the increase. Research limitations/implications – The work is primarily limited to an extensive literature review. The research thus deserves more attention, both theoretical and empirical, in order to further analyse current drinking patterns, especially in the youth segment. Originality/value – The paper provides a structured literature review to examine the French current drinking patterns. Additional research into targeted French drinking populations as well alcohol suppliers is suggested, to find out whether more stringent legislation will in the long-term further affect French alcohol consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-161
JournalWorldwide Hospitality & Tourism Themes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2009


  • alcoholic drinks
  • consumption
  • public health
  • consumer behaviour
  • France


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