Sales of alcoholic drinks remain very limited as the Muslim majority is banned from possessing or drinking alcohol. Thus, legal demand is limited to Indigenous groups, who stick mainly to artisanal and packaged traditional spirits, and foreigners.
The advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic had a very strong negative impact on sales of alcoholic drinks in Bangladesh in 2020. In particular, the lockdown that was imposed in the country for several weeks at the peak of the pandemic resulted in significant declines in on-trade sales across all categories.
As Bangladesh is a Muslim country, alcohol is not socially accepted and it is not permitted to drink openly. However, ongoing industrialisation, urbanisation and opening up to Western cultural trends have resulted in social attitudes gradually changing, especially among younger people.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the economy in Bangladesh has been struggling, as seen worldwide. As a result, social inequality and the poverty gap has increased since 2021 and more consumers are having to economise and prioritise the most essential products, which alcoholic drinks are not.
Bangladesh’s underdeveloped road infrastructure poses serious logistical challenges to the country’s alcoholic drinks companies, with the vast majority of roads in the country being well below international standards. Road conditions are particularly poor in rural areas, although overcrowding and high levels of traffic congestion are also increasingly causing major problems in cities as well.
Officially, it is prohibited for Bangladeshi nationals of all ages to drink, purchase, carry or sell alcohol, with no legal drinking and purchasing age limits consequently being in place.
The taxation levied on alcoholic drinks in Bangladesh remains very high. The most important alcohol tax is the 350% Supplementary Duty, which is augmented by 15% VAT, 5% regulatory duty, 3% Advance Trade VAT and 5% Advance Income Tax.
Alcoholic drinks is set for an improved performance over the forecast period in line with the pandemic coming to a gradual end. As the economy recovers and tourism returns, the category will witness a recovery.
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Alcoholic drinks is the aggregation of beer, wine, spirits, cider/perry and RTDs.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks research and analysis database.
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