Demand rose in 2022 as COVID-19 eased and foreigners returned to work. However, import price hikes hit sales.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic had a very strong negative impact on sales of alcoholic drinks in Bangladesh in 2020. In particular, the lockdown 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 and urbanisation and a general opening up to Western cultural mores and trends have resulted in social attitudes gradually changing, especially among younger people.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the economy in Bangladesh has struggled. As a result, social inequality and the poverty gap increased, leading more consumers to economise and prioritise the most essential products, which do not include alcoholic drinks.
The government makes strong efforts to attract new investment. Increasing foreign investment has been accompanied by a stronger presence of foreign nationals in the country, including many affluent people employed in middle- and high-level management.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has published new alcohol control rules under Narcotics Control Acts 2018. These allow for the setting-up of bars in hotels, but increased the legal drinking age and legal purchasing age for alcohol from 18 to 21.
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.
Overall, off- and on-trade volume sales of alcoholic drinks are projected to rise significantly throughout the forecast period to exceed their 2019 pre-pandemic levels by 2024. Sales are rising from a low base, with strict legal restrictions banning the sale, purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol remaining for the majority of consumers.
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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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