A new drinks report from NTC shows all main alcoholic drinks categories have boosted market share over the past 40 years at the expense of beer.

Beer's share declined by almost a third to 50.1% while wine climbed from 6.2% to 21.8%. Spirits rose from 16.9% in 1960 to 18.9% in 1999, cider and perry from 1.6% to 6.3% and made wine from 1.5% to 2.9%.

Retail price indices for the four main categories, beer, cider/perry, wine and spirits, in general kept pace with the All Items Retail Price Index, although beer prices outstripped it somewhat.

Long Term Drink Trends says spending on advertising rose from about £130m in 1979 to £229m in 1999.

Further grow is forecast for cider and perry, still, light and sparkling wines and white spirits as well as niche products such as malt whisky.

However, beers, the older styles of fortified and made wines and traditional spirits are not expected to experience growth.

The 166-page report also includes international comparisons. For more information e-mail info@ntc.co.uk.