Water beats beer as Belgium's top drink
18 August 2006 BRUSSELS — Despite the cliché of Belgium as the home of beer, it is mineral water that is the country's top drink, according to the government's statistical agency.
18 August 2006
BRUSSELS — Despite the cliché of Belgium as the home of beer, it is mineral water that is the country's top drink, according to the government's statistical agency.
The decline of beer is underlined by the rise of coffee, which has also overtaken the erstwhile national drink in popularity.
The average Belgian drank 136.1lr of mineral water last year and 120.2lr of soft drinks (ice tea, lemonades and sodas, and sports drinks).
Coffee has grown in popularity to 124.9lr, while beer had fallen to 92.5lr. But isotonic sports drinks have seen the most spectacular boom, with consumption surging 250 percent since 2000.
For fruit and vegetable juices, the figure was 30.9lr, 23lr for wine, 11.9lr for tea and 3.2lr for chocolate milk. Milk, however, is in decline: an average 51.9lr of milk were drunk in 2005, down from 70.5lr in 1980.
The figures are particularly revealing over the long-term. They show that in 1980, Belgians drank 42lr of table water a year, but a quarter of a century later it was three times that figure.
Within Belgium, the Flemish tend to spend more on tea and soft drinks, while Wallonians typically go more for coffee, water, beer and other alcohols. In Brussels, fruit juices and wine are the most popular.
Another difference: the Flemish like sparking water, while Brussels and Wallonia prefer it flat.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news