The downward trends in the US are not being felt in the country's alcoholic drinks sector, according to recent research.

A report from intelligence supplier Mintel in the US, released yesterday (16 September) has forecast that sales of alcohol, along with other "sin stocks" chocolate and cigarettes, would not be affected by the downturn currently hitting the US' economy.

"Chocolate, cigarettes and alcohol again seem relatively recession-proof," said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst at Mintel. "People might be cutting back or switching to store-brands, but they definitely aren't giving up their small daily indulgences."

Motivated by high gas prices and expensive bar tabs, more Americans are opting to drink at home, the Mintel report said. The market for at-home alcohol in the US is expected to reach US$77.8bn in 2008, a 32% increase from 2003, the company said, while both in-home and out-of-home alcohol sales in the country are expected to rise steadily in coming years.

"Because people are being so cautious with their spending, they feel they are entitled to small rewards and they won't give them up easily," Mogelonsky concluded.