Speaking at the Wine & Spirit Trade Association's spring conference, chief executive Jeremy Beadles told members to brace themselves
for increasing government legislation, a drop in consumer spending and negative headlines in the national media.
He said: "We're under tough trading conditions. These are the times when
consumers will look at their spending. The government is also coming up with a range of alcohol strategies that are all about price and promotion and not about education.
"We have to get better at putting our view across and engaging with the consumer."
Beadles urged members of the drinks trade to put across positive messages from their businesses and ensure local MPs and media were considering their views too.
He also said more needed to be done to educate children at a younger age about alcohol.
Other speakers at the event at London's Gibson Hall were Barry Clark of the Future Foundation, Marjana Martinic of the International Centre for Alcohol Policies, Beam Global Iberia, France, UK and Ireland managing director Jonathan Stordy and Richard Sharman of KPMG.