DIGI: Spirits demand growing, but beer still king

Demand for spirits in Ireland is approaching record levels, according to a new DIGI report
Irish whiskey sales in Vietnam are likely to surge following the removal of tariffs on EU exports

A new report by DIGI - the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland - has revealed that demand for spirits among Irish consumers has risen to surpass 20% of the market for the first time. The report, which covers 2018, also reveals a considerable long-term drop in alcohol consumption among adults.



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16 April 2019

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Spirits made up a 20.5% share of the alcohol product market in 2018, according to a report newly-published by DIGI. This represents a 5.6% year-on-year increase. The only category that saw a decrease in this period was wine, falling slightly by 2% to hold a 26.7% share of the market – almost double the figure in 2001.

Meanwhile, beer is by far the nation’s most popular alcoholic drink, maintaining a 45.2% share of Ireland’s alcohol product market in 2018 – a 2.7% year-on-year increase. Cider consumption, meanwhile, increased slightly to 7.5%.

The report, The Drinks Market Performance 2018, was authored by Dublin City University economist Anthony Foley and commissioned by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), published ahead of the launch of DIGI’s 2019 Support Your Local’ campaign.  It shows that although the Irish retail sector recorded an increase of 3.7% in sales volume, bar sales volume, including food and other sales as well as alcohol, decreased by 1.3%. This decline includes an estimated 2% decline in alcohol volume, countered with a small increase in food volume.

Commenting, Rosemary Garth, chair of DIGI and communications and corporate affairs director at Irish Distillers, said the report demonstrates that Irish consumers are increasingly choosing quality over quantity.

“The Irish drinks market continues to showcase its contribution to Irish society,” Garth said, “consistently innovating and in line with consumer preferences and tastes. Businesses and entrepreneurs are constantly proving their competitiveness and eagerness to develop new and innovative products and services.

“However,” she added, “with many challenges facing the industry this year, state support and protection are needed to avoid a plateauing of an essential sector in this country, and indeed, to cease the rapid number of pub closures in every county.”

The report urged the government to review its current alcohol taxation policy, and to work with the sector to deliver the best outcome for business post-Brexit.






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