Covid-19 leads to 5.1% drop in Irish alcohol consumption, wine increases by 12%

Covid-19 Leads To 5.1% Drop In Irish Alcohol Consumption, Wine Increases By 12%
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James Cox

Covid-19 has significantly impacted the drinks industry, as a result of the closure of the hospitality sector, according to Drinks Ireland, as the latest Revenue figures show that per capita alcohol consumption declined by 6.6 per cent last year.

The total volume of consumption was down by 5.1 per cent.

The new data shows that beer and cider have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, as both are mostly consumed in pubs.

Beer consumption fell by 17.3 per cent last year. In 2019, 62.7 per cent of beer was consumed in the on-trade, with 37.3 per cent consumed from the off-trade.

Meanwhile, cider consumption fell by 11.4 per cent in 2020.

Spirits consumption increased marginally, by 0.7 per cent, in line with the growing popularity of premium gins and whiskeys among Irish consumers in recent years.

Finally, wine sales increased by 12 per cent, as generally the majority of wine is consumed from the off-trade. This was not enough to offset the overall fall in alcohol consumption, however.


Patricia Callan, director of Drinks Ireland said: “There is a growing and misleading narrative that alcohol consumption increased last year during lockdown. These Revenue figures show that this is simply not true. While off-trade sales predictably increased when the on-trade was closed, this was not enough to offset the overall fall in alcohol consumption across the board.”

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