Ireland spirits consumption climbs 3.6% in 2017

18th May, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

Spirits consumption in Ireland increased by 3.6% last year, with the category making up 19.8% of the country’s alcohol market, according to a recent report.

The DIGI’s report states that spirits, wine and cider volumes increased, while beer declined

The report, The Drinks Market Performance 2017, authored by Dublin City University economist Anthony Foley and commissioned by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), was published ahead of DIGI’s 2018 ‘Support Your Local’ campaign.

The DIGI is the umbrella organisation for the drinks and hospitality industry in Ireland, and includes the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland.

While spirits, wine and cider all increased in volume last year, beer volumes declined by 2.1%, the report noted.

Average alcohol consumption per adult in 2017 was 11.080lpa (litres of pure alcohol), down by 1.4% on the previous year and by almost 18% in the 10 years since 2007.

Donal O’Keeffe, secretary of DIGI and CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association, expressed concern over the potential impact of Brexit on the industry.

He said: “The Irish drinks market is highly competitive and constantly evolving in line with consumer preferences and taste.

“The drinks industry is integral to Ireland’s economic health. 92,000 people work in the drinks industry alone, and the combined hospitality sector, which includes pubs, hotels, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, retailers, manufacturers and distributors, employs almost 210,000 people across the country. That’s 10% of all jobs, or €1.25 billion worth of exports a year.

“‘Uncertainty’ is the word of the day. Brexit makes it harder for exporters to plan for the future. If it’s harder to trade with Great Britain or Northern Ireland, and sterling remains weak, revenues will decline due to trade barriers and a decrease in overseas visitors.

“Considering its contribution to the economy, we hope that the government continues to work with the Irish drinks industry and wider hospitality sector to help deliver the best possible Brexit, and to allow for the conditions necessary to make the domestic drinks market as productive and profitable as possible.”

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