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Alcohol sales in Ireland down 30% due to pandemic

Drinks Ireland estimates total alcohol sales have fallen by 30% across the country since on-trade venues were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Drinks Ireland estimates alcohol sales in Ireland have fallen by 30% since lockdown measures were introduced across the country

The trade body, which represents drinks manufacturers, brand owners and distributors in Ireland, calculates that alcohol sales have tumbled during lockdown, despite a rise in off-trade sales.

Patricia Callan, director of Drinks Ireland, said: “The on-trade, that is all pubs, restaurants and hotels, usually accounts for 55% of total alcohol sales and they are completely closed.

“Therefore, as expected, we have seen a rise in off-trade sales, but this increase in no way compensates for the loss in sales associated with the on-trade being closed, so overall we estimate that alcohol consumption in Ireland could be down by around 30%.

“In addition, the global closure of the on-trade has imposed severe commercial pressures on businesses in the Irish drinks industry, who typically export €1.4 billion [US$1.5bn] of products annually.

“The hospitality sector has been hit hard by this pandemic, with jobs at risk and livelihoods shattered as a result of the on-trade being closed. The drinks industry is doing its part to help this sector, making donations to support unemployed bar workers.”

This weekend, Italy’s prime minister announced plans to relax lockdown laws in the country, including allowing bars to open for takeaway service, rather than just home deliveries.

The UK on-trade remains closed bar delivery services. UK Hospitality has been urging the government to offer greater support to ensure the survival of the sector during the pandemic and once recovery begins.

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