New Revenue Clearance figures from the first quarter of 2021 show that alcohol consumption declined by 19.7%, compared with the same period last year.
There was a fall across all categories of alcohol, with beer the hardest-hit category, falling by 34.5%.
Typically, around 60% of beer sales and 45% of cider sales are in Ireland’s pubs, restaurants, and hotels, according to Drinks Ireland, which represents Ireland’s drinks manufacturers and suppliers.
The hospitality industry closed due to COVID-19 in March last year, which hit sales at the time, and this new data illustrates the fall of alcohol consumption as a result of the closures.
Cider sales saw a substantial fall of 15.9%, spirits sales fell by 8.2%, and wine sales were down by 3.4%.
Overall, alcohol consumption declined last year by 6.6% to its lowest level in thirty years.
Patricia Callan, director, Drinks Ireland, said, “This new Revenue data clearly shows that alcohol consumption continues to substantially decline in Ireland as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite commentary to the contrary."
"While this decline was accelerated by Covid, it should be noted that it is in line with the trend of consumption falling generally in Ireland over the past 30 years. The average alcohol consumption in 2020 was 29.8% lower than the peak of 2001,” she added.
Those involved in the alcohol industry are hoping that the gradual re-opening of the hospitality industry will prevent further steep declines in alcohol consumption.
© 2021 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.