Irish consumers went through a record 9.1 million cases of wine last year, according to the Irish Wine Association which released its latest annual report stating that while greater alcohol consumption in Ireland is decreasing, wine sales have remained strong.
Despite complaints from the drinks industry that the excise duty on wine is too high, with Irish consumers paying the highest rate in the EU (€3.19 on a standard bottle of wine), its sales increased by 0.5% last year.
This is mainly due to, the report suggests, an increase in people’s disposable income.
A Touch Of Class
“Today, Irish consumers are more sophisticated when it comes to food and they are blessed with an array of some of the world’s finest wines, which are ideal for food pairing. We saw wine consumption rise marginally in 2017 and the continued growth in the wider economy indicates that things remain favourable,” said Jim Bradley, chair of the Irish Wine Association.
Wine is the second biggest alcoholic beverage in the Irish market with almost 28% of the market. It is second to beer, which accounts for 45% o the market.
The report states that white wine is the more popular variant in Ireland with half of the market share. Red wine fell by 2%, accounting for approximately 45% of the market.
Rosé consumption increased for the first time in many years, from 3% in 2016 to 5%.
There has also been an increased preference for ‘new world wines’ from the likes of Chile and Australia, which hold a market share of 27% and 17% respectively.
French and Spanish wines accounted for 12% of the market each with Italian wines amounting to just under 10% of the market.
'An Unviable Market'
Bradley also warned that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill presents a ‘significant challenge for the industry and will likely impact on choice for consumers’.
“The most immediate challenge which the wine sector is facing is the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which is at the final stages of the legislative process in the Oireachtas. The Irish Wine Association has major concerns with the measure calling for a mandatory cancer warning labels on all alcohol products, including wine, sold within the Republic of Ireland,” he said.
He said the Bill presents “a significant barrier to trade” and will likely lead to less choice for consumers.
“Ireland is a relatively small market and wine producers making special accommodations for a legislative requirement such as a cancer warning label make Ireland an unviable market to export to. This measure will especially impact on smaller wine producers selling their specialist boutique wines to the Irish market,” he concluded.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.