Spirit Consumption On The Rise But Beer Remains A Firm Favourite

By Publications Checkout
Spirit Consumption On The Rise But Beer Remains A Firm Favourite

Drinks consumers have a clear growing taste for spirits, according to a new report published by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).

The Drinks Market Performance 2018, authored by Dublin City University economist Anthony Foley, highlights a 20.5% increase in market share for spirits in 2018, 5.6% more than 2017.

Inside the spirits category, wine was the only category to decrease, falling slightly by 2% to an overall share of 26.7%

However, since 2001, wine's share has almost doubled.

Despite the massive increase in spirit consumption, beer still remains the nations favourite drinks, making up a 45.2% share of the alcohol product market last year, an increase of 2.7% in the volume of beer consumed in 2018.


The market share of cider increased slightly by 0.4% to 7.5% of all consumption.

The report also found that although the Irish retail sector recorded an increase of 3.7% in sales volume, bar sales volume, including food and other sales as well as alcohol, decreased by 1.3%.

This decline includes an estimated 2% decline in alcohol volume, countered with a small increase in food volume.

Quality Over Quantity

Rosemary Garth, Chair of DIGI and Communications and Corporate Affairs Director at Irish Distillers, said the report demonstrates that Irish consumers are “increasingly choosing quality over quantity.”

“The Irish drinks market continues to showcase its contribution to Irish society as it consistently innovates and invests in line with consumer preferences and tastes,” she said.


“There were four active distilleries in Ireland in 2013, now there are 24 in operation, with a further 24 in development. An increase of 5.6% in the market share of spirits is no surprise and proves the determination of Irish distilleries.

“However,” she continued, “with many challenges facing the industry this year, state support and protection are needed to avoid a plateauing of an essential sector in this country, and indeed, to cease the rapid number of pub closures in every county.”

Garth makes this claim as the Governments sets its agenda for a post-Brexit future and she said that creating a business environment that is conducive to continued innovation and entrepreneurship must be a key priority.

“This industry must continue to innovate and invest in itself to sustain its development, realise its potential and drive Ireland’s competitiveness on a European and international level,” she added.

“Therefore, and considering its contribution to the economy, we are asking the Government to review its current alcohol taxation policy and to work with the Irish drinks industry and wider hospitality sector to help deliver the best post-Brexit life in order to allow for the conditions necessary to make the domestic drinks market as productive and successful as possible.”

© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.