Low and no alcohol beer
Sales of low and non-alcoholic beer jumped by 60% in Ireland last
year, to 30,000 hectolitres. While final figures are yet to be tallied
for 2019, producers expect this figure to have increased substantially
again for the year.
A number of producers have released low and non-alcoholic brands to
meet the growing trend of health and well-being, with many consumers
cutting back on their drinking.
Looking internationally, we see that in the UK sales of low and
alcohol-free beers jumped 28% in the year to February 2019, compared
with the previous 12 months.
Beer is Ireland’s most popular drink and in Spain, where beer is also
popular, non-alcoholic beer now accounts for around 12% of the overall
beer market, which is very significant.
According to Drinks Ireland, there is still considerable room for low
and non-alcoholic beer to grow in 2020 to meet rising consumer demand.
High spirits for Irish whiskey and gin producers as consumers go premium
Irish consumers are increasingly choosing premium spirits, including
Irish whiskey and gin, with more choice than ever on the market.
Provisional figures from Revenue show that sales of spirits increased
by 1.8% in Ireland in the first three quarters of 2019, compared with
the same period in 2018.
Irish gin has been the one to watch in the past two years and remains
the fastest growing spirit in Ireland. Gin sales soared in Ireland
last year, up by 31.8 per cent between 2017 and 2018.
As the market matures here, it is anticipated that the number of new
gin players in the market in Ireland will decrease in 2020. However,
consumer demand is expected to remain steady – and probably grow.
Irish whiskey is the second most popular spirit in Ireland, with a
25.1% share of the market.
It is also increasing in popularity and sales increased by 5.4%
between 2017 and 2018.
Consumers choosing quality over quantity as they drink less
While diversity in the Irish drinks market is rife, the long-term
trend shows that people are actually drinking less.
Since 2001, the average per adult alcohol consumption has fallen by
23.2% in Ireland, according to CSO and Revenue Commissioner Data.
This is line with the trend towards health and well-being, and the
increase in demand for premium drinks products.
1. Love for the homegrown as consumers buy Irish
Research from Bord Bia that Irish consumers love authenticity and
locally-sourced food and drinks products, and this trend is on the
Consumers are seen to value local food and drink because of benefits
such as supporting the local economy, transparency, together with the
sustainable aspect of buying from local producers.
We have seen a recent surge in Irish whiskey distilleries, Irish gin
and Poitin brands and Irish craft beer products all meeting this
But Irish homegrown cider is also one to watch in 2020, as the
popularity of cider is on the up.
The most recent data shows that 75% of all cider consumed in Ireland
was made in Ireland.
Irish consumers to be offered more drinking experiences
Ireland tends to follow London when it comes to a number of drinks
trends, including in the hospitality industry, according to Drinks
Again, this is in line with a general move towards consumers being
more considerate about how much, and indeed how, they drink.
“Ireland has a long and proud history of brewing, distilling and cider
production, but there’s never been a more exciting time for Ireland’s
drinks industry,” said Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland.
“The growth and change has been driven by the industry’s ability to
innovate, in order to respond to consumer demands at home and abroad.
Ultimately, we see that consumers at home are choosing ‘quality’ over
‘quantity’ which is certainly positive for our industry.
“And demand for Irish drinks products, particularly spirits, is on the
up in export markets, with the sector selling €1.4 billion worth of
Irish drinks products in over 140 markets,” she said.