Alcohol consumption in Ireland is anticipated to stagnate over the forecast period as consumers are expected to cut back, with beer likely to also see a marginal decline in total volume sales. While there remains a strong drinking culture in Ireland for socialising and celebrating, there has been a greater level of awareness over alcohol consumption levels in recent years due to a greater discussion about the impact alcohol has on one’s health, thanks to Irish media as well as public service campaigns from the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE).
Another significant challenge to the category over the forecast period is Brexit, particularly if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal. While this outcome is still uncertain at the time of writing, a no-deal Brexit and the reintroduction of a hard border on the island of Ireland would likely have an adverse effect on both domestic and imported beer sales.
Irish consumers will continue to have more sophisticated tastes over the forecast period. While consumers are expected to drink less, they are more likely to drink a more premium product, which will assist with value sales growth over the forecast period.
Diageo Ireland led sales in 2018 due to the continued popularity of the Guinness brand in Ireland. The warm Irish summer in 2018 as well as the FIFA World Cup (Russia) with people gathering around their TVs to watch the games and socialise, had a positive impact on overall sales within the category.
The majority of new product development in 2018 focused on non/low alcohol beer with Heineken Ireland having the most high-profile launch with Heineken 0.0.
Craft beer continued to expand in 2018 with consumption of craft beer increasing once more, albeit at a slower rate. There continued to be tax relief on microbreweries in Ireland with 75 independent microbreweries operating in the country, compared to just 15 in 2012.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks market research database.