The Irish drinks industry has cultivated close institutional and commercial ties with producers of raw materials and finished drinks products in Northern Ireland. In recent years a number of cross-border initiatives were put in place, such as government loans for start-ups, to help the sector to continue to grow.
Irish consumers significantly reduced their overall alcohol consumption over the review period. This has occurred in tandem with significant public health awareness campaigns and a number of legislative measures to curb excessive consumption.
Sales of English gin soared again in 2018 with pink gin in particular performing extremely well. Irish drinkers continued to reach for the product and manufacturers have responded by adding brands such as Cork-brewed Beara Ocean Pink Gin.
During the recession era Irish consumers sought discounters in great numbers and Aldi, Lidl and to a lesser extent Tesco witnessed significant increases in their value sales share. Aldi and Lidl in particular continue to win favourable coverage of their private label products with their ranges consistently rating highly for quality and sustainability.
In the largest portion of category by volume, vodka, Aldi, Lidl and Tesco increased their combined volume share again significantly in 2018. In the fastest growing category, English gin, Tesco has established itself as one of the leading players.
In the US, a number of prominent celebrities have launched their own versions of traditional spirits. Actor George Clooney started his own Tequila brand to tap into the growing US demand for Tequila and sold the company to Diageo for an estimated USD1 billion in August 2017.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks market research database.