2010 beer market stabilises but reflects 4% off-trade shift

The share of beer sold in Irish pubs fell significantly in 2010 according to the Irish Brewers Association (IBA). Despite the Irish beer market showing signs of stabilisation following a decade of falling consumption, a marked shift in volumes from the on-trade to off-licences and supermarkets took place last year.

“The report contains good news and bad news for Ireland’s brewing sector,” stated  IBA Senior Executive Stephen Lynam of the data contained in the IBA’s Irish Beer Market 2010 report, “Although sales are down, the decrease is relatively minor compared to recent years. The steady decline of the last 10 years, which accelerated in 2008 and 2009, has slowed.”
Net exports are up and production in Ireland’s breweries has increased a

 The report shows the continuing decline of the pub sector.

The report shows the continuing decline of the pub sector.

s well, he added.

“Unfortunately, the report shows the continuing decline of the pub sector. We already know that the pub trade has lost a quarter of its business in the last few years and this has had a subsequent impact on beer sales. Simultaneously, we have seen an increase in beer sales in off-licences and supermarkets.”

33 per cent of beer is now sold via the off-trade, up from 29 per cent in 2009 and the report shows that for the first time, beer’s share of the alcohol market has fallen below 50 per cent.
Other results from the report show that lager continues to dominate the beer market with 60 per cent of sales. Ireland’s per capita beer consumption stands at around 90 litres – much less than countries like the Czech Republic and Germany.
Stephen Lynam continued, “Uniquely among alcohol categories, the Irish brewing industry invests over €400m in the Irish economy to produce, market, export and sell its products. Beer production remains the most important within the drinks industry in terms of indigenous manufacturing, providing jobs in major brewing facilities throughout the country.
“IBA members directly employ over 1,400 people in their operations. Employment in supplying sectors arising from beer production and sales is estimated at 5,000 jobs while employment generated in other sectors linked to the beer industry is estimated at 35,000.
“What’s more, the beer industry invests over €100 million in Irish agricultural products and supports over 3,000 farming families. Three quarters of the malted barley used to make beer in Ireland is sourced locally.
“The report shows how important it is to encourage people back into the great Irish pub and to protect the domestic market. We hope that the measures announced recently in Jobs Initiative will help that happen,” he concluded.

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