Food and drink research consultancy CGA has released findings from its latest Consumer Insights report showing that over half of Irish consumers plan to eat and drink out more than they did before the pandemic.
The survey shows that more than half (53%) of adults in Ireland plan to go out to eat and drink more often than they did before Covid-19 while a third (32%) say they’ll spend more than they usually do over the next 12 months.
The research reveals the pent-up demand for Ireland’s hospitality sector, with venues having opened for outside service on the 7th of June but not expected to open for indoor dining until the 5th of July. A third of respondents to the survey say they expect to spend more than they usually do on eating out over the next 12 months.
The figures are revealed as hospitality venues in Ireland settle into new trading having reopened for outside service from the 7th of June. However, they remain subject to restrictions on Social Distancing and indoor service is not scheduled to return until the 5th of July.
In Northern Ireland, indoor hospitality resumed on the 24th of May.
CGA’s research highlights the value of outdoor space to the confidence and spending of consumers in Ireland.
Three in five (59%) say they feel confident about visiting venues with outdoor areas—17 percentage points higher than the number feeling confident about eating and drinking out in general (42%). Well over a quarter (28%) of consumers think outlets’ outdoor spaces are now more important than they were before the pandemic.
“The pent-up demand revealed by our research could make it a good Summer for pubs, bars and restaurants,” says Jonathan Jones, CGA’s Managing Director for the UK and Ireland, “However the experiences of Britain and other countries suggest that sales will be held back for some time by trading constraints and lingering consumer anxiety and that they’ll be subject to the vagaries of the Irish weather.
“Operators and suppliers are going to have to work hard together to show hesitant consumers that they can eat and drink out safely and keep their fingers crossed for sunshine. Until all restrictions are loosened, trading is likely to remain well below pre-Covid levels and businesses may need sustained external support to tide them through these tentative early weeks of trading.”
CGA’s full in-depth Consumer Insights research contains more analysis of the impacts of Covid-19 on the on-premise and consumers in Ireland, including levels of confidence, likely behaviours in visits and reviews of topics including health and hygiene, locality, delivery and drinks trends.
It’s part of CGA’s new suite of services for the Ireland market, pairing consumers’ views with volumetric On-Premise Measurement data.