Alcohol consumption down on pre-Covid levels

Long term trend shows consumption is down by 30% since 2001
Spend in pubs rose by 12% last October compared to September according to Bank of Ireland's debit and credit card spending analysis.

Data from Revenue shows that beer consumption was down by 3% on 2019

Provisional data from Revenue shows that alcohol consumption in 2022 was down on pre-Covid levels, with the long-term trend also showing that consumption continues to decline sharply, down by over 30% since its peak in 2001.

While the Covid-19 pandemic saw hospitality venues close and consumption predictably decline, the new figures show that alcohol consumption was down by 5% last year on 2019 pre-pandemic levels, showing that the long-term trend continues as Ireland moves closer to European consumption norms.

The data from Revenue shows that beer consumption was down by 3% on 2019, wine was down by just under 3%, cider consumption was down by 12%, while spirits sales saw an increase.

“The latest data shows that Ireland’s consumption patterns continue to change for the better and the Government’s approach to policy making needs to be evidence-based, and reflect the fact we are moving in the right direction when it comes to our relationship with alcohol,” said Cormac Healy, director of Drinks Ireland

“The wider trends we’re seeing in the market are that people are finding more balance in how they drink. This is also being driven by the growth of 0.0 products, as well as premiumisation.

“While some organisations have suggested this decline is a result of Minimum Unit Pricing, it is important to note that it is still very early days to make those conclusions and indeed the new data illustrates really that the long-term trend of consumption declining continues post-pandemic.

“It’s important to note that Ireland has some of the strictest laws and guidelines in the world when it comes to alcohol marketing and advertising, and the industry proudly has a high compliance rate to these rules. While some are calling for additional draconian legislation, despite the positive trends, our view is that we need continued strict adherence to existing marketing codes, targeted education and awareness and overall recognition of the trends.”

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