As summer starts, Ireland’s operators and suppliers are hoping for a boost to drinks sales—and CGA by NIQ’s data reveals the big trends and opportunities.
Sales between June and August accounted for 26% of total sales in 2022, but some categories and channels perform much better than others. Here are five of the top dynamics spotlighted by CGA’s exclusive On Premise Measurement (OPM) tool and On Premise User Survey (OPUS).
Lift in LAD
Long Alcoholic Drinks (LAD) categories typically benefit most from warm weather, and they accounted for 74% of all drinks sales in the Republic last summer. Lager’s rate of sale increased by 10.2% from June to August, while cider’s climbed 25.4%.
Soft drinks surge
Soft drinks attracted 13.5% of all drinks spending in Northern Ireland last summer, thanks in large part to domestic holidays and sunny weekends. Family-friendly promotions and an understanding of key sub-categories are key to success here.
Gin jumps as mixed drinks rise
Summer powers cocktails and refreshing long serves, and gin over-indexes for sales across the island of Ireland. Rum and vodka also outperform the rest of the year in the Republic and Northern Ireland respectively.
Pubs take share from bars
OPM data shows spirits sales move away from bars towards pubs in the summer—partly because they often have more outdoor space. Targeting drinkers in pub gardens and terraces can help brands in gin and other sub-categories gain share.
Holidays help hotels
Holidays also open up opportunities in hotels, which over-index during the summer season across the island. A rise in staycations as a result of the cost-of-living crisis should help this channel further. OPUS shows nine in ten (89%) consumers typically buy drinks when staying overnight, while more than half say they are likely to try new flavours and varieties. This makes hotels a top place to encourage experimentation.
“Summer is a great time for on premise activations and trial, especially in categories like beer, cider and cocktails that appeal to consumers wanting refreshment,” says Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland. “But in a competitive market where spending is under pressure, it is vital to track trends and understand consumers’ latest habits and priorities. Investment in market intelligence now will help businesses lift sales and win share over this crucial season.”