While overall consumption is believed to have dropped considerably with the closure of the on-trade there, the amount bought in the stores, excluding spirits, jumped 51% compared to the same period last year, according to a report in the BelfastTelegraph.
Kantar Worldpanel, which tracks supermarket and other store sales, said the previously unpublished figures for Northern Ireland “represent alcohol purchased in grocery stores to be consumed at home.”
Those numbers do not include independent off-licences and there are no readily available, or regularly published, figures available for total sales of alcohol in Northern Ireland, either takehome or at the bar.
Some 89% of adults in Northern Ireland drink alcohol and according to Kantar, people in Northern Ireland bought £96 million-worth of beer, lager, cider and wine from grocery stores in the 12 weeks between February the 23rd and May the 17th this year, up from just over £63 million during the same period last year. Households bought 28 million litres of alcohol, an increase from 18 million, or 53%. The 12 week period includes a three-week period before NI bars closed down because of the Coronavirus.