Off-trade On-trade

Total alcohol consumption up in 2014  

The country’s total alcohol consumption has risen again, increasing by 3.6% in 2014 according to figures from economist Tony Foley.

Consumption of beers, ciders and wines increased while spirits consumption declined by 0.9%. Beer consumption increased by 4.0%, cider by 0.4% and wine consumption rose by 6.9%. Since its peak in 2001 average per adult alcohol consumption has declined by 23.2%.

Tony Foley explains, “Average per adult alcohol consumption increased in 2014. It was 10.730 lpa in 2013 compared with 11.086 lpa in 2014, an increase of 3.3%”.

He sets this against a 0.2% increase in the number of adults last year. The 2014 adult alcohol consumption increase follows a substantial decline in 2013.

“Average per adult consumption is now slightly above 11 lpa,” he stated, “By comparison, it was just below 11 lpa in 1990 and peaked at 14.44 lpa in 2001. Since 2001 the average per adult alcohol consumption has declined by 23.2%. The 2014 average adult consumption is still substantially below the 2011 and 2012 levels.”

The decline in the on-trade continued with bar sales declining by a relatively small 0.5% compared to the 2.7% decline in 2013, he points out.

Last year’s bar sales volumes stood at just two-thirds of the 2007 level with beer being responsible for 47.2% of on-trade volume, cider 7.8%, wine 26.8% and spirits 18.1%.

In the off-trade, sales volumes were up 6.6% last year but mainly through the muntiples. Off-licences now enjoy a 62% share of alcohol consumption where it was just 58% in 2013.

Off-trade prices in 2014 rose by 3.7% at a time that on-trade prices increased by 2.7%. Overall, alcohol prices increased by 3.2% in 2014 compared with 2013 based on yearly averages.

These increases brought the value of the alcohool market here to €6.542 billion (including excise & VAT) in 2014, a rise of 6.9%. This figure becomes €4.240 billion when indirect tax is excluded, a rise of 5.2% compared to 2013.

Alcohol consumption volume is expected to continue to increase with clearance figures for the first quarter of 2015 supporting this outlook.

These indicate a rise of 5.1% on the same quarter in 2014 with increses in all four drinks sectors.

January to April bar volumes were up 1.3% compared to the same period in 2014 while values were up 1.8%.

“Based on the overall expected economic situation the on-licence sector will experience moderate growth in 2015 and 2016,” he concludes, “Off-licence volume is also expected to increase in 2015 and 2016.”

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