It found discount retailers continuing to gain share in the Irish market with Aldi & Lidl sharing 15 to 20% of the market.
“The on-trade is still in trouble,” it reported, “Urban centres are slowly picking up again as the market there is believed to have bottomed out. Rural areas are still struggling, however, with independents and off-licences closing down”.
The effect of JD Wetherspoon moving into the Irish licensed trade remains to be seen in terms of what changes that brings to the Irish on-trade landscape, stated the report.
IWSR pointed out that in the wine category customers are trading down to non-branded and own-label still light wines, adding that, “The psychological breaking point of €10.00 has been exceeded by most still light wine brands”.
As for expectations for the alcohol market in 2014/2015 it stated, “Consumption habits are changing in Ireland with an increased interest in cocktails. Bars are trying to win consumers over by incorporating local and home-made produce with premium niche spirits with history to engage the consumer. This is expected to have a positive impact on local spirits in the near future”.
It expected “border trade” to pick up again slightly again “despite unstable conditions in Northern Ireland as the favourable exchange rate as well as the higher excise duty in the Republic is driving people to increasingly purchase products in Northern Ireland once again”.
As a result, the off-trade is suffering greatly, it stated, adding that, “2013 is believed to be the first year where the on-trade might have been outperforming the off-trade in terms of percentage growth”.