The IWA, which represents the interests of the wine importers and distributors, found that excise contributions were up 5.5 per cent on 2010, equivalent to 28 per cent of the total alcohol excise collected “highlighting the importance of this sector to the country”.
While 2011 saw an increase in volumes of 3.4 per cent for wine to nine million cases, value dropped considerably with the majority of wine selling below €8.99.
Wine sold in the €6 to €6.99 category, for example, sold the most, constituting 22.2 per cent of the total market (expanding 3.8 per cent from 2010’s 18.4 per cent figure).
Average retail prices per bottle dropped 3.1 per cent MAT to December 2011 for table wine, 8.9 per cent for sparkling wine and 13.7 per cent for Champagne.
The report indicates that white wines have grown their share of the overall mix to 50 per cent at the expense of red wines which dropped one percentage point to 46 per cent.
Females continue to predominate the market with 55 per cent of sales, females in the 25-34 and 45-54 age brackets being the most prominent at 24 per cent each.
Males in the 25-34 age bracket are responsible for 26 per cent of all males drinking wine.
Wine itself is responsible for 26.4 per cent of the total alcohol beverage market by volume compared to beer’s 46.7 per cent share, spirits 19.1 per cent share and cider’s 7.8 per cent share.
Good news for the off-trade which grew its share of the total wine market from 79 per cent to 81 per cent in 2011 once again at the expense of pubs which shrank further from six per cent to four per cent.
Unfortunately for the independent off-licences their share of the wine market continues to shrink under pressure going from 21 per cent to 15 per cent. This pressure comes mainly from the multiples and discounters with the discounters nearly doubling their share from 10 per cent in 2010 to 18 per cent last year.
Multiples reduced their grip on the market by one percentage point from 51 per cent to 50 per cent while symbol groups found themselves with a reduced share in 2011 of 11 per cent, down from 2010’s 15 per cent.
Australia’s leadership has slipped slightly coming down to a 26 per cent share from 26.5 per cent in 2010 as has runner-up Chile’s (21 per cent compared to 21.3 per cent).
In third place France picked up share from 12.6 per cent to 13 per cent.
After the US, Spain increased its share considerably jumping from 7.6 per cent to nine per cent while Itally leapfrogged South Africa to take sixth place with an eight per cent share, up from 2010’s 6.5 per cent share.
South Africa meanwhile has fallen from a 7.1 per cent share to a five per cent share while New Zealand dropped to four per cent from 2010‘s five per cent figure.
“It is also interesting to note that although wine sales’ share of the alcoholic market has increased in Ireland over the years, the Irish public are still one of the lowest consumers of wine in Europe at 17 liters per capita compared with France’s 45 litres,” stated IWA Senior Executive Aoife Clarke, adding, “As we move into 2012 conditions appear to have worsened for the industry, as clearance data for 2012 is showing a fall in volume for the first three months of the year of 9.4 per cent”.