Alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption fell nearly 11% in the first half of 2021

New revenue clearance figures show alcohol consumption fell 10.8% in the first half of 2021 (January-June), compared to the same period last year. This fall is the result of the closure of …

New revenue clearance figures show alcohol consumption fell 10.8% in the first half of 2021 (January-June), compared to the same period last year.

The drop is a result of the shutdown of the hospitality industry, but is also in line with the long-term trend of downward consumption in Ireland, according to Drinks Ireland, which represents beverage manufacturers and suppliers.

Figures show beer and cider sales were the hardest hit, down 15% and 13% respectively.

Typically, around 60% of beer sales and 45% of cider sales are in pubs, restaurants and hotels in Ireland.

However, consumption is down in all categories, with wine consumption down 11.5% and spirits down 0.3%.

Decrease in alcohol consumption

The new figures confirm that alcohol consumption has dropped significantly due to COVID-19.

The figures for the first half of 2021 are down 14.1% compared to the same period in 2019, before the start of the pandemic.

“While the decline in alcohol consumption has been accelerated by COVID-19, it should be noted that it is in line with the general downward trend in consumption in Ireland over the past 30 years,” said Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland.

Callan noted that the average alcohol consumption in 2020 was 29.8% lower than the peak in 2001.

“Overall, alcohol consumption fell 6.6% last year to its lowest level in thirty years,” she added.

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