COVID 19 has significantly impacted the drinks industry as a result of the closure of the hospitality sector, with the latest Revenue figures show that per capita alcohol consumption declined by 6.6% last year.

The total volume of consumption was down by 5.1%.

The new data shows that beer and cider have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, as both are mostly consumed in pubs.

Beer consumption fell by 17.3% last year. In 2019, 62.7% of beer was consumed in the on-trade, with 37.3% consumed from the off-trade.

Meanwhile, cider consumption fell by 11.4% in 2020.

Spirits consumption increased marginally, by 0.7%, in line with the growing popularity of premium gins and whiskeys among Irish consumers in recent years.

Finally, wine sales increased by 12%, as generally the majority of wine is consumed from the off-trade. This was not enough to offset the overall fall in alcohol consumption, however.

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said: “There is a growing and misleading narrative that alcohol consumption increased last year during lockdown. These Revenue figures show that this is simply not true. While off-trade sales predictably increased when the on-trade was closed, this was not enough to offset the overall fall in alcohol consumption across the board.”

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