Irish spent nearly €50 million on booze at Easter during Covid-19

Sales of stout rockets while Easter Egg market hit

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


Easter alcohol sales in shops jump with stout one of the most popular tipples

Irish shoppers spent €371m on groceries during Easter the highest sales week of the year so far, and an increase of 14% compared to the same week ending on Easter Sunday in 2019, reveals new data released today by Nielsen.

Moreover, with pubs, hotels and restaurants shut due to the coronavirus lockdown, sales of alcohol reached €49.3m, an increase of 44% in spend compared to the same Easter week in 2019.

Sales of stout almost doubled over Easter compared to 2019.

Nielsen attributes this increase in spending on alcohol to rising at-home consumption, following the closure of bars and restaurants in Ireland amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

- Stout skyrocketed by 177%  reaching €2.7m in sales

- Lager sales grew by 78% reaching €15.3m.

- Table wines (+27%) accounted for €15.6m

- Sparkling wine and champagne (+21%) reached €1.1m. 

Here is some of the other spending recorded during the week ending 12th April 2020, which ended on Easter Sunday: 

- Frozen poultry reaching €2m in sales, a massive 631% increase compared to the same week ending Easter Sunday in 2019.

- Gravy (+59%)

 -Turkey (+14%)

- Potatoes (+14%)

- Lamb (+11%)

- Mint sauce (+8%).

- Frozen desserts (+33%)

- Take-home ice cream (+57%)

- Fresh cream (+68%). 

 - Black and white puddings were up by 40%

- Prepacked sausages by 31%

- Prepacked bacon was up 37%

Irish customers took to their gardens for barbecues and stocked up on alcohol supplies.

Sales of barbecue sauce were up by 53%, and ignition-related products, typically used to light barbecues, were up by +51% to €1.6m.

However, one category which suffered during the week ending 12th April 2020 was confectionery, which only grew by +1.4% compared to the same week ending on Easter Sunday in 2019, with a -7% decline in sales for Easter eggs. This is an overall -8% decline in spend for Easter eggs during the eight weeks leading to Easter in 2020 compared to 2019.  

Karen Mooney, Ireland market leader at Nielsen, said: “We are now becoming accustomed to the lockdown in Ireland, and Irish consumers are starting to settle into this new ‘normal’ of social distancing and staying indoors. This has evidently resulted in a different Easter experience, with shoppers focussing less on purchasing traditional Easter confectionery. Instead, Irish consumers are shifting their focus to other forms of indulgence, where they can spend more time with the family over a roast dinner or traditional Irish breakfast with all of the trimmings. Of course - complemented with an alcoholic beverage or two in the sunshine.”

 All data is Nielsen total store read; Market: Multiples (excluding Dunnes) but including discounters, symbols groups & forecourts.

About Nielsen

Nielsen is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides information on consumers and markets worldwide.