Drinking down by nearly a third in Ireland claims business group

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Empty pubs all over Ireland since March

Drinks Ireland, the Ibec group that represents drinks manufacturers, brand owners and distributors on the island of Ireland, say overall alcohol sales have fallen by around 30% during Ireland’s Covid-19 lockdown, according to industry estimates.

While at least €50 million was spent on drink in shops during  Easter, Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland, said other outlets have been hit.

“The on-trade, that is all pubs, restaurants and hotels, usually account for 55% of total alcohol sales and they are completely closed.  Therefore, as expected, we have seen a rise in off-trade sales, but this increase in no way compensates for the loss in sales associated with the on-trade being closed, so overall we estimate that alcohol consumption in Ireland could be down by around 30%.

 “In addition, the global closure of the on-trade has imposed severe commercial pressures on businesses in the Irish drinks industry, who typically export €1.4bn of products annually.

“The hospitality sector has been hit hard by this pandemic, with jobs at risk and livelihoods shattered as a result of the on-trade being closed.  The drinks industry is doing its part to help this sector, making donations to support unemployed bar workers. It has also joined the national effort to respond to the Covid-19 crisis in many different ways, including through producing sanitising products.

 “It’s important that people maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle at this time, and this includes not drinking to excess. For anyone looking for more information about alcohol consumption during the Covid-19 crisis or for information about low-risk consumption guidelines, we’d urge them to visit Drink Aware here,” she said.

Pubs have been closed since the middle of March.