Alcohol consumption falls 32 percent as rules and youth culture change


Alcohol consumption in Ireland has fallen by 32 per cent since 2001, according to Revenue Statistics. This includes a 4.7 percent drop between 2020 and 2021, a drop driven by government initiatives.

Rising inflation and insurance premiums are likely to impact hospitality profits in the coming months, even as the industry grapples with alcohol consumption at its lowest level in 20 years.

“There have been a number of things that have been implemented by the government, starting with the smoking ban, stricter rules on drinking and driving and lately you’ve seen it in supermarkets,” said Gerardo Larios Rizo, the bank’s head of hospitality of Ireland that Irish Independent.

These include the “segregation” of alcohol in stores introduced in 2020, as well as unit pricing earlier this year, which sets a minimum price for any alcoholic beverage based on the grams of alcohol it contains.

Younger generations are also drinking less, which may be due to health concerns, greater acceptance of teetotalers, or increased awareness of the impact of images shared on social media.

But while volumes are falling, consumers are now spending more when choosing a drink because they have a wider range — and higher quality — of options. “Because people drink less, if they just have one, they say, ‘I’ll have the nice gin and the nice tonic,'” said Mr. Larios Rizo.

This has resulted in premium gins and whiskeys and wine becoming increasingly popular. While general alcohol consumption continues to decline, wine and spirits are proving more resilient. Wine consumption fell 5 percent from 2019 to 2021 but has increased 51 percent since 2000. In comparison, beer consumption has fallen by a fifth in the last two years and by 52 percent in the last 20 years.

Spirits consumption has remained stable during the pandemic, down 1 percent from 2019 and a quarter from 2021.

The decline in nightclubs in towns and cities across Ireland was also a factor in the downward trend due to rising insurance premiums. “After two or three insurance claims, companies can become unprofitable as all they’re working on is paying their claims,” ​​added Mr. Larios Rizo.

As inflation continues to grip the economy, the industry also faces the introduction of rising prices at the bar due to cost pressures. In February, Diageo introduced an increase of six cents a pint.

Despite publicly known discussions about such price increases, consumers seem to be maintaining the current level of conviviality. This trend is mainly motivated by a return to socializing after long periods of confinement, as well as access to pandemic savings.

“Although there could be an erosion of purchasing power, I don’t think so [the impact] will be so dramatic because people still have that need to connect,” said Mr. Larios Rizo. “This will support this modest level of performance, although there could be some inflationary moderation.” Alcohol consumption falls 32 percent as rules and youth culture change

Fry Electronics Team

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