According to data firm Nielsen, alcohol sales at Irish off-licences and supermarkets increased by 44% to €49.3 million over the Easter period.
These figures were recorded for the week that ended on April 12, 2020, and are in comparison to the Easter week of 2019, as reported by rte.ie.
However, Drinks Ireland, the Ibec group that represents drinks manufacturers, brand owners and distributors on the island of Ireland, has said that overall alcohol sales have fallen by approximately 30% in Ireland since COVID-19-related business restrictions were introduced, according to industry estimates.
Drinks Ireland director Patricia Callan stated, "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 €1.4 billion 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."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.