Graham Norton Wine And Spirit Sales Increase; CGA Records Strong Sales For Whiskey And Vodka

By Dave Simpson
Graham Norton Wine And Spirit Sales Increase; CGA Records Strong Sales For Whiskey And Vodka

Sales of Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc have increased by 55% over the past two years, while sales of Graham Norton’s Own Prosecco Frizzante increased by 105%, sales of Graham Norton’s Own Shiraz increased by 82%, and sales of Graham Norton’s Own Rosé increased by 70% in volume from 2019 to 2021 in Ireland.

Norton stated, “It’s surreal, thinking that our little collaboration together, that started out all those years ago, is now all over the world. I’m amazed, and proud of it, too. I don’t just put my name to the wines – I’m involved, and I love being part of the process.”

Irish Whiskey Accounts For 22% Of Spirit Serves In Ireland

Growing interest in local brands and the cocktail market should help operators and suppliers grow sales of Irish whiskey this year, according to new CGA data.

Research from CGA’s On-Premise Measurement Service shows that whiskey now accounts for 22% of serves of spirits in Ireland, while 21% drink it at home, putting it ahead of other popular spirits, including rum (15%) and flavoured gin (16%), and 75% of whiskey drinkers choose Irish brands.

CGA’s global consumer surveys have identified shifts in preferences towards local drinks during the Covid-19 crisis, which, according to CGA, means that Irish whiskey now accounts for 83% of all whiskey sales in Ireland – three percentage points higher than a year ago.


Other insights into the Irish whiskey market provided by CGA’s sales analysis and consumer surveys include that 67% of drinkers are male, 38% are aged 34 or under, 48% prefer to drink Irish whiskey neat, 30% pair it with a bottled mixer, whiskey drinkers spend an average of 6% more on out-of-home food and drink than the all-consumer average, and drinkers are loyal to their favourite brands, with 43% always choosing their favourite.

CGA’s client director for Ireland, Sian Brennan, stated, “Covid-19 lockdowns have deepened consumers’ interest in drinks that are made close to home – and in Ireland, that puts whiskey at a strong advantage. As pubs and bars build back from the pandemic, there will be some great opportunities to raise whiskey’s profile and diversify its appeal as a standalone drink, or as part of a cocktail. However, in a highly competitive spirits sector, Irish brands will have to work hard for consumers’ attention. Understanding people’s changing preferences will be essential if operators and suppliers are to cement brand loyalty and turn occasional whiskey drinkers into regular ones.”

Vodka Accounts For 26% Of Spirit Sales By Volume In ROI

Additionally, data from CGA’s On-Premise Measurement Service shows that vodka now accounts for 26% of spirit sales by value in the Republic of Ireland, which is a figure that jumps to 36% in Northern Ireland, and in both territories, it has grown sales faster than any other spirit over the latest quarter.

CGA’s OPUS survey of consumers states that 18% of vodka consumers say that they are buying it more often than they did a year ago, and 40% drink it every time or nearly every time that they are out.

More insights from the consumer research include the finding that 65% of vodka drinkers are female, 52% are aged 34 or under, a third drink it in cocktails, with cola (44%), lemonade (27%) and energy drinks (19%) as the three most popular mixers, 33% of consumers now drink flavoured vodka, with raspberry (34%), vanilla (29%) and lemon (26%) being the top three varieties, three in five drink it between 8pm and 10pm, and 48% do so after 10pm.


CGA’s research also states that vodka drinkers spend 9% more on food and drinks each month than the average consumer, and they are willing to pay an average of €5.87 for a single vodka and mixer.

Brennan stated, “Ireland’s young consumers have missed their night-time drinking occasions with friends over lockdowns, and the release of pent-up demand brings some great opportunities in the vodka category. However, drinkers’ behaviour and preferences have been subtly changed by the pandemic, and with the cocktail and flavoured segments particularly fast-moving at the moment, understanding the latest market dynamics will be crucial to success.”

CGA added that its OPUS research and On-Premise Measurement Service combine to provide suppliers and operators with actionable insights into the vodka market and many more drinks categories.

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