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Sales Of Spirits Declined Close To 5% Last Year But Are Now Recovering Due To Reopening Of Hospitality Sector

Published on Sep 21 2021 12:30 PM in Drinks tagged: Jameson / spirits / Smirnoff / Irish Distillers / Hospitality sector

Sales Of Spirits Declined Close To 5% Last Year But Are Now Recovering Due To Reopening Of Hospitality Sector

According to The Irish Times, sales of spirits such as vodka, whiskey and gin declined by close to 5% last year but are now recovering strongly due to the reopening of the hospitality sector.

Reopening Of Hospitality Sector

New figures compiled by industry research company IWSR reportedly show that spirit sales fell to 2.3 million nine-litre cases last year, down 4.8% compared with the 2.42 million nine-litre cases in 2019.

Much of the decline relates to a fall in on-trade sales as bars, restaurants and hotels remained closed for much of the year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Nearly all the leading categories showed a decline in growth with sales of vodka, the most popular spirit in the Republic, down 10.2% to 710.5 cases, compared with 791,000 a year earlier.

Irish whiskey bucked the trend with sales increasing 0.1% to 591,000 cases from 590,500, while gin was down 22.5% to 316,000 from 338.500 cases.

Smirnoff continued to easily outsell the competition, despite a 13.4 percent decline in sales last year. It racked up sales of 420,000, compared with 485,000 in 2019.

Jameson, the second most popular Irish spirit, recorded sales of 254,000, up 1.6 percent compared with the 250,000 cases sold in the prior year.

Buoyant sales

Rounding out the top five most popular spirits are Gordon's, which sold 132,000 cases, up 1.7%, Baileys, up 29.1% to 110,000 cases, and Hennessy, down 12.3 percent to 90,000 cases.

Irish Distillers managing director Claire Tolan reportedly said that spirit sales were rebounding strongly as the hospitality sector opens up.

Tolan reportedly said, "Vodka sales are extremely buoyant on the back of increased demand for cocktails. We’re hearing that there is huge demand for flavoured vodkas and for cocktails such as Pornstar Martinis."

Tolan reportedly added, "Part of it is that people are sitting down and ordering rather than going to the bar so they are thinking longer about what they might want to drink. There are also lots of people who feel they deserve something a little bit more special after not being out regularly for a long time."

Tolan reportedly said that while sales of traditional gin are in decline, flavoured versions are also still heavily in demand, and reportedly added, "Whiskey sales have remained strong as well, with consumers having a huge interest in them and wanting to know the story behind them."

Tolan reportedly said that sales of Irish Distillers' products during July and August, which were the first two months of the company's new financial year, were up on 2020 and that she expected this to continue for the whole 12 months.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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