Capital City landscapes: 6 key differences in On Premise drinking in Dublin & Belfast

The capitals of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are key markets for On Premise suppliers—but CGA by NielsenIQ’s research reveals some crucial differences in consumers’ habits and preferences in the two cities. Here are just six variations.

1 Engagement

Pubs, bars and restaurants are at the heart of life in both cities, but CGA’s OPUS data shows slightly more consumers drink there at least weekly in Belfast (35%) than in Dublin (31%).


2 Confidence

Dublin’s consumers have grown steadily more confident about drinking out since the end of COVID-19 restrictions. CGA’s REACH research indicates that 87% of them now feel confident about visiting the On Premise—just ahead of the 80% in Belfast. In both cities there is a desire to go out as much as possible this year to make up for occasions lost to COVID-19, though the number planning to do so is much higher in Dublin (54%) than in Belfast (41%).


3 Premiumisation

Well over half (56%) of Belfast’s consumers are likely to trade up to premium serves—notably more than in Dublin (48%). There is significant room for more premiumisation in both cities, though with consumers’ costs rising fast, value will also be a priority over the rest of 2022.


4 Outlets

With a larger tourist sector, Dublin has a much higher density of licensed premises than Belfast. CGA’s latest distribution data shows the Republic’s capital has just over 2,000 outlets—one for every 627 residents. In Belfast, where there is one site for every 1,098 people, the On Premise is spread more thinly.


5 Beer

While lager has the biggest share of LAD sales in Belfast (60.2%) and Dublin (42.7%), it is no surprise that stout ranks second. However, CGA’s On Premise Measurement service reveals its RoS in the three months to May was more than twice as high in Dublin (48HL) than in Belfast (22HL).


6 Spirits

Vodka takes roughly a third of spirits sales in Belfast (35%) and Dublin (32%). Ireland’s reputation for whiskey gives it a 21% share of sales in Dublin—six percentage points more than in Belfast (15%).



CGA by NielsenIQ’s fusion of sales, outlet and consumer research gives suppliers actionable insights into these and many more On Premise trends in Dublin and Belfast and across the island of Ireland. To learn how the market-leading data and expert analysis can optimise drinks positioning and ranging, email Sian Brennan at

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