Christmas remains a peak time to socialise for Irish consumers

The festive period remains a pivotal time for the fortunes of the On Premise sector. This is why it’s essential for drinks brands and venue operators aiming to amplify market presence to understand the dynamics at play.
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The CGA by NIQ Christmas Report Ireland 2023 takes a close-up look at consumer behaviours and preferences during the crucial festive season, offering invaluable insights for devising Christmas 2024 strategies.


The Report reveals a colossal 81% of consumers went out during Christmas 2023, although this is a slight decrease from the previous year (-7pp vs 2022). Yet December continued to be a cornerstone month, accounting for a significant portion of annual revenues in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


This season, despite economic pressures, the urge to socialise remained strong. The data demonstrates a third of consumers ventured out more frequently than other months, driven by occasions with friends and family (42%) and a treat mentality (31%). Key dates like New Year’s Eve, Mad Friday (the last Friday before Christmas), Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas), and Boxing Day were especially popular, representing optimal opportunities for promoting premium brands, targeted marketing and special deals.


In addition, the findings highlight a substantial openness among Irish consumers to try new drinks. Almost half expressed their likelihood to experiment, with an encouraging three quarters of these adventurous consumers likely to re-purchase drinks they’ve tried for the first time during the festive season. Influences such as bar staff recommendations and watching what other people are drinking play a major role in their buying decisions, presenting a clear pathway for drinks brands and venues to introduce new offerings and capture consumer interest.


As the industry gears up for Christmas 2024, brands and operators are better equipped to tap into the festivities’ full potential when forearmed with the insights provided. Almost a third of consumers report going out more frequently in December compared to the rest of the year, signalling a significant opportunity to reach a broader audience and secure repeat customers for a happy New Year.


Sian Brennan, client director – Ireland said: “The Christmas trading period is a monumental time for consumer engagement and sales. So, it’s crucial for brands to grasp the when, why, and how of consumer interactions. The Report pairs sales data from the festive period with a granular view of the consumer attitudes and behaviours that are essential for results-driven Christmas pre-planning. Drinks suppliers and operators can anticipate trends, adapt strategies, and ultimately, deliver experiences that resonate deeply with consumers to truly excel in the competitive festive market.”


CGA by NIQ’s Report ‘The Importance of the Christmas Period in the On Premise’ features many more insights into sales data and consumer trends, and can help suppliers and operators to optimise sales and marketing strategies for Christmas 2024. To learn more about the Report and how CGA’s research unlocks new sales and share across Ireland’s On Premise, as well as explore opportunities for expert bespoke analysis, email Sian Brennan here.

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