Consumer research reveals considerable shift in drinks preferences and On Premise visitation in Ireland

CGA’s REACH survey highlights the impact COVID-19 has had on consumer behaviour in Ireland, and opportunities for suppliers and operators to capitalise on new trends.

1 in 4 beer consumers in Ireland plan to drink less alcohol in the On Premise than they did pre-COVID-19, while nearly 90% of spirits consumers plan to spend more or the same than they did prior to the pandemic. These are just some of the insights from CGA’s REACH research which analyses key consumer behaviours and attitudes.


The average beer consumer in Ireland is mostly aligned to the average consumer, but with a slight over-index for the 35-54 age group. Almost half stated to have previously visited the On Premise for a drink-led occasion on a weekly basis pre-COVID-19, which is +9pp versus the average.


In contrast, almost half of spirits consumers fall into the 18-34 age group, with the segment skewing more female with a high engagement with the On Premise. More affluent than the average consumer, spirits consumer spend €11 more than average during eating and drinking out occasions.


When it comes to key behaviours, these segments represent multiple opportunities for operators and suppliers alike. Half of beer consumers plan to visit the On Premise more than they did in 2019, however 25% plan to drink less. CGA’s research recently revealed that 33% of all consumers in Ireland state that it’s more important that their drink is high quality than it was before COVID-19, mirroring a global trend towards premiumisation. As beer consumers are planning to go out more, yet drink less, this also represents a significant opportunity for the no and low alcohol sector to capitalise on more health-conscious behaviours.


For spirits consumers, almost half plan to go out more frequently than prior to the pandemic (+6pp versus the average consumer), with nearly 9 in 10 planning to spend more or the same amount as they did pre-COVID-19. While this is due in part to pent-up demand from months of lockdowns, it’s important to understand which consumer behaviours are going to be long-lasting and which will settle back towards pre-COVID-19 patterns.


Both sales data and consumer research highlight how keen consumers were to return to their familiar venues and drinks, however it’s clear that some behaviours have evolved,” says Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland. “Suppliers can help operators in meeting the new preferences of their guests – whether that be increasing the range of higher quality options or including no and low alcohol beverages in their selection.”


Figures are taken from CGA’s REACH survey of consumers in Ireland. To learn how data and insights from the survey can support the ranging, pricing and marketing strategies of all drinks suppliers and operators in Ireland, email Phil Montgomery at

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