On Premise Measurement Service data indicates that sales from the start of June to the end of August had reached 74% of the total in the same period in 2019. Monthly figures also show how spending is rapidly climbing towards 2019 levels, having jumped by 43% between June and August.
Spirits have performed particularly well, as consumers look to celebrate the reopening of Ireland’s On Premise with cocktails, shots and shooters. Their sales over the three months to end-August were 77% of 2019’s levels—a higher bounceback than other segments like soft drinks (60%) and Long Alcoholic Drinks (75%). However, soft drinks have recovered well lately, growing sales by 75% between June and August as drinking patterns settle back to normal.
Sales have proved better than many businesses feared at the start of Ireland’s release from COVID lockdowns. CGA’s survey of operators back in April found that well over a third (38%) were pessimistic about the market over the next 12 months—slightly more than the number feeling optimistic (34%). Only a fifth (20%) thought they would return to profit by the end of 2021, and well over half (59%) feared their business would be unviable with the trading and government support they anticipated at the time.
These figures suggest that sales have exceeded operators’ expectations in some venues and categories—though challenges around consumer confidence, debt, taxes and rising costs mean the COVID crisis is far from over.
Operators were understandably anxious as Ireland’s On Premise reopened, but these figures show that sales are building some good momentum,” says Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland. “It’s clear that Ireland’s consumers have badly missed their restaurants, pubs and bars, and with the festive season and other occasions like Halloween approaching, there is optimism that trading might recover fully by the end of the year. However, months of closure have badly damaged many businesses, and they deserve extended support if they are to help kickstart Ireland’s economic recovery from the COVID crisis.”
CGA’s in-depth research into On Premise sales and business confidence can help all drinks suppliers and operators optimise sales and marketing strategies in Ireland. To learn more, email Phil Montgomery at email@example.com