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Foley, Anthony (2012) The drinks market performance in 2011. Dublin: Drinks Industry Group of Ireland.

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The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has published a new report, Drinks Market Performance 2011 by Anthony Foley of DCU Business School, showing that the overall drinks market and alcohol consumption levels in Ireland were essentially static last year due to the to the deep recession and changing consumption patterns.

The report shows that in 2011 the total value of bar sales declined by 7.2% with a 5.5% fall in sales volumes. Ireland's pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants are therefore continuing to suffer major declines with a knock-on effect on local businesses and revenues.

In particular, the declines in bar sales are having a significant impact on jobs in this employment-intensive sector, where over 5,000 pub jobs have been lost in the last two years.

The declines in the on-trade were offset by a 5% increase in off-sales, continuing the structural shift in the drinks trade towards consumers purchasing alcohol for consumption in the home. The majority of these were generated through large retail multiples, meaning that the independent off-trade represents a diminishing share of sales.

Due to the decline in bar volumes and the increase in consumption at home, off sales now account for almost 60% of all alcohol consumed in Ireland.

As a result of these figures, the overall alcohol market increased marginally by 0.17% in 2011. However with the increase in adult population average consumption levels decreased to 11.7 litres of alcohol, a level last seen in the mid-1990s.


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