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Prosecco driving growth in Irish wine market but Brexit remains a worry

Published:  15 February, 2019

The wine category in Ireland is “stable” but a love for prosecco is driving “strong growth”, according to the latest Wine Intelligence report on Ireland.

It said there had been a “marginal drop in per capita consumption and a marginal increase in both still wine volumes sold and the average price per bottle” and that the frequency that consumers were enjoying wine had also stayed the same since 2013.

However there was a “strong growth story in Ireland” thanks to sparkling wine which was being “driven by Prosecco”.

The key findings of the report also said Irish drinkers show an interest in trying different styles and niche varietals of wine, though this was countered by an increase in “price consciousness”.

Older drinkers in Ireland also enjoy wine - especially mainstream red varietals - more frequently than younger drinkers, who select from a broader range of drink choices.

The report also found there was an increased spend on wine in both on-trade and off-trade, which was “partly driven by the recovered economy in Ireland” but also reflective of “rising prices and increasing taxes" within the marketplace.

One future opportunity identified by the report is for both lower and no alcohol wine, but Wine Intelligence senior project executive Emily Carroll said “opportunities are often countered by challenges, and the wine market in Ireland proves to be no exception to this.

“The implementation of the Public Health (alcohol) Bill enacted in October of 2018 poses potential threats to the wine category as it mandates restrictive legislation regarding the sale of alcohol, including a minimum price per gram of alcohol, mandatory health warning labels and restrictions on advertising.

“Along with the already high excise tax, a potential increase on this tax in the near future and the nearing Brexit, industry professionals are facing challenges in terms of pricing, the job market, tariffs and transportation costs.”

The report questioned 2,000 Irish wine drinkers and spoke to representatives from the trade in January 2019, including one wine educator and distributor, two masters of wine and one wine director.