Supermarket shoppers in Ireland spent €34.6m on alcohol in the week leading to Easter, a 5.3% increase in sales compared to last year, reveals Nielsen data released today.
The rise in alcohol sales was a significant uplift over last year where sales increased by 3.9%, and the second year that the alcohol category benefited from changes to the Intoxicating Liquor Act, a law which has been in place in Ireland for over 90 years and banned the sale of alcohol in pubs, supermarkets and convenience stores on Good Friday. This year, growth in alcohol sales continued to soar over Easter with particular increases in cider (+33.4%), lager (+19.5%), ale (+16%), spirit mixers (+64.8%) and sparkling wine/champagne (+13.9%).
The rise in alcohol sales can be attributed to the increase in warm weather, with Easter 2019 in Ireland being the hottest weekend of the year so far, with temperatures peaking at 22.9C on Easter Saturday. This also resulted in shoppers spending more on food associated with warm weather, such as take-home ice-cream, where sales increased by +20.7% to €3.7m, in comparison to the same period in 2018. This was in contrast to the drop in sales for Easter eggs, which decreased by -12.8% to €22.4m in the 2 weeks leading to Easter 2019 versus the same period in 2018.
With the rise in warm weather, shoppers were also spending more on items for lighter meals. This included a rise in sales for potatoes (+17.1%), pre-packed and chilled salads (+10.2%) and cucumbers (+22.5%), as well as sauces to accompany these lighter picnic style meals with sales of salad cream growing +23.1% and BBQ sauce by +75.7%.
“A year into the lift on alcohol prohibition on Good Friday, coupled with the first taste of warm weather, shoppers in Ireland were looking at every opportunity to enjoy the sun with friends and family, spending more freely on alcohol than in the previous year,” says Karen Mooney, Ireland market leader at Nielsen. “We know that warm weather also had a big impact on alcohol sales, and we can expect these categories to continue to grow should we experience another warm summer akin to 2018. With this in mind, retailers should keep an eye on the weather forecast and ensure that when the sun shines, shelves are well-stocked; particularly with beers, ciders, sparkling wines and pre-mixed drinks..”
All data sourced from Nielsen TSR Mults, Dunnes, Symbol Groups & Forecourts and does not include Discounters. Value sales are calculated the week to 21/04/2019.