This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019
Advertisement

The French thirst for Irish beer is up - but total exports are down

The Irish Brewers Association has released sales figures for 2018.

Image: Shutterstock/Master1305

IT LOOKS LIKE the French have developed a taste for Irish beer as the value of exports to the country nearly doubled last year – though total overseas sales decreased.

The latest beer market report from the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) showed that the value of exports to France increased from €19 million in 2017 to €32 million in 2018. 

IBA head Jonathan McDade told Fora that even though France has historically been a strong-performing market for larger Irish craft breweries, the rise was something of “a pleasant surprise”.

According to McDade, French consumers don’t typically favour any one type of beer and have demonstrated a growing interest in drinks from both large commercial breweries and smaller craft outfits.

The findings of the IBA’s report are in line with those of French brewers union Brasseurs de France, which says that beer’s popularity in France has risen over the past four years after a 30-year slump in consumption.

Despite the gains made in France, the IBA highlighted a drop in the value of total exports by 1.8% to €268 million.

Irish market

At home, beer remains the most popular choice of alcoholic drink for Irish consumers. Although total beer sales increased by 3%, per capita consumption rose by just 0.4%. This reflects the fact that people are drinking less alcohol.

Of the different beer varieties, lager saw the biggest growth in 2018, with a three-percentage-point increase in its market share to 63.8% while stout fell by three percentage points to 29.3% of the market.

The high temperatures of summer 2018 are to thank for lager’s gains, according to McDade, adding that off-licences and supermarkets recorded a bump in sales.

Ale’s share of the beer market clocked in at 6.3%. Non-alcoholic beer sales rose by 60%, albeit from a small base – the category accounts for just 0.6% of the market.

iba Source: IBA

Click here to view a larger version

Excise duty and uncertainty around Brexit are two of the main challenges facing the sector today, according to the IBA.

Beer contributed €430 million to the Exchequer in excise in 2018, compared to €424 million the previous year. 

McDade said that Irish beer drinkers pay the second highest excise rate on beer in the EU.

“As always, we call on the government to reduce excise for brewers and the hard pressed consumers as well,” he said.

The UK is the top destination for Irish beer exports and accounts for €109 million worth of exports. McDade said Brexit uncertainty is providing logistical challenges for brewers.

Get our Daily Briefing with the morning’s most important headlines for innovative Irish businesses.

Written by Laura Roddy and posted on Fora.ie

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Fora Staff

Read next:

COMMENTS

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel