Cider sales fizzle out even as exports jump on Brexit stockpiling

Industry body calls for Covid-19 supports as sales decline for first time since 2015

Over  50,000 tonnes of apples are used every year to manufacture cider locally.

Over 50,000 tonnes of apples are used every year to manufacture cider locally.

 

Irish cider exports rose sharply last year but total sales fell by 1.7 per cent, new industry figures show.

More than 63 million litres of cider was sold in 2019 with its market share here declining marginally from 7.5 per cent to 7.4 per cent. Cider is the fourth most popular alcoholic beverage in the Republic behind beer, spirits and wine.

Last year marked the first decline in sales since 2015, when 58.1 million litres were sold. Sales peaked in 2010 at 66.3 million.

A breakdown of figures show that of the 63 million litres consumed in the Republic last year, 51.15 million litres was produced locally, up from 50.5 million a year earlier.

According to Drinks Ireland Cider, which compiled the latest figures, cider drinkers in the Republic pay the third highest rate of excise in the European Union.

It said over 50,000 tonnes of apples are used every year to manufacture cider locally. Additionally, the sector contributed just under € 60 million in taxes to the Exchequer last year and some € 500 million over the past decade.

Drinks Cider Ireland said that as with the wider drinks industry, the sector has been severely impacted by Covid-19. The industry body has called for a number of supports to help the sector including cashflow supports, the deferral of excise and VAT payments and a reduction of the commercial rate charge.

The organisation has also urged the Government to allow for direct selling by craft cider producers.