Shoppers support local during virus lockdown

Shoppers in Ireland chose to ‘support local’ during the Covid-19 crisis, spending €178 million on Irish sourced grocery products in the four weeks ending May 17. It is an extra €35m spent on local products compared to the same period in 2019, Nielsen reports. Alcohol remains the fastest overall growing grocery category as pubs and bars remain closed.

The demand for locally-sourced Irish products, which has grown by 25 per cent in recent weeks, has outpaced the growth of non-Irish brands, which experienced value growth of 22 per cent compared to the same period last year. In terms of unit sales, this is a 5.4 per cent increase for local brands, while unit sales for non-Irish produced brands grew by 3.1 per cent.

Irish alcohol brands have contributed in large part (47 per cent) to the growth in sales of locally produced products. In fact, the data shows that inclusive of Irish and non-Irish brands alcohol is the fastest-growing grocery category. Nielsen data shows that alcohol sales increased by 66 per cent in the four weeks under review, reaching a total of €140m.


It equates to 22 million litres sold, which is still far below the 38m litres sold at this time last year across both the on-trade and off-trade. There was significant growth for stout (up by 151 per cent) which accounted for €6m in sales, as well as cider (up 101 per cent to €11.6m) and gin (up by 69 per cent to €4.3m) across both local and non-local brands.

Irish consumers are also opting for local when choosing their baking ingredients, with sales of Irish produced flour brands up by 217 per cent (an increase of €786k) in the last four weeks, and Irish produced sugar increasing by 65 per cent (up €250k), both significantly outperforming non-local alternatives, the grocery report indicates.

Nielsen puts total grocery sales in the four weeks ending May 17 at €1 billion – a growth of 17 per cent on the same period last year. Large supermarkets experienced the biggest growth, with value sales up by 24 per cent, while value sales at convenience stores were up by 10 per cent. Other popular categories include frozen food and shelf-stable food.



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