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In this insight report, we examine the alcoholic preferences of Irish consumers. We explore the differences between drinkers and non-drinkers as well as the gender stereotypes of certain alcoholic beverages. This research was gathered on 23rd December 2020 over 48 hours. 1968 responses were collected from 18-55 year olds in the Republic of Ireland.

We asked respondents whether they drink alcohol. 87.96% said yes, another 9.08% said no and 2.96% said they used to, but don’t anymore.

Bar chart of whether respondents drink alcohol, with 87.96% saying yes.


For respondents who answered yes in the above question, we asked them how regularly they drink alcohol. Nearly a quarter of them claim to drink a few times per week. 1 in 5 among them drink once per week. The largest portion of drinking respondents (31.03%) drink a few times per month. 

The most popular alcoholic beverage was liquor with mixer (mixed drinks) with 62.48% of drinking respondents saying they enjoy drinking it. Wine is the next most popular drink, with 54.81% saying they enjoy it, followed by beer with 48.44%. The least popular drink was liquor without a mixer, with only 31.8% of drinking respondents claiming to enjoy drinking it.

Socialising at bars/restaurants is the most common occasion that causes our respondents to have a drink. 76.59% of respondents indicated that socialising at bar/restaurants is a common occasion that causes you to have a drink. Another 70.5% said socialising at friend’s homes causes them to have a drink. The least common occasion to have a drink was at home with only 43.54% of drinking respondents selecting it.

71.62% of drinking respondents said they drink for fun. Over half of the drinking respondents (57.35%) said they drink when everyone else they are socialising with are drinking too. Only 7.55% said they drink to try escape a problem in their lives, while 1 in 5 (21.59%) said they use drinking to ease stress.

Taste and price were the most influential factors for an individual’s alcoholic beverage preference, according to our drinking respondents. 69.14% of drinking respondents say taste is the most influential factor, while 61.59% of respondents say price. The individual’s parent preferences was the least influential factor, with only 8.55% saying it was important.

Row chart of the most influencial factors for an individual's alcoholic beverage preferences, with 69.14% saying taste.


For respondents who indicated that they do not currently drink alcohol, we asked them what type of beverage they enjoy drinking on social occasions. Soft drinks were the most popular by far, with 71.98% saying so. 44.4% say water/sparkling water, while only 15.52% said non-alcoholic beer/cider. 

We also asked our non-drinking respondents to select the most common occasions that you feel pressure to have an alcoholic beverage. Like our drinking respondents, the most common occasion was socialising at bars/restaurants with 44.83% saying so. Interestingly, house parties were also another very common occasion as 44.4% said they felt pressured to drink an alcoholic beverage at. 

The most common reason for not drinking alcohol was that it didn’t interest the respondent, with 43.1% giving that as their primary reason. Another 37.5% also said that they don’t drink because it is unhealthy. Nearly a quarter of our non-drinking respondents stated that they don’t drink because they don’t enjoy the taste. 

Gender Stereotypes

We were interested in the gender stereotypes of different alcoholic beverages. Over three-quarters of respondents (76.34%) believed that certain gender stereotypes have a gender stereotype. 86% of our respondents think that women typically drink wine, with another 78.11% of respondents said that women typically drink ready-to-drinks, such as hard seltzers, pre-mixed cocktails. Over 95% of respondents said that men typically drink beer with another 64.7% of respondents said liquor without mixers.

Key Takeaways

Identity Matters: As consumer expectations and demands change rapidly, there remains a need to appeal to their identity. With over 75% of consumers believing gender stereotypes still exist in drinks, is it the role of brands to move past this or leverage this for a greater connection to their target audience? This is a question worth pondering.

Large Opportunity for Alcohol Alternatives: The growth on non-alcoholic alternatives is growing at rapid pace, but adoption remains quite low, which leaves great opportunities. Tapping into the occasions in which non-drinkers feel pressurised to drink, and the desire to ‘blend in’, seems to be an unanswered need for consumers.

The Importance of the Occasion: Despite the lockdown, people are still drinking alcohol frequently in a variety of locations and occasions. Most notable is the influence of the ‘occasion’ on their drinking habits, their choice of drink and ultimately, it remains the ‘trigger’ for having an alcoholic beverage in a lot of cases.

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