Irish cider sector celebrates success – new report

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Irish cider sector celebrates success – new report

Demand for premium products driving growth across the industry

15 Cider Producers join together to relaunch the Irish Cider Association within ABFI

Total cider consumption rose by 0.43% in 2018, according to the first “Irish Cider Association Market Report” since 2012. The report shows that 64 million litres of cider were consumed in Ireland last year, making a €61 million contribution to the exchequer in excise payments in 2018.

Cider is Ireland’s third most popular alcohol beverage with a market share of 7.5% in 2018, according to Revenue. However, its market share has decreased marginally from 7.7% the previous year.

Since 2001, the average per adult alcohol consumption has fallen by 23.2% in Ireland (CSO/Revenue Commissioners). The drinks industry, as a result is going through a premiumisation phase, where consumers are seeking quality over quantity, evidenced by continued growth in premium, super-premium and craft categories. This is also reflected in the Irish cider market.

Irish appetite for homegrown cider continues to be the staple of purchases, with roughly 75% of cider consumed made in the Republic of Ireland. This marked a 2% increase in the market share for local purchases year-on-year. It’s estimated that producers use on average 50,000 tonnes of apples each year which benefits Irish apple growers.

Chairman of the Irish Cider Association, Seamus O’Hara (MD of Carlow Craft Brewing) said: “The Irish Cider Association is being re-established to help our 15 member companies, many of whom are recent entrants to the business, to adapt to new realities. Consumers are demanding quality products and thus as an industry we’ve had to change our products to cater for that. Ireland’s cider industry makes a valuable contribution to our economy and cultural life, making it one of the most exciting industries to be in at the moment. As a result, cider drinkers in Ireland have unprecedented choice of cider products in our restaurants, pubs and retail outlets.”

However, as Britain leaves the European Union on October 31st, the sector faces significant challenges to its growth trajectory. The Head of the Irish Cider Association, Jonathan McDade explains; “Today, about 85% of cider exports go to the UK. The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, with potential tariffs on both inputs and finished product, has increased uncertainty for producers and could impact investment within the sector. It is vital that the Government does all it can to mitigate these external negatives for the industry.”

“At the moment, Irish cider consumers pay the third highest rate of excise on cider in the European Union, taking up nearly 30% of every pint. We believe the Government should reverse its recession era emergency excise measures with an excise rate reduction in Budget 2020 to support the sector.”


For further information, please contact:

Aidan O’Connor – 087 634 2119 /

About ABFI / Irish Cider Association

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) represents alcohol drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland. Under the ABFI umbrella are the following trade associations:

    Irish Brewers Association

    Irish Cider Association

    Irish Spirits Association

    Irish Whiskey Association

    Irish Wine Association

ABFI is a sector association within Ibec.

The Irish Cider Association has 15 members made up of producers and suppliers across the island, including:

    Legacy Cider
    Longways Cider
    Falling Apple & Craigies Cider (Carlow Brewing Company)
    Dan Kelly's Cider
    Cooney's Cider
    Cider Mill
    Scott's Cider
    Tempted Cider
    Heineken Ireland
    Barry & Fitzwilliam
    Stonewell Cider
    Con Traas
    Killahora Orchards