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Irish Lifestyles - Ireland - September 2013

In 2013, Ireland is slowly moving away from the economic downturn and consumer confidence is increasing. This report examines the health of both NI and RoI consumers, looking at physical health, financial health and indeed mental health and the factors that have led to the current state of each. With technology playing a greater role in Irish lifestyles, we also look at its influence on consumers’ health. Indeed health is a key concern to many Irish consumers, not just physical health but also mental health and indeed financial health.

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How strong is the motivation to be healthier?
  • What role does technology play in consumers’ health and wellbeing?
  • What factors do Irish consumers think are important for a happy and healthy lifestyle?
  • How often do consumers exercise and eat healthily?
  • How do Irish consumers rate their own financial health?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Key themes in the report
        • Consumer data
          • Definition
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

              • Economy and finance
                • Economic developments affecting sleep patterns
                  • Unemployment leading to unhealthier lifestyles
                    • Consumer price hikes make eating healthily more difficult
                      • Figure 1: Consumer price index, UK (inc NI) and RoI, year-on-year percentage change, 2007-13
                    • Less disposable income taking its toll on financial health
                      • Figure 2: How consumers rate their current financial situation, NI and RoI, July 2013
                    • Technology and health
                      • Consumers spending more time online than ever
                        • Figure 3: Daily internet usage, NI and RoI, 2009-13
                      • Benefits and drawbacks of technology to Irish health
                        • Online and gaming habits take their toll on exercise time
                          • Examining physical health
                            • Obesity continues to be a growing problem
                              • Figure 4: Percentage of RoI population reported as being overweight, 1996-2012
                            • Strong demand for health and diet products
                              • Smoking levels remain stagnant during downturn
                                • Two in five Irish consumers drink at least once per week
                                  • Examining mental health
                                    • One in four Irish consumers suffer from mental illness annually
                                      • Divorce rates increasing
                                        • Work/life balance being skewed towards work
                                          • The consumer
                                            • Regular exercise seen as being most important to maintaining physical health
                                              • Figure 5: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                            • Friends and family seen as most important factor for happiness
                                              • Figure 6: Factors perceived to be important for a happy life, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                            • Majority of Irish consumers eat fruit and veg every day
                                              • Figure 7: Consumers who engage in activities that influence health and wellness at least once per day, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                            • Strong desire among consumers to improve physical health
                                              • Figure 8: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                            • What we think
                                            • Issues in the Market

                                              • How strong is the motivation to be healthier?
                                                • What role does technology play in consumers’ health and wellbeing? –
                                                  • What factors do Irish consumers think are important for a happy and healthy lifestyle?
                                                    • How often do consumers exercise and eat healthily?
                                                      • How do Irish consumers rate their own financial health?
                                                      • Trend Applications

                                                          • Life Hacking
                                                            • Mood to Order
                                                              • Mintel Futures: Generation Next
                                                              • Role of the Economy and Finance in Health and Wellness

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • NI and RoI economies have had a rough ride
                                                                    • Figure 9: Annual percentage growth of GDP, UK, NI and RoI, 2008-16
                                                                  • Worries about the economy keeping consumers up at night
                                                                    • Irish economies forecast to see stronger growth
                                                                      • Greater levels of investing in the near future?
                                                                        • Figure 10: Official Bank of England (BoE) and European Central Bank (ECB) interest (deposit) rates, 2008-13
                                                                      • Unemployment levels still historically high
                                                                        • Figure 11: Unemployment (%) levels, NI and RoI, 2010-13
                                                                      • High unemployment means less healthy lifestyles
                                                                        • Figure 12: Consumers visiting a gym/leisure centre at least once a week, by working status, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                      • Higher consumer prices mean lower spending on healthy eating and healthy activities
                                                                        • Figure 13: Consumer price index, UK (inc NI) and RoI, year-on-year percentage change, 2007-13
                                                                        • Figure 14: Financial and non-financial factors causing consumers concern, NI and RoI, October 2012
                                                                        • Figure 15: Real household net disposable income, annual growth rates, 2007-12
                                                                      • Less disposable income means less savings
                                                                        • Figure 16: How consumers rate their current financial situation, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                        • Figure 17: Savings index, RoI, January 2012-June 2013
                                                                      • RoI household debt levels improving
                                                                        • Irish attitudes towards debt ‘healthier’
                                                                          • Figure 18: How concerned consumers are with their current debt levels, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                      • Role of Technology in Health and Wellness

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Amount of time spent online increasing
                                                                            • Figure 19: Daily internet usage, NI and RoI, 2009-13
                                                                          • Usage of mobile internet making strides
                                                                            • Figure 20: How consumers access the internet, NI and RoI, 2009-13
                                                                            • Figure 21: Ownership of selected internet-enabled devices, NI and RoI, May 2013
                                                                          • Using the internet and technology to benefit health
                                                                            • Figure 22: Agreement with statements relating to technology’s role in health and healthy lifestyles, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                            • Figure 23: How much consumers are willing to pay to download selected apps, NI and RoI, May 2013
                                                                          • Using the internet to manage health and fitness
                                                                            • Figure 24: Agreement with the statement ‘I have looked up diet/health advice on the internet’, by gender and social class, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                            • Figure 25: Online activities related to staying healthy undertaken in the past 12 months, November 2012
                                                                          • Internet can have adverse effect on Irish health
                                                                            • Figure 26: Agreement with selected statements relating to technology and health, NI and RoI, July 2012
                                                                          • Internet addiction taking a toll on Irish mental health?
                                                                            • Technology and gaming eating into fitness/outdoor leisure time
                                                                              • Figure 27: Hours spent playing games on consoles, UK, July 2012
                                                                            • Higher smartphone ownership will only increase game time
                                                                              • Figure 28: Consumers using social networking apps on a smartphone, tablet or portable media device, NI and RoI, May 2013
                                                                            • Cyber-bullying a threat to Irish children
                                                                            • Examining the Physical Health of NI and RoI Consumers

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Obesity continues to grow as a threat to Irish health
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Percentage of RoI population reported as being overweight, 1996-2012
                                                                                    • Figure 30: Top 10 weight-related diseases, by cost to IoI economy, 2012
                                                                                  • Ireland eighth fattest nation globally
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Percentage of population aged 15+ considered overweight or obese, top 10 countries globally, 2012
                                                                                  • Irish consumers want to be healthier
                                                                                      • Figure 32: New product launches with health-related claims, UK and Ireland, 2008-13*
                                                                                    • Childhood obesity rising quicker than adult obesity
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Agreement with children having an influence when buying household items, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                      • Parents failing to recognise obesity in children
                                                                                        • Smoking levels in Ireland remain the same from 2007-13
                                                                                          • Figure 34: How frequently consumers smoke, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Percentage of UK (inc NI) population that smoke cigarettes, by gender, 1974-2012
                                                                                        • Smoking continues to get more expensive
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Consumer price % increase for tobacco products, UK and RoI, 2009-13
                                                                                          • E-cigarettes may be more effective in helping smokers quit
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Percentage chance of contracting lung cancer, by age when stopped smoking, 2013
                                                                                          • Strong level of Irish consumers regularly drink alcohol
                                                                                            • Figure 38: How frequently consumers drink alcohol, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 39: Top 10 countries for alcohol consumption, litres per capita, 2011
                                                                                          • Alcohol takes its toll on Irish health and wellness
                                                                                              • Figure 40: Number of alcohol-related deaths per year, NI and RoI, 2004-12
                                                                                            • Cost of alcohol increasing
                                                                                              • Figure 41: Consumer price % change for alcoholic beverages, UK and RoI, 2009-13
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Indexed alcohol (combined average for beer, wine and spirit) excise rates relative to Ireland, by top 10 EU countries, 2012
                                                                                            • Expense in on-trade fuelling in-home drinking trend
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Indexed total on-trade and off-trade alcohol sales, by value, NI and RoI, 2007-17
                                                                                            • Consumers drinking at home more often taking its toll on health
                                                                                              • Figure 44: Agreement with selected statements relating to drinking at home, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                            • NI and RoI population ageing as life expectancy increases
                                                                                              • Figure 45: Average life expectancy at birth, UK and Ireland, 1970-2010
                                                                                              • Figure 46: Population, by age, NI and RoI, 2012 and 2024/26
                                                                                              • Figure 47: Number of live births per year, NI and RoI, 2002-12
                                                                                            • Aged population will cause greater strain on healthcare systems
                                                                                              • Figure 48: Medical interactions of RoI over-65s in the last 12 months, 2012
                                                                                          • Examining the Mental Health of NI and RoI Consumers

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Mental health issues affect a large proportion of NI and RoI consumers
                                                                                                • Consumers see recession as having impacted mental health
                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Agreement with statements relating to perceptions of mental health issues, RoI, 2013
                                                                                                  • Suicide rates stabilising, but still higher than 2007 levels
                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Number of deaths by suicide*, NI and RoI, 2009-11
                                                                                                    • Depression takes toll on other areas of health
                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Agreement with statements relating to perceptions of mental health issues, RoI, 2013
                                                                                                    • Divorce increases 150% in RoI
                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Number of divorces, NI and RoI, 2002 and 2011
                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Top five life-changing events, 2013
                                                                                                    • Addressing the work/life balance
                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Average usual hours worked, all in employment and full-time workers, by selected EU countries, April-June 2012
                                                                                                    • Technology boosting hours worked per week
                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Factors for a Healthy Lifestyle

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Regular exercise seen as key to a healthy lifestyle
                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                        • Exercise seen as being less important as consumers age
                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Consumers who perceive regular exercise to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by gender and age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                        • Heavy internet users less inclined to feel exercise is important
                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Consumers who perceive regular exercise to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by daily internet usage, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                        • Half see not smoking as an important factor in healthy living
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Consumers who perceive not smoking to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by work status, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                          • Many see avoiding eating too much as important
                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Consumers who perceive not eating junk food to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                            • Some confused over what is and isn’t good for them
                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Agreement with the statement ‘All the different advice on what is healthy to eat is confusing’, by gender, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                            • Not drinking too much
                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Consumers who perceive not drinking too much alcohol to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Indexed off-trade alcohol sales vs. on-trade alcohol sales, NI and RoI, 2007-17
                                                                                                            • Few willing to cut out caffeine
                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Factors for a Happy Lifestyle

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Friends and family paramount to a happy life
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Factors perceived to be important for a happy life, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                • Finding comfort in friends and family
                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Agreement that a good circle of friends/close family are important for a happy life, by gender, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                • Heavy tech users less inclined to feel family important for happiness
                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Agreement that a good circle of friends/close family are important for a happy life, by daily internet usage, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                • A good work/life balance desirable to many
                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Agreement that a good work/life balance is important for a happy life, by work status and social class, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                  • Taking time to enjoy life a priority
                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Agreement that taking time to enjoy life is important for a happy life, by gender, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                    • Healthy finances important to happiness
                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Agreement that healthy finances are important for a happy life, by gender and age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                    • Consumers worry more about finances as they age
                                                                                                                      • Consumers want to ensure financial health for their children
                                                                                                                        • Younger consumers worry more about job satisfaction
                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Agreement that having a job you enjoy is important for a happy life, by age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Frequency of Activities That Influence Health and Wellness

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Eating fruit and veg most frequently undertaken healthy activity
                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Frequency consumers engage in activities that influence health and wellness, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                          • Women and older consumers more likely to eat fruit and vegetables every day
                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Consumers who eat fruit and vegetables at least once per day, by gender and age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Comparative price level indices, UK and RoI, EU 27 =100, 2012
                                                                                                                          • Majority of Irish consumers eating junk food each week
                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: How frequently consumers eat junk food, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                            • Younger consumers are more frequent users of junk food
                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Consumers who eat junk food at least once per day, by age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                            • High level of Irish consumers watch what they eat
                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Consumers who watch what they eat at least once per day, by work status, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                              • One in 10 skip meals every day
                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: How frequently consumers skip meals, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                              • Relaxing and unwinding
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Consumers who relax and unwind at least once per day, by number of children in household, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                • High engagement with hobbies
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Consumers who engage in hobbies at least once per day, by gender, age and number of children in household, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Daily exercise more prevalent in RoI than NI
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: How frequently consumers exercise, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Heavy tech usage equates to lower exercise time
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Consumers who exercise at least once per day, by daily internet usage, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                  • A fifth play sport weekly, but two fifths don’t play at all
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Consumers who play sport once a week or more, by gender, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Frequent evaluation of finances
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Consumers who evaluate their finances once a week or more, by daily internet usage, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Health and Wellness

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Two thirds of consumers want to be in better health
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Desire to be healthy
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Agreement with the statement ‘I want to be in better physical health’, by age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Willpower needed to improve physical health
                                                                                                                                        • Expense of health food a barrier to healthier eating
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Agreement with the statement ‘Buying healthy food can be expensive’, by gender and social class, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                        • One in three RoI consumers more stressed in 2013 compared to 2012
                                                                                                                                          • NI students more stressed out compared to RoI students
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Agreement with the statement ‘I am under more stress now than 12 months ago’, by age and work status, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Over one in 10 admit to ‘pressure eating’
                                                                                                                                            • One in three consumers worry more about body image more than health
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Agreement with the statement ‘I worry more about my weight/appearance than my overall health’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Still some confusion over colour-coded labelling
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                • NI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: How consumers rate their current financial situation, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Average daily usage of the internet, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: How frequently consumers eat fruit and vegetables, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: How frequently consumers take time to relax and unwind, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: How frequently consumers spend time on hobbies, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: How frequently consumers eat junk food, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: How frequently consumers watch what they eat, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: How frequently consumers drink alcohol, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 96: How frequently consumers exercise, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 97: How frequently consumers skip meals, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 98: How frequently consumers work long hours, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 99: How frequently consumers play sport, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 100: How frequently consumers evaluate their finances, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 101: How frequently consumers visit a gym/leisure centre, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 102: How frequently consumers smoke, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 103: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 104: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, NI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 105: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, NI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 106: Factors perceived as being important for a happy life, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 107: Factors perceived as being important for a happy life, by demographics, NI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 108: Factors perceived as being important for a happy life, by demographics, NI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 109: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, by demographics, NI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 110: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, by demographics, NI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 111: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, by demographics, NI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                • RoI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 112: How consumers rate their current financial situation, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 113: Average daily usage of the internet, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 114: How frequently consumers eat fruit and vegetables, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 115: How frequently consumers take time to relax and unwind, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 116: How frequently consumers spend time on hobbies, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 117: How frequently consumers eat junk food, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 118: How frequently consumers watch what they eat, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 119: How frequently consumers drink alcohol, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 120: How frequently consumers exercise, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 121: How frequently consumers skip meals, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 122: How frequently consumers work long hours, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 123: How frequently consumers play sport, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 124: How frequently consumers evaluate their finances, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 125: How frequently consumers visit a gym/leisure centre, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 126: How frequently consumers smoke, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 127: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 128: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, RoI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 129: Factors perceived to be important for a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, RoI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 130: Factors perceived as being important for a happy life, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 131: Factors perceived as being important for a happy life, by demographics, RoI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 132: Factors perceived as being important for a happy life, by demographics, RoI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 133: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, by demographics, RoI, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 134: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, by demographics, RoI, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 135: Agreement with statements towards health and healthy lifestyles, by demographics, RoI, July 2013 (continued)

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                                                                                                                                              Irish Lifestyles - Ireland - September 2013

                                                                                                                                              £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)