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Ireland Brexit: Future Hopes and Fears Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Brexit: Future Hopes and Fears market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report examines Irish consumers’ hopes and fears regarding the UK’s departure from the EU. Indeed, the island of Ireland has been an important consideration within the UK/EU negotiations since the referendum on EU membership took place in June 2016 as NI is the only part of the UK with a land border with the RoI and therefore the EU.

The UK’s departure from the EU is a highly political issue. It is therefore difficult to escape the political dimension to this issue and references to it. However, this Report will focus on NI and RoI consumers’ hopes and fears regarding Brexit and how it will impact their lives and what it means for companies operating on the island. This Report will make no comment on the political situation regarding the UK’s departure from the European Union or political issues specifically related to Ireland (eg border poll).

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by James Wilson, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Provenance will continue to play well post-Brexit and Irish consumers will increasingly favour food and drink products sourced locally. Highlighting where food and drink products are originating from and how much of the purchase price local manufacturers receive will resonate with consumers who are looking to support their local economies during a period of heightened uncertainty James Wilson
Lifestyles Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in the Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Market factors
            • Free movement of goods important to the island of Ireland
              • Consumer spending falls due to Brexit worries
                • RoI consumers see personal finances improve; NI consumers financially insecure
                  • Irish consumers expecting finances to improve in the year ahead despite Brexit concerns
                    • Issues impacting companies’ Brexit preparations
                      • The consumer
                        • Little change seen in most consumers’ finances
                          • Figure 1: How consumers rate their finances compared to a year ago, NI and RoI, June 2019
                        • Groceries a key spending area for Irish consumers
                          • Figure 2: Consumers’ spending in the last six months, NI and RoI, June 2019
                        • Taking a holiday is a priority for consumers over the next six months
                          • Figure 3: Consumers’ spending intentions in the next six months, NI and RoI, June 2019
                        • Consumers think economy will be negatively impacted by Brexit
                          • Figure 4: What effect consumers think Brexit will have on the economy, NI and RoI, June 2019
                        • Irish consumers think it’s important to support local producers post-Brexit
                          • Figure 5: Agreement with statements related to Brexit, NI and RoI, June 2019
                        • What we think
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • RoI remains NI’s largest export market
                            • Sterling continues to decline against the euro
                              • Food prices falling in RoI, rising in NI
                                • Irish consumers optimistic personal finances will improve
                                • Market Drivers

                                  • UK’s departure from EU delayed by six months
                                    • Support highest for UK to retain full EU membership
                                      • Figure 6: Consumers’ hopes for the outcome of Brexit negotiations, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                    • euro continues to strengthen against Sterling
                                      • Figure 7: Exchange rates involving Sterling and euro, January 2018-July 2019
                                    • RoI remains the largest single export market for NI
                                      • Figure 8: Value of exports, by region, NI, 2016 and 2017
                                    • RoI economy continues to grow
                                      • Figure 9: Total value of imports and exports, 2017 and 2018
                                    • RoI exports most of its goods to the US
                                      • Figure 10: Top five export markets and NI, RoI, 2017 and 2018
                                    • Great Britain the main import market for RoI
                                      • Figure 11: Top five import markets and NI, RoI, 2017 and 2018
                                    • NI has highest business insolvency rate in the UK
                                      • Figure 12: Percentage increase in total number of business insolvencies since the EU referendum, UK (including NI), by region, 2016/17-2018/19
                                    • Brexit worries impact consumer spending
                                      • Figure 13: Consumer spending index, RoI, July 2018-June 2019
                                    • Food prices falling in RoI, rising in the UK/NI
                                      • Figure 14: Consumer price index vs food inflation, RoI, January 2018-June 2019
                                      • Figure 15: Consumer price index vs food inflation, UK (including NI), January 2018-June 2019
                                    • NI consumers remain fragile
                                      • Figure 16: Financial health of Irish consumers, NI, June 2018 and June 2019
                                      • Figure 17: Financial health of Irish consumers, RoI, June 2018 and June 2019
                                    • Irish consumers optimistic for the year ahead
                                      • Figure 18: How consumers expect their personal financial situation to change in the next 12 months, NI, June 2018 and June 2019
                                      • Figure 19: How consumers expect their personal financial situation to change in the next 12 months, RoI, June 2018 and June 2019
                                  • Preparing for Brexit – What You Need to Know

                                    • Currency exchange rates benefit Charles Hurst’s cross-border sales
                                      • Dalata Hotels trading favourably but impact of exchange rate should be considered
                                        • Lakeland Dairies’ principle issue is the potential impact of tariffs
                                          • Vodafone’s Irish consumers avoid mobile roaming charges
                                            • Tesco advises October 2019 is least opportune moment for Brexit
                                            • Preparing for Brexit

                                                • Charles Hurst
                                                  • Key facts
                                                    • Impact of the UK’s (including NI) decision to leave the EU so far
                                                      • How Charles Hurst is preparing for Brexit
                                                        • Dalata Hotels
                                                          • Key facts
                                                            • Impact of the UK’s (including NI) decision to leave the EU so far
                                                              • How the Dalata Group is preparing for Brexit
                                                                • Lakeland Dairies
                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                    • Impact of the UK’s (including NI) decision to leave the EU so far
                                                                      • How Lakeland Dairies is preparing for Brexit
                                                                        • Vodafone
                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                            • Impact of the UK’s (including NI) decision to leave the EU so far
                                                                              • How Vodafone is preparing for Brexit
                                                                                • Tesco
                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                    • Impact of the UK’s (including NI) decision to leave the EU so far
                                                                                      • How Tesco is preparing for Brexit
                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                        • Consumers’ finances remain the same as last year
                                                                                          • Spending on food and drink for home increases
                                                                                            • Irish consumers worried that Brexit will negatively impact economy
                                                                                              • Supporting local food and drink producers important post-Brexit
                                                                                              • Financial Situation

                                                                                                  • Most Irish consumers’ finances are the same as last year
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: How consumers rate their finances compared to a year ago, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                  • Young consumers feel better off financially
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: How consumers rate their finances compared to a year ago, by age, NI, June 2019
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: How consumers rate their finances compared to a year ago, by age, RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                • Spending Intentions

                                                                                                    • Consumers spending more on food and drink for home
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Consumers’ spending in the last six months, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                    • Savings and investments a priority for Millennial spending
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Consumers’ spending on savings and investments in the last six months, by age, NI, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Consumers’ spending on savings and investments in the last six months, by age, RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                    • Spending on food and drink for home increases among ABC1s
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Consumers’ spending on food and drink for home in the last six months, by social class, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Consumers’ spending on eating out (including takeaways) in the last six months, by social class, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                    • Irish consumers will spend ‘about the same’ on most areas
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Consumers’ spending intentions in the next six months, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                    • Young consumers most likely to spend more on holidays
                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Consumers who expect to spend more on holidays in the next six months, by generation, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                    • Irish men planning on spending more in the next six months
                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Consumers’ spending intentions in the next six months, by gender, NI, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Consumers’ spending intentions in the next six months, by gender, RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                  • Impact on the Economy

                                                                                                      • Irish consumers more likely to be pessimistic on Brexit impact
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: What effect consumers think Brexit will have on the economy, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Millennials most likely to think Brexit will have a positive economic impact
                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Consumers who think Brexit will have a positive impact on economic growth, by age, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Irish men positive about economic impact of Brexit
                                                                                                        • Figure 34: What effect consumers think Brexit will have on the economy, by gender, NI, June 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: What effect consumers think Brexit will have on the economy, by gender, RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Young consumers optimistic on savings and investments post-Brexit
                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Consumers who think Brexit will have a positive impact on their savings and investments, by age, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Brexit

                                                                                                        • Supporting local food producers post-Brexit important to consumers
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Agreement with statements related to Brexit, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                        • Local food and drink appeal to women
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Agreement with the statement ‘It will be more important to support local food/drink producers after Brexit’, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                        • Affluent NI consumers interested in holidaying outside the EU
                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Agreement with the statement ‘A holiday outside of the EU will be more attractive post-Brexit’, by social class, NI, June 2019
                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement ‘A holiday in Great Britain/NI will be better value for money post-Brexit’, by social class, RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                        • Parents concerned about medicine availability post-Brexit
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Agreement with the statement ‘Availability of certain medicines will be negatively affected by Brexit’, by presence of children in the household, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                          • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                            • Abbreviations