Ireland flag Ireland: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Ireland

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
The population has been ageing rapidly since 1975 but the situation should stabilize by 2030. However, the median age remains quite young at 38.5 years old in 2021 (Eurostat). The population grew at a rate of 0.7% in the year to April 2021 (CSO). According to CSO 2021 data, 19.9% of the population is under 15 years old, 65.3% is between 15 and 64 years old, and 14.8% is 65 years old or over. On average there are 2.75 people per household with 23.5% of households are people living alone and 48% are couples with or without children (CSO, 2016 Census). There are almost as many men as women in the population. Only 64.2% of the population lives in urban areas, below the European average (CIA, 2022). The majority of the population is located east of the island, with a large concentration around Dublin. There is less population in the west because of mountains, lack of infrastructure and jobs. The OECD estimates that the level of education in Ireland is high: 85.5% of adults aged 25 to 64 have a secondary education and 49.9% have attained tertiary education (OECD, 2020). According to CSO data (Q4 2021), some 22.7% of the active population are professionals, 13.1% are technicians, 12.2% are skilled workers, 10.6% administrative professions, 9.6% intermediate professions, 8.7% of managers, 7.7% of employees in care and recreation, 7.7% of operators and assemblers of machines and 7.2% of commercial professions.
Purchasing Power
GDP per capita PPP is USD 93,350 per year (World Bank, 2020). The average annual salary for full-time employees in Ireland has increased by 2% in 2021 to EUR 44,954 (Central Statistics Office). Adjusted gross annual disposable income per capita is around PPP EUR 21,965, up from the previous year (Eurostat, 2020). In the context of the pandemic, household spending decreased by 10.6% in 2020, to a total of EUR 91.9 billion (CSO). The Gini index is 30.6 (World Bank). The difference in income between men and women is estimated at 5.2% in 2019, down from 8.3% the year before (OECD, latest data available). Employees in the information/communication, finance and real estate sectors have higher incomes, while the art and leisure sectors, hotels and restaurants record lower wages.
Consumer Behaviour
In order of importance, the main purchasing factors are quality, price and service. Determinants of purchase vary with age. Young people are more attracted to product or brand awareness, the working-age population is interested in brand and quality, while older people are attracted by quality products. The recession, however, has changed the behaviour of some consumers, who are turning increasingly to discount stores. Retail outlets are where the most purchases are made. A third of consumers prefer to go to a shop where you can pay with a mobile and on average EUR 550 per month are spent at the supermarket. Since the recession, the level of consumer confidence has been moderate. More and more consumers are buying online with USD 4.3 billion being spent in 2020 (+18% y-o-y, eCommerce DB), thanks to product differentiation, a growth in the mobile market and online retailers improving their websites. Consumers are relatively open to international products but around 70% of the population think it is important to buy local products (KPMG, 2022).

Consumers are increasingly less loyal despite loyalty programs with around 45% believing that own-brand and branded products have the same quality (KPMG, 2022). Social networks are particularly important for purchasing decision making. All generations look to social media ads before making a purchase (61% of Baby Boomers, 75% of Gen X, 76% of Millennials and 62% of Gen Z) (Irish Tech News, 2022). The influence is mainly via the opinions of other users. Consumers seem to trust retailers who collect their personal data to make personalized offers.

The main emerging trends are in consumption. The number of vegetarians and vegans is considerably higher, especially in cities. More and more specialty stores and restaurants are opening. Protein products for sports and snacks are also in fashion. The organic sector made significant progress in recent years. According to a study by Bord Bia (2020), 27% of consumers buy organic products at least once a week, and only 12% never buy any. Just under 50% of consumers are willing to pay more for organic products. The second-hand market is developing mainly on the internet and smartphones thanks to the creation of websites and applications. The collaborative economy is progressing in many sectors: food, catering, housing, transportation, etc.

Consumers Associations
CCPC , Consumer Protection and Competition Commission
ECC , European Centre for Consumers in Ireland
BEUC , European Organisation for Consumers
Main Advertising Agencies
Institute Of Advertising Practitioners In Ireland

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Latest Update: July 2024