Sales of alcohol in off-licences and supermarkets in Ireland jumped by 44% over the Easter period according to new data from Nielsen.

In total, €371m was spent on groceries during Easter week, an increase of 14% on the same period last year and the biggest week of sales so far this year.

The big driver of the additional €44.5m in spending was alcohol, as more people drink at home due to the Cover-19 restrictions impacting bars and restaurants.

In total sales of drink reached €49.3m in the week to the end of April 12, a 44% rise on spending when compared to the Easter week a year earlier.

The biggest sales increase seen in this category was stout, which jumped 177%, while lager sales grew by 78%.

Wine sales rose by a quarter, while sparkling wine and champagne by a fifth. 

All the other Easter dinner trimmings also saw greater year on year sales, with gravy up 59%, turkey and potatoes both up 14%, and lamb increasing 11%.

There was also a major jump in sales of sweet treats, with frozen desserts climbing 33%, ice cream up 57% and fresh cream sales spiking by 68%. 

However, while alcohol and other Easter staples were in high demand, fewer Easter eggs were purchased, with demand falling 7%.

Confectionery product sales more widely were also subdued, increasing just 1.4% year on year.

The good weather also drove a boost in sales of barbecue related materials and ingredients, including barbecue sauce, which was up by 53% and ignition products which saw sales increase 51%.