Ireland's drinks industry is continuing to expand into new and emerging export markets such as Angola, Japan and South Korea, according to a new analysis of Eurostat data and Bord Bia research by Drinks Ireland.
According to the latest Bord Bia research, the US was the largest market for Irish drinks exports in 2019, followed by the UK, France, Germany and Canada.
Drinks Irelands stated that while these larger and more established destinations will continue to dominate in the coming years, trade challenges associated with Brexit and US tariffs mean that Irish drinks producers will continue to look further afield to maintain growth.
Taste For Irish Whiskey Grows In South Africa
According to Bord Bia, emerging consumers with disposable income are spending more on imported drinks in South Africa and Irish whiskey exporters are well placed to take advantage of this over the coming years.
In August, Drinks Ireland secured legal protection for Irish whiskey in South Africa, meaning that only Irish whiskey made on the island of Ireland, in accordance to certain standards, can be labelled and sold as such there.
Also, as the Irish gin supply base expands in response to global trends, double-digit growth was recorded in South Africa in 2018.
Kenya And Angola
Drinks Ireland stated that exports of Irish whiskey to Kenya and Angola were valued at €900,348 and €975,204, respectively, in 2018.
Irish Cream Liqueur Sales Grow In Nigeria
According to Drinks Ireland, cream liqueur is experiencing renewed growth in Nigeria, and Irish cream liqueur exports to Nigeria were worth €2.2 million in 2018.
Exports To Poland And Austria
Drinks Ireland stated that exports of Irish beer to Poland are strong, and were valued at €1.9 million in 2018.
Elsewhere in Europe, exports of beer to Austria were valued at €2.2 million in 2018.
Exports To Latvia
Bord Bia's research revealed that exports to Latvia, an important point of onward shipping to the Russian market, were valued at €48 million in 2019.
The Japan Market
Bord Bia's research found that Japan was the largest Asian market for Irish alcohol in 2019, with the value of exports to Japan rising by 9% to €10 million.
Irish whiskey exports to Japan were valued at €1.4 million in 2018, according to Eurostat data.
The signing of an EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement in 2018 means that Irish whiskey is legally protected in Japan.
Meanwhile, Irish beer exports to Japan were worth €2.5 million in 2018 and Irish liqueur exports to Japan were worth €3.8 million.
Taiwan, Thailand And South Korea
According to Bord Bia, Irish whiskey exports to Taiwan and Thailand rose by 44% and 22%, respectively, in 2018, albeit from a low base.
Meanwhile, exports of Irish beer to South Korea were valued at €1.3 million in 2018.
In July 2019, a trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) was signed, which will significantly increase opportunities for drinks producers in these markets, reducing tariffs over four years, according to Drinks Ireland.
In 2018, exports of Irish whiskey to Brazil were valued at €691,211.
Elsewhere in Latin America, exports of Irish liqueurs to Mexico and Colombia were valued at €5.7 million and €934,208, respectively, in 2018.
Israel And Turkey
Drinks Ireland stated that exports of Irish whiskey to Israel were worth €1.24 million in 2018, while exports of Irish whiskey and cream liqueur to Turkey were worth €1 million and €2 million, respectively.
Irish Cider In Australia
Additionally, Irish cider exports to Australia were valued at €1,404,772 in 2018.
Drinks Ireland director Patricia Callan stated, "With ongoing global trade uncertainties in the UK and the USA as a result of Brexit and tariffs, it's promising to see that Irish drinks brands are diversifying into new and emerging markets.
"Consumers around the world are responding positively to the quality and heritage associated with these products, as well as their great taste.
"In 2019, the value of Irish exports was valued of €1.45 billion, up 8% from 2018.
"Irish whiskey and cream liqueur in particular are well-positioned to continue to grow, as they are both protected by geographic indications, which means they must be made in Ireland and abide by certain standards.
"Ireland's beer production is expected to continue on its current trajectory of moderate export growth, with the country's heritage and provenance in the category allowing it to find a distinct space in a crowded market.
"Finally, gin will continue its repositioning as a strong niche export category with double digit export growth in 2020."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.