Representatives of the spirits industry from around the world are gathering in Dublin from today (Monday 13 June) for the SpiritsEUROPE Congress 2022, as the sector plans for growth amidst the opening-up of hospitality around the world, following the Covid-19 pandemic. Company CEOs and leaders of representative bodies will be hosted by Drinks Ireland. The event will see global sector leaders meet to discuss relevant issues impacting the sector and how to address them.
SpiritsEUROPE is the representative body for the spirits industry in Europe, comprising 31 associations – of which Drinks Ireland is one – and ten international companies. SpiritsEUROPE’s mission is to represent, defend and promote the European spirits sector and help members achieve sustainable business growth. SpiritsEUROPE and its members will also be joined in Dublin by representatives of the American and Australian spirits industries.
One of the themes of the congress will be how spirits companies can help in the recovery of the tourism sector in Europe. It is estimated that every job in the spirits sector supports approximately 11 jobs in hospitality, with spirit products important when it comes to hotels, bars and restaurants offering premium experiences to customers. At the same time, following two years of pandemic restrictions, spirits tourism in Europe is to return in 2022, with existing and new distillery visiting centres having reopened their doors to the public. The international gathering will also discuss future trends impacting upon the sector, including changes in how consumers are socialising and the increasing move toward digital marketing strategies.
Statement By Minister Martin Heydon
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Speaking ahead of the event, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Research & Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development, Martin Heydon TD, stated, “I warmly welcome representatives of the spirits sector from Europe and around the world to the SpiritsEUROPE Congress, which is taking place in Dublin. The spirits sector is a vital one for Ireland, both in terms of agricultural inputs and exports. In 2021, Irish spirit exports – and, in particular, Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur – were in excess of 23.8 million nine-litre/12-bottle cases cases sold with an estimated value of €1.24 billion. The pandemic took its toll on the sector, as hospitality closed and foreign travel paused. It is heartening to see the determination of the spirits industry, here in Ireland and across the EU, to recover and grow into the future.”
Statement By The Director Of Spirits In Drinks Ireland
Looking forward to the congress, the director of spirits in Drinks Ireland, Vincent McGovern, stated, “The spirits sector is one of Ireland and Europe’s most valuable agri-food export sectors. Within the EU, our industry spans 44 product categories and includes a host of geographically specific products that contribute to the culture of their regions. From an Irish perspective, our spirits products are very popular globally, with Europe and the United States major markets for Irish spirits, such as Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur. In recent years, Irish gin has also been making its mark. As we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, our focus this week will be on the future, on growth, and on promoting our premium, quality products.”
© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.