Irish Spirits Association Launches Five Year ‘Strategy For Irish Gin’

By Dave Simpson
Irish Spirits Association Launches Five Year ‘Strategy For Irish Gin’

Irish gin producers want to treble sales by 2022, with the aim to sell 5 million bottles or 400,000 9-litre cases around the world, according to the Irish Spirits Association (ISA).

The ISA has launched a "Strategy for Irish Gin 2018-2022", which aims to promote the worldwide growth of Irish gin over the next five years by developing world-leading standards for quality and authenticity.

2017 saw exports of Irish gin more than treble, with 130,000 cases of Irish gin being sold around the world. In response to this growth, the ISA created an Irish gin working group to create this strategy for further growth. While Ireland will remain the most important market, Irish gin producers have identified the UK, Spain, Germany, the USA and Canada as the priority export markets.

The strategy also sets out four key goals and a number of actions to deliver on the vision and growth targets for Irish gin.

Firstly, the industry wants to create an Irish gin standard for quality and authenticity that will be enforced on a national and international level.


Secondly, producers will work with state organisations to promote Irish gin in trade missions, promotional campaigns, trade fairs and events in the five priority export markets.

Thirdly, the industry aims to help sustain a vibrant home market for gin by working to avoid unnecessary over-regulation, with gin producers identifying the labelling proposals in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill as a key area of concern.

Finally, the industry will work with state agencies to support the growth of Irish gin producers as well as development into new areas, such as the creation of visitor centres.

Pat Rigney, chair of the Irish gin working group in the Irish Spirits Association and founder of The Shed Distillery in Co. Leitrim, said, “The Irish gin industry is ambitious, and our ambitions are increasingly global. Irish gin is already regarded as a world-leader in terms of quality and authenticity. As sales begin to increase at home and abroad, we want to ensure that we can take advantage of this positive growth trajectory by developing world-leading, consumer-focused standards, building on Ireland’s reputation for great food and drink.

“Export-growth is vital, and we have identified five priority international markets that we wish to target for growth with the support of government and statutory partners. Export-growth will support job creation through Ireland and help deliver on the government’s FoodWise 2025 targets.


“But we are very concerned about some of the unintended negative implications of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. We are calling for reasonable amendments to the Bill, to ensure that Irish gin bottles do not have to carry an extremist health warning taking up one third of the label on what are normally the most attractively-designed spirits bottles. We also believe that the labelling requirements in the Bill could deter imports of gin, hamper innovation and growth among Irish gin producers, and create a situation in which there is regulatory misalignment between the North and South.”

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