Irish Whiskey Industry Outlines Plans To More Than Double Sales

By Dave Simpson
Irish Whiskey Industry Outlines Plans To More Than Double Sales

The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has outlined plans to more than double worldwide sales of Irish whiskey by 2030, setting a target of increasing the global sales of Irish whiskey from 6 million nine-litre cases to 12 million by 2020 and 24 million by 2030.

Head of the Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle said, “With sales of nearly 10 million cases in 2017, we are on target to reach and exceed the 12 million cases target by 2020 and we are now setting our sight on reaching 24 million cases by 2030.”

The CSO reports that the value of Irish whiskey grew by 14.3% last year.

Lavelle added, “At present, half of all Irish whiskey is sold in just one market, the United States. Our goal is to target more growth in more markets. We want to expand from our current 135 markets to at least the 170 markets where Scotch whisky is sold. More critically, in the markets where we currently have a low sales base, we want to grow sales by double digits each year.

“Recently we increased sales across Europe and in emerging markets such as Canada, Mexico, and Africa. Going forward, Asia and the Far East is going to be a key focus for Irish whiskey export growth.”



Next month, the IWA will host a major industry event focusing on global market trends in the industry. International market research commissioned by the IWA will also be unveiled. Lavelle said this event will “kick-start a detailed industry dialogue on our key market priorities for coming years, all of which is geared to ensuring we meet our ambitious 2030 growth targets.”


Ahead of the event next month, IWA representatives will gather at Bushmills Distillery, Co Antrim, to discuss international trade, as well as the impact of Brexit on the sector. This will be the first industry meeting to take place north of the border.

Lavelle commented,“Both of these issues – Brexit and trade - go hand-in-hand.


“Brexit raises concerns for the Irish whiskey industry in terms of the uncertainty over potential disruption to cross-border supply chains and the threat of regulatory divergence in the treatment of our All-island geographical indication. ABFI, the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, has been addressing these issues as part of its extensive engagement with Government and the EU Commission on Brexit.

“Brexit also offers significant opportunities. Irish whiskey will be the EU's largest whiskey category once Scotland leaves the EU and given our current growth trajectory we could, in a few years, overtake Cognac to become the EU’s largest spirit export."

“The EU had been mightily-important in supporting global growth of Irish whiskey. The recent EU Free Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA) has helped to make Canada one of our fastest growing markets. Recently-concluded agreements with Japan, Singapore and Mexico and future prospective agreements with Australia, China, Thailand, South America, and hopefully even India, offer even further exciting growth opportunities. To date all of our industry has benefitted, north and south. We want to ensure that all Irish whiskey distilleries, north and south, will continue to have the best possible access to global markets.”

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