Rival whiskey producers have teamed up to attempt to secure EU funding to carve out new multimillion-euro growth opportunities in China and Japan.
The Irish Times reports that the whiskey producers have sought assistance from Bord Bia to help tap Asian markets, where Irish brown spirits are small players at present.
Head of the Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle stated, "Asia represents one of the biggest engines for growth for Irish whiskey over the next five to 10 years...China is very small, but we think that it is ripe for an explosion and we have no reason to believe that it couldn’t see meteoric growth."
"Just The Beginning"
Lavelle added, "If you talk to some of the guys behind the bigger brands, they will tell you that it takes 10 years to get a brand in a sustainable position in a market, and we’re just at the start of the journey. In fact, there are certain pubs in Dublin that are selling as much Irish whiskey as some individual Asian countries
"But because of the rapid increase of the middle classes and their demand for premium products, we believe the strong double-digit growth we have seen in Asia over the last three years is just the beginning. We are going to be at this for a long time, but the potential rewards are significant."
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