Irish Whiskey Sales Volumes Reportedly Decreased By 0.4% Year-On-Year In 2020
Irish whiskey sales volumes decreased by 0.4% year-on-year in 2020 to 11.4 million cases from 11.9 million in 2019, according to The Irish Times.
Head Of The Irish Whiskey Association Statements
The Irish Times quotes head of the Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle as saying, "11.4 million case sales in 2020 is a fantastic achievement for the Irish whiskey category and exceeds expectations in terms of what we initially thought was feasible during the pandemic."
According to The Irish Times, Lavelle said that the result is particularly impressive considering that travel retail decreased by 96.2% from 679,600 cases in 2019 to 25,600 cases last year.
The Irish Times quotes Lavelle saying, "Last year we would have thought it might take three to four years to bounce back to our pre-COVID sales high. But, now, we can realistically target full recovery in the current year."
According to The Irish Times, data from drinks industry analytics group IWSR indicates whiskey sales in the US, which is the sector's biggest market, decreased 0.5% year-on-year in 2020 to 4.93 million cases.
Sales in Ireland reportedly were steady at 591,000 cases and sales in Britain reportedly increased by 13.5% to 531,000 cases. Meanwhile, sales reportedly increased by 12% in Germany, 30% in Poland, 31% in Ukraine, 21.2 % in Sweden and 139% in Nigeria, albeit reportedly from a low base, and increases in sales reportedly were also recorded in China, Japan, India, New Zealand and Australia.
According to The Irish Times, Jameson was the market leader last year with 7.6 million nine-litre cases sold, which was down from eight million in 2019, and Tullamore Dew was the second most popular brand with 1.2 million cases sold, which was down from 1.44 million in 2019.
Additionally, sales of Bushmills reportedly decreased to 744,900 from 822,300 last year, while sales of Conor McGregor's Proper No Twelve reportedly doubled to 292,500 last year, and Kilbeggan reportedly rounded out the top five brands list with sales of 168,100 last year.
According to The Irish Times, domestic sales of Irish whiskey increased by 0.1 per cent last year, with Jameson experiencing a 1.6 per cent increase in volumes to 254,000, while Bushmills was the second most popular brand last year domestically with 76,000 cases sold. Jameson and Bushmills reportedly were followed by Powers with 74,000, Paddy with 48,000 and Tullamore Dew with 16,000.
Irish Distillers Chief Executive Statement
The Irish Times quotes Irish Distillers chief executive Conor McQuaid as saying, "While we understand that it will take some time for some sectors to recover fully and reach pre-pandemic growth levels, we are confident that they will rebound and that the industry will emerge even stronger than before.
"Despite a 'lost year of growth', the whiskey business requires us all to take a long-term perspective, investing and laying down stocks today to mature for the years ahead. We will continue to support our partners in the trade and invest to support the rebound and remain extremely optimistic to the future for Irish whiskey both in Ireland and on the global stage post-pandemic."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.