Irish Distillers experienced a strong financial year in 2017/2018, accelerated by the continued growth of Jameson Irish whiskey, which is now in double or triple-digit growth in more than 80 markets across the world.
The results for the year highlight that Jameson is one of Ireland’s most recognised brands worldwide, enjoying years of exponential growth with 7.3 million cases sold in 2017/18, up from 500,000 cases during the mid-90s.
“The growth of Irish whiskey on the global stage could not have happened without the investment and focus brought by Pernod Ricard,” said Conor McQuaid, chairman and CEO at Irish Distillers.
The results for the financial year 2017/18 shows that Irish whiskey is the fastest growing premium spirit in the world.
"Sales of Irish whiskey now account for more than one third of all Irish beverage exports, and we are immensely proud of the strong performance of our full portfolio of Irish whiskeys cementing our position as the makers of the world’s most enjoyed Irish whiskeys,” said McQuaid.
As these results demonstrate, Jameson continues to spearhead the renaissance of the Irish whiskey category, with the brand reaching its 29th year of consecutive growth with value growth of 14% and volume growth of 12%.
Innovation sustained growth across Irish Distillers’ portfolio with sales of Jameson Caskmates reaching 300,000 cases in 2017/2018, driven by the launch of Caskmates IPA Edition in the United States, the report revealed.
McQuaid explained, “Our continued dedication to innovation has allowed us to penetrate markets and grow Irish whiskey sales across our portfolio. The continued global growth of Jameson Caskmates is testament to this, with 86% growth in the US market compared to last year.”
The US and South Africa continue to be the biggest markets for Jameson, with emerging markets starting to grow.
McQuaid commented, “Our largest markets continue to be the USA, South Africa and Russia, followed by Ireland and the UK. It is very positive to see Jameson starting to generate interest in markets such as Nigeria, India and China.
“The Republic of Ireland spirits market generated volume growth of 6.1% and value growth of 4.9%. Against this backdrop, our premium spirits brands have recorded strong net sales growth during 2017/18: Jameson +9%, prestige Irish whiskeys +23%.”
McQuaid outlined that growth of Irish whiskey sales in Ireland is in part due to increased interest in Irish whiskey tourism.
He asserted, “As Jameson continues its phenomenal growth story, with 29 years of consecutive growth, the redeveloped Jameson Distillery Bow St places storytelling at the core of the visitor experience bringing the 230 year history of Bow Street to life. As is evidenced by the incredibly strong visitor figures recorded over the past year, the new-look Jameson Distillery Bow St has fast become the must-visit whiskey destination in the world.”
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Original article by Donna Ahern for Checkout, edited for Hospitality Ireland by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.