Irish whiskey exports experience double-digit growthBy Melita Kiely
Irish whiskey once again led the way in the Irish drinks export category experiencing a double-digit growth in 2013, according to a report by Bord Bia.
However, the overall value of Irish beverage exports experienced a marginal decline from €1.26bn in 2012 to €1.25bn in 2013.
The UK remains the single largest market for beverage exports, accounting for approximately 31% of the total.
Globally, the market is being driven by growth in Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa.
The report forecast another positive year for the sector in 2014, predicting further rise in whiskey sales, continued development of emerging markets and an anticipated return to growth for some key categories such as cider.
The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, the association that represents alcohol manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland, praised the findings.
Kathryn D’Arcy, director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, said: “The Irish drinks industry plays a crucial role in supporting the Irish economy and promoting Ireland abroad.
“One point to note… is the importance of Irish whiskey to our export performance, with strong growth recorded in the United States, Asia, Russia, Europe and Australia. This sector, which has experienced somewhat of a renaissance in the past few years, will serve continued importance in 2014.
“As such, our members are investing in infrastructure to keep up with global demand, with more than €300m committed investment in whiskey distilling in this country in the last two years.”
A string of new distilleries projects have been announced in Ireland off the back of this growth, with the Dingle Distillery in County Kerry the most recent opening.
In May 2013, Niche Drinks was given the green light for a new £15m distillery in Londonderry, while William Grant’s Tullamore Dew expects its new €35m distillery to be completed later this year. Pernod Ricard is also increasing production of Jameson with a €100m investment.