Irish whiskey sector targets 300% growth by 2030
Trade body the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) is aiming to increase the global market share of Irish whiskey by 300% over the next 15 years as part of an “ambitious” new strategy.
Unveiling its Vision for Irish Whiskey strategy this week, the IWA also intends to double Irish whiskey exports by 2020, from 6.5 million 9-litre cases to 12m cases.
The trade association, which launched in March 2014, forecasts that exports will double again by 2030 to 24m cases, with an estimated €1 billion investment pledged between 2010 and 2025 to increase production by 41%.
In addition, the strategy aims to grow whiskey tourism from 600,000 visitors to 800,000 in the medium term and increase employment 30% by 2025.
Currently, the Irish whiskey export industry is valued at €300m, up 220% since 2003, with 26 new or proposed distilleries.
Bernard Walsh, founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery and chairman of the IWA, said there is “no reason” why Irish whiskey cannot achieve the same success as Scotch.
“The existing players have driven the global renaissance in Irish whiskey with double-digit growth prospects,” he said.
“The key to our success is to ensure that this growth is sustainable: economically and environmentally. To do this, we are launching a cohesive strategy that will underpin this growth.”
Vision for Irish Whiskey underpins five “key pillars” to support sustainable growth in the industry, including creating an “adequately resourced infrastructure” to support new entrants and allow adequate malting capacity, and the production of clear guidelines on the creation and promotion of Irish whiskey.
The strategy also suggests creating additional capacity to support demand, as well as launching an Irish whiskey trail.
It was revealed by Bord Bia earlier this year that Irish whiskey exports had risen 60% over the past five years, despite a slowdown in its top market, the US, in 2014.