Pernod announces €17m Irish whiskey expansionBy Amy Hopkins
Pernod Ricard is investing €17 million in expanding its Irish whiskey bottling operations, which will increase capacity by 50% over the next two years.
Irish Distillers, the Irish whiskey arm of French drinks group Pernod Ricard, will increase the annual capacity of its Fox and Geese plant in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, from 5m nine-litre cases to 7.5m nine-litre cases.
The expansion, which has been supported by the Department of Jobs through the Enterprise Ireland initiative, will create an additional 30 new jobs, reports The Journal.
The announcement has been hailed by Support Your Local – a campaign run by a group of publicans, restaurants, hotels, off-licences and drinks suppliers – as a “clear sign of the Irish whiskey renaissance taking firm hold”.
“Irish Distillers already attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to its facilities in Midleton and Dublin,” said Bart Storan, campaign manager for Support Your Local.
“The Irish whiskey industry hopes to boost whiskey tourism from 600,000 visitors to 800,000 in the medium-term.”
“A strong home market will be key for the industry to reach its full potential, with adequate support from the government. This will allow the industry to increase employment by 30% by 2025, investing over €1bn across Ireland.”
Last month, trade body the Irish Whiskey Association revealed an “ambitious” new strategy to target growth in the sector.
Vision for Irish Whiskey lays out plans to increase the global spirits market share of Irish whiskey by 300% over the next 15 years, doubling exports by 2020 from 6.5m cases to 12m.
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.
Currently there are 26 new or proposed Irish whiskey distilleries. Just last week, Jack Daniel’s producer Brown-Forman made its first foray into the sector with the acquisition of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey.