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US Irish whiskey sales climb 20% in 2016

The Irish whiskey category continued its “substantial growth” in 2016 with value sales soaring 19.8% to US$795 million in the calendar year, Distilled Spirits Council figures show.

Volume sales also showed impressive growth, climbing 18.7% to 3.8m cases in the market over the course of the year.

The recent growth continues a remarkable upward trend. According to the Distilled Spirits Council volume sales of premium and super-premium Irish whiskey in the US exploded by 736% and 3456% respectively since 2002.

Premium expressions climbed from 413,000 nine-litre cases to 3.5m over the period, with super-premium expressions increasing from just 9,000 cases to 320,000.

“Increased growth of premium Irish whiskey reflects the upward trend of adult consumers’ interest in luxury spirits products,” said Frank Coleman, Distilled Spirits Council senior vice president.

“Irish Whiskey’s smooth flavor profile makes it particularly appealing to adult consumers who are new to the whiskey category.”

The US trade association cites the renaissance of cocktail culture across the country as a key driver behind the burgeoning consumer interest in high-end dark spirits.

Global exports of Irish whiskey increased by an estimated 8% in 2016 to €505m (US$537m) and are on track to double by 2020, according to Irish food board Bord Bia.



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