Irish gin will ‘go global’ in 2018

29th January, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

Exports of Irish gin are expected to “grow significantly” in 2018, while a number of new Irish whiskey brands will hit the market, the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has said.

Gin

2018 will be the year Irish gin “goes global”

More than 30 Irish gin brands are now available on the market.

According to trade association the ABFI, while 2017 “marked a breakthrough in terms of exports” for Irish gin producers, with shipments more than trebling in the year, 2018 will see Irish gin “go global” and grow exports to the US, Canada, UK and Germany.

Exports of Irish whiskey increased by 20% to €600 million (US$716m) in 2017 and are on track to double by 2020, and double again in the following decade, a recent report from Bord Bia, the Irish food board, confirmed.

Now, the ABFI said 2018 will see a number of new distilleries launch their Irish whiskeys for the first time, as more stock reaches three years old. Since 2014, the number of operational Irish whiskey distilleries has grown from four to 18, with 16 more planned.

Also in its newly published outlook, the ABFI said the Irish whiskey industry’s tourism prospects are strong, while Ireland’s grain and dairy industries will be boosted by its export growth in spirits.

However, the association has warned that government plans to introduce health warnings on the labels of alcohol products sold in Ireland will force producers to shoulder “huge additional costs”.

The plan, announced as part of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, would “hugely damage small players and new entrants to the market”, according to the ABFI.

“The Alcohol Bill could slow down or even reverse this growth, as it includes proposals that would act as a barrier to entry and a barrier to innovation,” said Patricia Callan, director of the ABFI.

“Furthermore, the Bill is being introduced at a tumultuous time for Irish business, with 2018 due to be a pivotal year in the Brexit negotiations.”

The Spirits Business has previously explored how Brexit will affect the Irish spirits industry. 

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