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Irish whiskey to ‘exceed’ 2020 target

The Irish whiskey industry sold 9.7 million cases globally in 2017, an increase of 10.6%, according to IWSR data cited by the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA).

Irish whiskey is on track to “meet and exceed” its 2020 target of 12 million cases

The global total exceeds IWA’s 2017 target of 9m cases, placing the industry in a “strong position” to surpass its 2020 target of 12m cases.

The category’s largest export market last year was the US, followed by Ireland and Russia. In global travel retail, sales of Irish whiskey grew by 12% in 2017 to reach 659,000 cases.

However, the IWA said Irish whiskey’s future is under threat from “growing global trade threats”.

“Russia emerged as Irish whiskey’s fastest growing market in 2017, propelling it to be the third largest market for Irish whiskey globally; and the second largest market for exports,” said Lavelle.

“This means that our two largest export markets, the US and Russia, are both facing increasing threats of protectionism and possible tariff or trade restrictions.

“The Irish whiskey industry has been a major beneficiary of global free trade and EU-led free trade agreements. For example, the CETA trade deal with Canada is helping spur double-digit export growth in that market. We continue to call on the EU Commission to seek to de-escalate tensions with the US and Russia to avoid us slipping into a devastating trade war.

“Growing global trade threats also present a challenge to our industry to pursue more growth in more markets. Like all sectors, we must diversify.”

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