Irish spirits exports worth €1.3bn in 2017

6th September, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

Ireland’s spirits exports were valued at €1.32 billion (US$1.5bn) last year, with gin remaining the fastest-growing spirit category, according to a recent report.

Gin was Ireland’s fastest-growing spirits category in 2017

In The Irish Spirits Report 2017, sales of spirits in Ireland grew by 4.6% in 2017. Three quarters of Irish spirits are bought through the off-trade, while the most value comes from the on-trade.

The value of spirits exports in Republic of Ireland increased by 13.8%. Spirits is now one of Ireland’s leading agri-food export categories.

Global sales of Ireland’s three geographical indication (GI) spirits – Irish whiskey, Irish cream and Poitín – totalled 17.2 cases or 207 million bottles last year. The US remains the largest market for Irish spirits.

Vodka remains the country’s most popular spirit (33.2%), followed by Irish whiskey (24.4%), and gin (11.2%).

Gin was the fastest-growing spirit, up by 47.2%, while sales of premium Irish whiskey grew by 40% in 2017 as consumers make “more conscientious choices about what they drink”.

The Irish cream liqueur category witnessed 5.6% growth last year.

Patricia Callan, director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), said: “This report showcases the dynamism within the Irish spirits sector, the sector is offering Irish consumer an extensive choice of high quality products which are loved all around the world.”

“In Ireland last year sales of Irish whiskey were up 5%, but sales of more expensive premium whiskeys were up over 40%. We are seeing Irish people moving from volume-based consumption to more conscientious value-based consumption.”

“This proves that the people of Ireland are already leading the way when it comes responsible consumption. Alcohol consumption has declined by over 23% since 2003, according to the CSO and Revenue Commissioner data.

“This is happening in the absence of the Public Health Alcohol Bill. While we support the objectives of the bill, some of its measures are excessive, disproportionate; and in some cases, just ludicrous.

“We are calling for reasonable amendments with respect to advertising restrictions and labelling requirements, which respect Irish consumers and support our domestic spirits industry.”

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