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Pink gin boosts Irish gin exports in 2018

The value of Irish gin exports from the Republic of Ireland grew by 213% to €4.2 million (US$4.7m) in the first nine months of 2018, boosted by pink gin, according to a recent report.

2018 was the year for pink gin in Ireland

In the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland’s (ABFI)’s 2018 overview of the industry, Irish consumers bought more than half a million bottles of pink gin during 2018.

There are now more than 20 gin producers and more than 50 gin brands in the country, with 12 new brands introduced in 2018.

Irish cream liqueurs also recovered from a “lost decade” in 2017, with preliminary export statistics for 2018 suggesting an export growth of approximately 8%, bolstered by “strong export growth” in the US market.

Provisional retail statistics for 2018 suggest “continued sustained growth” of around 7% in the Irish off-trade for Irish cream liqueurs.

However, despite optimistic growth, the ABFI said that 2019 “poses significant risks”.

The industry faces a “number of homegrown risks” according to the ABFI, citing the Public Health (Alcohol) Act and Ireland’s high excise rates.

The ABFI will continue its calls on the minister for health to establish an implementation group to include the industry. Ireland’s excise on alcohol is the second highest in the EU. The country has the highest excise on wine, the second highest rate on beer and the third highest rate on spirits.

To “support innovation and growth in the industry”, the ABFI will be calling on the government to reduce this in 2019.

Brexit will also be “major threat” to the all-island drinks industry. A no deal Brexit “would be seriously damaging”, the ABFI said.

The aggregate value of trade in drinks products between the UK and Ireland in 2017 was €364m (US$415m), one-third of which, or €121m (US$138m), was the combined value of north-south trade.

Potential consequences include immediate tariffs on cream, barley, malt, glass bottles, apples, finished cider and other supply chain inputs and regulatory and custom checks at the Irish border, leading to additional delays and costs.

Patricia Callan, director of ABFI, said: “This year will be a challenging one for the sector with a number of homegrown and international risks ahead. We remain committed to supporting Ireland’s economy and will take on these various challenges and uncertainties head on.”

As the trend for pink gin gains momentum, here’s our pick of 10 must-try pink spirits. 

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