Trade issues will push Irish brands into new markets

20th January, 2020 by Melita Kiely

Global trade uncertainties due to Brexit and US trade wars will encourage Irish alcohol producers to “diversify” into new and emerging markets, according to Drinks Ireland.

Irish whiskey WSR web

Irish alcohol exports rose by 8% in 2019

In 2019, the value of Irish alcohol exports rose to €1.45 billion – up 8% (€137m/ US$152m) compared to the previous year, according to recent research by Bord Bia. Of this growth, 55% came from the Irish whiskey category, as total whiskey exports reached €727m (US$806m). Irish whiskey exports have risen by 370% in value since 2010.

Bord Bia also noted that the US, the UK, France, Germany and Canada remained the top five markets for Irish alcohol exports in 2019.

However, as geopolitical issues continue, Drinks Ireland believes Irish producers will look more closely at new and emerging markets to ensure continued growth.

Patricia Callan, director of Drinks Ireland, said: “With ongoing trade uncertainties in the UK and the USA as a result of Brexit and tariffs, it’s promising to see that Irish drinks brands are diversifying into new and emerging markets.

“Consumers around the world are responding positively to the quality and heritage associated with these products, as well as their great taste.

“Irish whiskey and cream liqueurs in particular are well positioned to continue to grow, as they are both protected by geographical indications, which means they must be made in Ireland and abide by certain standards.

“Finally, gin will continue its repositioning as a strong niche export category with double-digit export growth in 2020.”

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