Irish whiskey volume growth outpaces Scotch in US

27th February, 2020 by Melita Kiely

Volume sales of Irish whiskey grew by 8.6% in the US last year, outpacing American, Canadian and Scotch whiskies, according to preliminary data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

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Irish whiskey volumes rose 8.9% in the US in 2019, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis

Irish whiskey has become one of the fastest-growing spirits sectors in the US, but represents only 2% of total spirits volumes in the States, and 7% market share among all whiskies there.

According to the preliminary figures in the IWSR US Beverage Alcohol Review database, total whisky volumes in the US rose by 4.3% in 2019 compared to the previous year.

The data also showed that consumption volumes of Japanese whisky in the US increased last year, but from a smaller volume base than other whisky categories.

Furthermore, Irish whiskey has risen 13.4% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the past five years  – and the IWSR said it believes sales will continue to grow.

Adam Rogers, North American research director at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, said: “We continue to track high growth numbers for brands like Jameson, Tullamore Dew, Redbreast, Teeling, Proper No. Twelve and Slane whiskey in the US.

“Interest in Irish whiskey has been led primarily by Jameson for decades, but now the establishment of more distilleries in Ireland has contributed to an increase in not only Irish whiskies, but other categories like Irish gin as well.”

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis said premiumisation is an important driving force behind Irish whiskey’s growing popularity.

In 2019, IWSR recorded almost 30 new Irish whiskey brand lines that launched in the US, priced in the premium-and-above sector.

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