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US spirits exports enjoy $1.1m marketing boost

Trade body the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus) has received US$1,127,506 to promote exports of American spirits in 2023.

American whiskey exports will be a key focus

Discus received the grant money through its partnership with the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Access Programme (Map).

Robert Maron, Discus vice-president of international trade, said: “Discus’ export promotion programme continues to play a critical role in helping small and large distillers export and support the long-term viability of the US spirits sector.

“US distilled spirits exports continued to face significant headwinds last year due to retaliatory tariffs and the sporadic reopening and closings of the global hospitality sector from the lingering pandemic. Despite the challenges, our 2022 export promotion programme was a success, resulting in approximately US$1.4 million in new exports for US distillers.”

Discus created marketing campaigns for the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Japan in 2022. Furthermore, it took part in trade shows in London and Berlin, and a trade mission to Japan.

The trade association started working with the programme in 2006. Since then, it has worked with the USDA to promote American spirits in more than 20 foreign markets. These include: Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The marketing efforts have helped total US spirits exports grow by almost 90%, from US$831m in 2006 to US$1.6 billion in 2021.

Christine LoCascio, Discus chief of public policy, said: “This increase is a very positive outcome considering there was a reduction in the overall federal funding for the export programme and most groups received a decrease.

“The increase in our funding is a testament to the great work of the Discus export promotion team, which develops creative ways to promote US distilled spirits exports.”

Part of the work of the programme will strive to increase exports from small US distillers. The scheme will also focus on promoting the range of American whiskeys coming from the US, including Bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, American rye whiskey, and American single malts.

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