Irish cream liqueur is continuing its impressive recovery this year as both exports and sales in the Irish market both increased last year, according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI).
7.5 million cases (90 million bottles) of Irish cream liqueur were sold around the world, up 2.9% from 2016.
Preliminary interim stats for 2018 suggest an export growth rate of approximately 8% for the year, which the ABFI said was driven by strong export growth in the US.
It is also one of the EU’s top five spirits export categories, performing well in the UK, Germany, and Spain.
At home, over 100,000 cases (1.2 million bottles) were sold here in 2017, up 5.6% on 2016, while interim statistics for 2018 suggest a growth of approximately 7% in the Irish off-trade.
“The Irish cream liqueur sector makes an important contribution to the Irish economy, purchasing 316 million litres of fresh cream from Irish farmers every year, sourced from 46,000 dairy cows,” Patricia Callan, director of ABFI, said
“The category has made an impressive comeback in the last two years. This has been driven in part by innovation in the category, with producers experimenting with new flavours like salted caramel and white chocolate.”
Callan added that the drinks ibex anticipates that growth in the category will continue into 2019, and has emphasised the importance of geographical indication (GI) protection.
“The GI protects the authenticity and high standards of Irish cream liqueur and provides a legal device to protect the name ‘Irish Cream’ in Ireland and globally,” she added.
“For example, the Irish Spirits Association is currently working with the Irish Government and EU Commission to invoke GI protection in Canada to tackle numerous incidences of Canadian-produced liqueurs being passed-off as ‘Irish Cream’.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.