The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) is planning to double the global sales of Irish whiskey from 6 million nine-litre cases to 12 million by 2020, and to double them again to 24 million by 2030.
The IWA, which is part of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, made the announcement in the run-up to World Whiskey Day on Saturday, 19 May.
According to CSO reports, Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing spirits category in the world with value growth up 14.3% last year.
“With sales of nearly 10 million cases in 2017 we are on target to reach and exceed the 12 million cases target by 2020 and we are now setting our sight on reaching 24 million cases by 203," says William Lavelle, head of the Irish Whiskey Association.
“We are an ambition industry are our ambitions are increasingly global. At present, half of all Irish whiskey is sold in just one market, the United States. Our goal is to target more growth in more markets. We want to expand from our current 135 markets to at least the 170 markets where Scotch whisky is sold. More critically, in the markets where we currently have a low sales base, we want to grow sales by double digits each year.”
The IWA said that, in addition to increased sales in Europe, it also saw growth in newly emerging markets such as Canada, Mexico and Africa, and Asia and the Far East are going to be a key focus for export growth in the near future.
Next month the IWA will gather at Bushmills Distillery, Co Antrim, to discuss international trade, as well as the impact of Brexit on the sector.
“Brexit raises concerns for the Irish whiskey industry in terms of the uncertainty over potential disruption to cross-border supply chains and the threat of regulatory divergence in the treatment of our All-island geographical indication," says Lavelle. "ABFI, the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, has been addressing these issues as part of its extensive engagement with Government and the EU Commission on Brexit. Brexit also offers significant opportunities. Irish whiskey will be the EU's largest whiskey category once Scotland leaves the EU and given our current growth trajectory we could, in a few years, overtake Cognac to become the EU’s largest spirit export."
© 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.