The Irish Spirits Association (ISA) has announced that Revenue clearance figures show the overall spirits market is down 9.6% in the year to June, with Irish whiskey sales down 19.3%.
The group, which represents the Irish spirits industry in Ireland and internationally, said the industry has been hit hard by excise increases of 42% in the last two years, which saw the total taxes on a standard bottle of spirits increase to over €17.
The ISA called on the Government to support Ireland’s indigenous spirits industry by reversing last year’s excise increases. Peter Morehead, Chair of the ISA and Production Director at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, said that Revenue clearance data shows that high excise rates have hit Irish home-grown spirits significantly; between June 2013 and June 2014, Irish whiskey sales have experienced a massive 19.3% drop.
"Ireland is the second biggest market for Irish whiskey, with 350,000 cases sold here at a value of €30 million," said Morehead. "The industry is going through a major growth phase, with over twenty new projects coming online over the next few years and investing over €1 billion in Ireland. These new entrants rely on a strong home market to launch their brands and showcase Ireland to tourists as the home of Irish whiskey. Unfortunately, high excise rates mean that Ireland is simply too expensive for many of these companies to sell into.
"Our spirits brands are some of the most recognisable in the world, and tourists come here expecting to be able to sample our Irish whiskeys, Irish cream liqueurs and Irish poitins. Our high excise rates mean that a tourist visiting from New York could buy two bottles of Irish whiskey at home for the price of one in Ireland.
"This is incredibly damaging to our tourism offering and perceived value-for-money. Irish whiskey tourism is expected to grow from 500,000 to over 850,000 by 2030."
Morehead concluded by calling on the Government to reverse the excise and create jobs to support the industry.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson