ABFI: Drinks Industry is “jewel in the export crown”

A proposed ban on signage near whiskey vvisitors' centres has been called "Ludicrous" by the IWA
A proposed ban on signage near whiskey vvisitors' centres has been called "Ludicrous" by the IWA

New data from Bord Bia has revealed that Ireland's drinks industry is thriving in its exports, having grown by 4% to €1.4bn



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12 January 2017 | 0

While the FDII rightly frets over the future of Irish food exports, the drinks industry is riding high, with the ABFI even calling it “the jewel in the crown” of Ireland’s agri-food and drinks exports.

New data released this week shows that beverage exports in 2016 increased by 4% to €1.4 billion. Whiskey exports were a key driver of growth and jumped by 8% to reach €505 in 2016 million and are predicted to double by 2020.

The key reasons cited in the Bord Bia Export Performance and Prospects Report 2016-2017 for the strong export performance include, growth in overall demand for premium drinks categories as well as specific growth in whiskey demand including in emerging markets in Asia and Africa allied to the US.

Ross MacMathúna, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), the group that represents brewers, distillers and drinks distributors in Ireland said:

“The drinks industry is the export powerhouse delivering growth for our food and drinks sector,” says Ross MacMathúna, ABFI director, “and is wholly committed to making a make a valuable contribution to Ireland’s exciting agri-food sector despite the political and economic uncertainty in the wake of Brexit.

“Irish whiskey exports have recorded a fourfold increase over the last decade,” MacMathúna continues, “making it the fastest growing global spirits category. Over €1 billion will be invested in Irish whiskey distillery projects between 2010 and 2025.  In 2015 we had sales of over 7.7 million 9 litre cases to over 100 countries worldwide. This figure is set to rise to 12 million by 2020 and 24 million by 2030.”

In 2013 there were just 4 distilleries in Ireland, today there are 16 in production and 13 in planning in 18 counties across Ireland. Externally. the growth in Irish Whiskey exports is being driven by strong demand in the United States, Eastern Europe, Germany and the UK. Growth was also recorded by cream liqueurs and beer with total exports of €305 million and €290 million respectively, which was an impressive performance for both categories.


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