Bord Bia: Ireland’s drinks industry is an “export powerhouse”

Irish whiskey has been awarded Geographic Indication status by the EU after a protracted application process
Irish whiskey has been awarded Geographic Indication status by the EU after a protracted application process

A new report by Bord Bia shows that demand for Irish alcohol products drove exports to new heights in 2018, including significant jumps for Irish whiskey in the USA and Irish beer in Europe.

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9 January 2019 | 0

Exports from Ireland’s drinks industry continued to grow in 2018, driven by demand for premium products like Irish whiskey as well as bespoke beer and gin. This is according to Bord Bia’s ‘Export Performance & Prospects 2018-2019’ report.

The report found that Irish alcohol drinks exports were worth €1.25bn in 2018. The US remains the largest market for Irish beverage exports, followed by the UK, Canada, Germany and France. Growth in the sector has been driven by continued double-digit demand for Irish whiskey in many markets. Irish whiskey exports are now valued at €620 million. They account for 42 per cent of total beverage exports and are the largest single part of the beverage category.

For Irish whiskey, consumption levels globally are expected to exceed 10 million cases by the end of 2018 for the first time.

Notably, the US market for Irish whiskey grew by more than 10 per cent in 2018.

While the value of beer exports fell marginally, the volume increased by 9 per cent. This was a result of a positive performance on the European continent. This reflects a continuing trend from 2017.

Elsewhere, the report notes that Irish gin is emerging as a category for the international consumer. The category is set to be worth more than €5m in exports in 2018.

The ABFI welcomed the report, calling it proof that Ireland’s drinks industry is an “export powerhouse”. “Looking forward,” a spokesperson said, “the outlook for 2019 remains positive, driven by the popularity of premium brands and the growth of Irish whiskey in key international markets like the US.”

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