And Cream Liqueur producers and brand-owners are looking forward to another surge in consumer interest this Christmas.
First launched in 1975, Irish Cream liqueur, a mixture of Irish whiskey, Irish cream and other ingredients, has come a long way from its humble beginnings with global sales now topping eight million cases, up 5.3% in 2018 on 2017.
In recent years producers have tapped into some popular flavours and have promoted the product’s use in, for example, coffees and desserts, helping Irish Cream Liqueur reach new consumers.
In Ireland sales increased by 2.9% between 2017 and 2018 and since 2015 sales of Irish Cream liqueur have increased by 11%.
Proving the product is not just for Christmas, innovation has seen ‘Strawberries and Cream’ become a Summer favourite and ‘Pumpkin Spice’ take the lead into Halloween and the Autumn.
Irish Cream Liqueur, like Irish whiskey, is protected at an EU level by a Geographic Indication, a legal protection that ensures it must be made on the island of Ireland in accordance with certain production standards. Other EU products that enjoy this protection include Champagne and Port.
Within five years of it being first launched there were numerous genuine Irish Cream Liqueur brands being produced in Ireland – and many fake brands on offer in other countries around the world. The GI prevents against cheap knock-offs or copycat products.
“Irish Cream Liqueur continues to sell and grow, driven by innovation and creativity in the sector,” said Vincent McGovern, Head of Drinks Ireland|Spirits, “The product is a firm favourite during the Christmas period which we expect to see again this year. New flavours and ways in which to enjoy Irish Cream Liqueur have ensured that consumers are turning to the product throughout the year on different occasions, proving it’s not just a spirit for the Festive period and helping it on its road to growth. There are now numerous producers and brand owners located across Ireland creating an array of different Irish Cream Liqueur drinks.”