Irish whiskey for 60% increase by 2019

Non-Scotch whisk(e)ys including Irish whiskey are set for significant growth in the next four years according to a new IWSR/just-drinks report.

Global non-Scotch whiskies insights – market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research‘ predicts that the 6.3 million Irish whiskey market will increase by over 60% to 10.3 million cases between 2014 and 2019 or 8% a year to 2019. However the standard segment of the Irish whiskey market will dominate sales and IWSR predicts that this segment will represent as much as 94.3% of the Irish whiskey market by 2019.

This is due in great part to lack of stocks of premium aged Irish whiskey on the part of the growing legion of 20 or so Irish whiskey distillers who simply cannot meet the demand for premium Irish whiskey at present.

And the situation may become even more precarious with the IWSR predicting that the North American market for Irish whiskey will grow by 13.5% between 2013 and 2019 with the US itself seeking an additional 2.9 million cases. Also, by 2019 Germany is likely to supplant the UK as the sixth-largest market for Irish whiskey sales. Canada too is predicted to enter the Top 10 Irish whiskey export markets by 2019.

However as we move towards this date, more premium whiskey will be freed up to the market, leading to a Category Annual Growth Rate for premium Irish whiskey of 6.6% over the five-year period.

During this time the 37.1 million case non-Scotch whisk(e)y market in the US will see an 11.5 million case increase with the premium segment seeing the largest volume gains (at 6.6 million cases) and accounting “for more than half the market by 2019″.

A similar – though less pronounced – premium shortage also assails the North American whiskey industry.

“For US and Irish whiskey producers in particular, the trick will be to overcome short-term supply constraints without allowing prices to rise too high too fast, thus causing the market to overheat and creating a potential glut as higher production levels hit the market in future,” states the report.

The non-Scotch category has become “one of the drinks industry’s growth drivers” over the past few years and its future “looks assured” states IWSR’s report.

But it’s the Indian whiskey category that’s likely to drive the majority of any future growth.

Globally the non-Scotch whisk(e)y market showed a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.1% in the decade to 2013 to reach 265.4 million cases of which the Indian segment accounts for 73 million cases while the Canadian market accounts for 20.4 million cases and the Japanese market 9.3 million cases.

However in 2013 this growth rate slowed to 3.5% which was primarily due to the Indian whiskey market’s slowing down, notes the report which puts growth in global Irish whiskey sales at 10.1% in 2013.

However, growth in the US whiskey sector outstripped its five-year CAGR of 4.7% in 2013, recording growth of 7.3%. Global Irish whiskey sales also grew faster than the CAGR of 9.1% in 2013, increasing by 10.1%.


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