“This is due to strong tourist trade and a growing interest in cocktails and Irish whiskeys by domestic consumers,” states the report.
Irish Distillers reports that its portfolio of Irish whiskeys performed well in the Irish market and now hold 84% (up from the previous year’s share of 83%) of the whiskey market here.
“Particularly strong performances were delivered by Jameson, which grew by 10% in value terms and Redbreast which grew by 33% volume, albeit from a smaller base.”
Overall, the 12 months ending June 2017 saw the domestic spirits market remain steady, posting growth of 2.4%.
“Gin remains dynamic, with the domestic market growing by 33% in value,” states the report, “Irish Distillers continues to lead the gin category with its premium portfolio of Cork Dry Gin, Beefeater Gin and the launch of Monkey 47.
But in his commentary, Irish Distillers’ Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Christophe Coutures repeated last year’s cautionary note about the home market.
“Despite the overall global success of our brands the domestic market continues to pose challenges,” he stated, “Ireland has the third-highest excise rates on spirits in Europe. It is damaging to our reputation that an American tourist can buy a bottle of Jameson in the US for almost half the price of the same bottle in Ireland, the home of Irish whiskey.”
Jameson continued its global growth for the 28th consecutive year, growing volume by 13% to 6.5 million cases in the year to June, with value up 15% with the brand currently experiencing double- and triple-digit growth in 71 markets around the world.
In the US Jameson has consistently ranked as a big favourite among bartenders, reports the company, adding that innovation in its portfolio has been key to IDL’s sustained growth, with recent product launches such as Jameson Caskmates enjoying continuing success.
“Thanks to increased investment and commitment to innovation the international Irish whiskey renaissance is continuing at full speed,” commented Jean Christophe Coutures, who believes that innovation has been at the heart of what IDL does.
“The runaway success of Jameson Caskmates, which was conceived over a chat in a Cork bar between Irish Distillers and local Irish brewery Franciscan Well, is testament to our commitment to innovation,” he stated, “The brand has had exceptional success since its launch, selling almost 200,000 cases into more than 40 markets this year.
“Here at home we’re proud to see our Irish whiskey sales growing due to a combination of increased tourism and a growth in the cocktail market,” he said, repeating last year’s rationale, “Ireland’s emerging appreciation for cocktails is seeing our products mixed creatively by Ireland’s bartenders to serve up something new and different for consumers and we applaud this.”
Irish Distillers’ portfolio of prestige whiskey brands (Redbreast, Green Spot, Midleton Very Rare) saw worldwide volume growth of 4% and value growth of 5% during the year. Reflecting the growing global interest in Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, the style of whiskey that’s unique to Ireland, the prestige brands are now exported to 28 markets. These prestige whiskeys are growing strongly outside the US.
Visits to Irish Distillers’ brand homes welcomed 310,000 total visitors, with 180,000 visits to the Jameson Distillery Bow St. in Dublin and 130,000 visits to the Jameson Experience Midleton, Co Cork.
The Jameson Distillery Bow St. closed on the 1st September 2016 for an €11 million redevelopment and reopened in March 2017.