Overall domestic sales of Irish whiskey grew by 6% to over half-a-million cases (533,000) in 2017 while Jameson remained Ireland’s most popular whiskey brand with a 10.2% increase in sales.
Bushmills, Teelings, Tullamore Dew, Knappogue Castle and Writers Tears were among the other brand lines to show strong growth in Ireland in 2017.
“This growth comes while overall alcohol consumption in Ireland is down 25% since 2005,” commented the IWA’s William Lavelle, “We’re seeing a major shift away from low-price, high-volume consumption as consumers are increasingly willing to pay for quality, innovative premium products.
“The Irish whiskey industry, while built on tradition, is nonetheless benefiting from the current wave of product innovation coming out of Irish distilleries. We’re particularly seeing significant innovation in the use of different casks (eg beer, rum etc) to finish Irish whiskeys. This is giving consumers a rich variety of unique, premium products which is driving interest in the Irish whiskey category and boosting sales of premium brand lines.”
However he warned that, “This boom in premium Irish whiskey could be jeopardised by provisions in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.
“This would seriously damage the prestige and presentation of premium brands. At a time when drinking trends are changing for the positive and Irish spirits exports are facing increased threats of tariffs, this regressive and disproportionate intervention is the last thing we need in the domestic market.”