Whiskey exports to all markets increased by 18.5% in H1 and were valued at €256.8 million (up from 2016’s H1 figure of €216.6m).
Whiskey exports were valued at €505 million for the whole of 2016.
Whiskey exports to Canada also increased by 31% in the first six months of the year, mostly due the promotional activity by individual companies as well as the growing fashionability of Irish whiskey worldwide.
Irish whiskey now accounts for more than one-third of all Irish beverage exports and this export category is anticipated to double to 12 million cases (144 million bottles) by 2020 and 24 million cases by 2030.
The Irish Whiskey Association’s Vision for Whiskey strategy set a goal of increasing exports of Irish whiskey from 6.7 million cases in 2014 to 12 million cases by 2020. Exports exceeded 8.7 million cases in 2016 (up from the 2015 figure of 7.8 million cases), meaning that overall, the sales of Irish whiskey in 2016 broke the 100 million bottle barrier for the first time.
“Irish whiskey is proving to be star performer when it comes to exports from the broader Irish food and drink sector and is playing a leading role in delivering on the targets in Government’s FoodWise 2025 strategy but we should not take this growth for granted,” stated the Head of the Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle, “We’re calling on Government to ensure that the promotion of Irish whiskey and spirits is kept front and centre of international trade promotion efforts by Ministers and state agencies and that the proposed provisions of the draft Alcohol Bill relating to advertising and labelling are reviewed and amended to protect competition, innovation and investment across the whiskey and sprits industry.”
Whiskey exports have increased in value every year. In 2011 they were responsible for €248 million on sales of 5.71 nine-litre cases rising to €280 million in 2012 and €307 million in 2013 on sales of 6.86 million cases. 2014 saw whiskey exports’ value rise again to €365 million while 2015 saw growth to €410 million on sales of 7.83 million cases. Last year whiskey exports of 8.71 million cases earned €505 million.