Irish Whiskey sector to invest €1bn in Ireland over next ten years

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Minister Simon Coveney launches Irish Whiskey Association
    • Exports to double by 2020 and double again by 2030
    • 15 new distilleries in development across Ireland

The Irish Whiskey Association (IW) which was launched today by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has announced that the Irish Whiskey sector is set to invest over €1 billion in Ireland in the next 10 years. With over 15 new distilleries currently being developed across the country, the new association brings together new entrants and existing companies to promote Irish whiskey and to ensure the product is given vital protection going forward.

At the launch, the Irish Whiskey Association released statistics about the growing sector:
    • Irish whiskey exports have grown by 220% since 2003 and are now valued at €350m
    • In 2003, Irish whiskey made up just over 9% of beverages exports, which has grown to over 28% of total beverages exports from Ireland.
    • Export number to double to 12 million cases by 2020 and double again to 24 million cases by 2030.
    • Irish whiskey employs 5,000 directly and indirectly, set to grow to 6,500 by 2025
    • Turnover for the industry is almost €400m, with an annual direct domestic spend of €237m
    • Irish whiskey visitor centres attract over 500,000 tourists every year
    • Irish whiskey sells into 77 countries, with USA, France, Germany, Russia and the UK accounting for almost 75% of total sales.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Coveney said: “The launch today of the Irish Whiskey Association is a sign of the industry’s shared vision. Irish Whiskey is a star of the Irish food and drink sector and I’m proud to be here today as a mark of support for the sector. Export expansion, at least 15 new distillery projects and planned investment of €1 billion over the next 10 years is a significant mark of confidence in our economic future. We can be proud of the quality, craft and heritage which Irish Whiskey epitomises and look forward with excitement to the future of the industry. “

Commenting on the new association, Peter Morehead, Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and Production Director at Irish Distillers said: "There has been sustained growth in Irish Whiskey over the last 20 of years, with the category experiencing double-digit growth since the turn of the millennium and the trend set to continue. Three years ago, the island of Ireland had four distilleries in operation– in the next three to five years that number will grow to over fifteen if all the current projects move forward. Last year, our companies exported 6.2 million 9-litre cases worldwide; we expect that number to double to 12 million cases by 2020 and double again to 24 million cases by 2030.

"With this growth comes the need for leadership in ensuring the category maximises its potential and continues to maintain the high quality standards that consumers all around the world have come to expect from their Irish Whiskey.

"The new, all island, association will:
    • Promote the Irish Whiskey category in Ireland and internationally, working with Government agencies (North and South) and the European Commission.
    • Support new market entrants
    • Ensure the legal protection offered by the Geographic Indication is applied in Ireland and internationally.
    • Ensure public policy supports the sustainable growth of the Irish Whiskey sector.


For more information contact:

Q4PR, 014751444
Martin Mackin/Colin Taylor (0833477014)