Premium Irish whiskey sales soar

Sales of premium Irish whiskey on the rise as surveys reveal reduced alcohol consumption among population.

2017 was another strong year for the Irish whiskey industry, which saw domestic sales of premium Irish whiskey brands grow by 41 percent to over 700,000 bottles, according to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA).

Overall sales of Irish whiskey grew by 6 percent to 6.4 million bottles in 2017, while Jameson remained Ireland’s most popular whiskey brand, with a 10.2 percent increase in sales.

The IWA is the representative body for the growing Irish whiskey industry. Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing spirits category globally. In 2014, there were just four distilleries in Ireland, but domestic and international demand will see that number surpass 30 by 2020.

William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association said: “This growth comes while overall alcohol consumption in Ireland is down 25 percent since 2005. We are seeing a major shift away from low-price, high-volume consumption as consumers are increasingly willing to pay for quality, innovative premium products.

“This boom in premium Irish whiskey could be jeopardised by provisions in the Public Health Alcohol Bill to cover one-third of printed material on Irish whiskey bottles with health warnings. 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 export are facing increased threats of tariffs, this regressive and disproportionate intervention is the last thing we need in the domestic market.”