Saturday 20 December 2014

Whiskey exports to double in five years, says Irish Distillers

Published 05/06/2014 | 02:30

Irish Distillers chief Anna Malmhake at the Jameson facility in Midleton, Co Cork. John Sheehan.

THE value of Irish whiskey exports will double over the next five years, the country's biggest distiller forecast yesterday.

Irish Distillers chief executive Anna Malmhake made the prediction as she said that Irish whiskey sales, and particularly those of Jameson, are matching even the most ambitious targets of its French parent firm.

Jameson sales are set to reach €1bn by 2020 with the number of cases sold worldwide each year having risen 1,000pc since 1988.

The US market, for 70 years the dominant whiskey market in the world, has lead the way with Jameson sales soaring by up to 37pc each year in some states.

Irish Distillers' parent, Pernod Ricard, is now celebrating the fact that one prestigious US industry magazine dubbed Jameson "one of the top 20 hottest brands in North America".

Pernod Ricard US chief executive, Bryan Fry, speaking in Cork, said the future was very bright for Irish whiskey sales on the giant North American market.

"We are in double-digit growth in every single US state and up to 30pc plus in some key states including Texas," he said, adding that virtually every aspect of the Irish whiskey brand image in North America was positive.

The volume sales growth for Jameson has been growing year on year by between 21pc and 23pc over the past decade.

The brand is also on course to record its 25th consecutive year of global sales growth.

Production capacity has also been stepped up by Irish Distillers with a new €100m distillery commissioned in Midleton.

Irish whiskey accounts for 6pc of the vast global whiskey market.

Jameson accounts for almost seven out of every 10 bottles of Irish whiskey sold worldwide.

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