Sunday 17 December 2017

Booming Irish whiskey sales leads to new jobs and €100m distillery

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

SOARING Irish whiskey sales have received another boost with the opening of a €100m new production facility for Irish Distillers.

The plant, in Midleton in east Cork, will be officially opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny today (Wednesday) and will create 64 new jobs as well as doubling the production capacity of the distillery.

The total production capacity will now exceed 65 million litres of pure alcohol.

A new €100m ageing warehouse was also opened in Dungourney recently to cope with the soaring global demand for Irish whiskey.

For the first time ever, Jameson has soared into the Top 30 drinks brands on the world market.

From a point where 20 cases of Scotch whiskey were sold for every single case of Irish, Jameson has now become the world’s fastest growing drinks brand.

Jameson sales have soared by a whopping 750pc since 1988 and the label is now savouring annual sales increases of 15pc-plus on some of the world’s most valuable drinks markets.

Sales have also been boosted by key celebrity endorsements with pop star Lady Gaga hailing Jameson as her favourite drink.

This year, Irish Distillers are set to sell four million cases of Jameson globally with their Midleton plant at full production capacity since 2011.

And the surging market sales aren’t just confined to Pernod Ricard’s Irish brands.

US drinks giant, Beam, which is based in Illinois and produces the world’s best selling bourbon brand, Jim Beam, last year agreed to pay €73m for Cooley Distillery such was their interest in tapping into the global demand for Irish whiskey.

For the first time since the 1930s, Irish whiskey outsold single malt Scotch on the US market.

Aer Rianta have also opened special ‘Irish Whiskey Collection’ outlets at major airports to cope with the demand.

Retail director, Paul Neeson, said Irish branded drinks sales are a major attraction for visitors.

“The Irish Whiskey Collection has already proved enormously successful in Dublin and Cork Airports,” he said.

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