Saturday 17 November 2018

'Commitment to innovation' in Jameson portfolio solidifies brand's top spot in Irish whiskey market

Photo: Aidan Crawley / Bloomberg
Photo: Aidan Crawley / Bloomberg
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Jameson continues to take the lead in the Irish whiskey market worldwide as the brand's sales have surged in over 71 markets.

Some 6.5 million cases, or 78 million bottles, of the product has been sold in the past twelve months, according to year end results for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.

The success of the 2016/2017 financial year, which saw volume growth of 13pc and value jump 15pc, was largely attributed to innovation in the Jameson portfolio.

Irish Distillers’ portfolio of prestige brands (Redbreast, Green Spot and Midleton Very Rare) recorded a 4pc volume growth.

Chairman and CEO Jean-Christophe Coutures of Irish Distillers said that the international Irish whiskey renaissance is continuing at full speed, as Jameson achieves double- and triple-digit growth" globally.

"The runaway success of Jameson Caskmates, which was conceived over a chat in a Cork bar between Irish Distillers and local Irish brewery Franciscan Well, is testament to our commitment to innovation.

Following a successful pilot test in the Irish market in 2014, Mr Coutures said that Jameson Caskmates experienced a surge of 110pc volume growth and 103pc value sales growth this year, selling almost 200,000 cases into more than 40 markets. 

"We also launched our exciting new Method And Madness range of experimental super premium whiskeys from Midleton Distillery and our Micro Distillery. The initial release of four expressions pushed the boundaries of Irish whiskey as we know it, with the Single Pot Still finished in French chestnut expression and Single Grain 31-year old expression selling out in a matter of weeks."

Read more: Watch: Inside the new €11m Jameson Distillery...where the iconic whiskey chandelier is the only thing that remains the same

However, Mr Coutures said that despite the domestic market continues to pose challenges due to Ireland's third highest excise rates on spirits in Europe.

"It is damaging to our reputation that an American tourist can buy a bottle of Jameson in the US for almost half the price of the same bottle in Ireland, the home of Irish whiskey," he said.

The results of the €11m redevelopment of the Jameson Distillery Bow St. has also been lauded as a success, welcoming over 180,000 visitors despite being closed for six months.

The Jameson Distillery Bow St. closed on the 1st September 2016 for an €11m redevelopment and reopened in March 2017.     

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