Tullamore Dew, a Co Offaly whiskey brand owned by Scottish drinks conglomerate William Grant & Sons, is targeting new markets in Latin America and Australia.
The brand, which is targeting annual sales of more than 2.2 million cases within the next five years, is looking to enter the two markets via the on-trade initially. The Australian expansion is set to start next year, with the company also looking to accelerate further in Russia.
Speaking with the Sunday Independent in advance of the 10th anniversary of William Grant taking control of the brand, Chin Ru Foo, global brand director of Tullamore Dew, said she was optimistic about the future of the brand.
"When I think beyond this crazy period we are optimistic," she said. "We have built a robust consumer base, investing in this brand in infrastructure and brand health. There are new markets we can expand into, and there is headroom for growth in our big markets."
Foo said the Covid-19 pandemic had been a "tough period" for the industry, with the enforced lockdown meaning the on-trade and hospitality industry had effectively been closed down across many of its largest markets. She said the on-trade was a significant part of its US business, representing between 30-40pc of sales there.
William Grant has continued to invest in the distillery and the brand. Foo said the company, which reopened the Co Offaly distillery in 2014 following a €100m investment, had recently invested in a new €700,000 cooperage.
With the pandemic forcing people to remain indoors, Foo said the company was also exploring options regarding e-commerce.
Since William Grant took control of the brand, sales of Tullamore Dew have doubled from 650,000 cases a year to 1.4 million cases by the end of last year. According to Foo, it is now the world's second-largest Irish whiskey brand.
The Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre is set to reopen tomorrow, with strict protocols including temperature checks on employees and visitors.