This week our Irish Whiskey News features articles on a big increase in visitor numbers to Irish whiskey distilleries last year and how Irish beverage exports are increasing.
So let’s see what’s been happening this week in our Irish whiskey news.
The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has published statistics which show that there were 923,000 visitors to Irish whiskey distilleries in 2018. This marks a 13.4% increase on 2017 when visitor numbers reached 814,000. The figures are based on returns from 13 Irish whiskey distillery visitor centres and brand homes located across the island of Ireland.
Overseas visitors made up 88% of total visits to Irish whiskey distilleries in 2018, with the largest number of visitors coming from the US and Canada (40%), followed by the UK (14%), Germany (8%) and France (7%). Visitors from the island of Ireland (North & South) accounted for 12% of total visits in 2018. The 13 Irish whiskey visitor centres and brand homes directly employed 356 staff in 2018, including seasonal posts. The results show that the industry is well on track to reach target visitor numbers of 1.9 million by 2025, as set out in the Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy.
The volume of Irish beverage exports grew 4% in 2018, according to Bord Bia, the Irish food board. Irish whiskey is enjoying record growth – now accounting for 42% of total beverage exports – thanks to global interest in the whiskey category. In 2018 the value of exports increased by €45m ($51m) to €623m ($712m).
“Whiskey consumption levels globally are expected to exceed the projected 10m cases by end 2018 for the first time. This represents an increase of 9% in volume on 2017 and almost 12% in value terms,” says Bord Bia.
Irish beverage exports were valued at €1.5bn ($1.7bn), a year on year decline of 1%, but the sector is showing volume growth of 4%. The US is the dominant destination for Irish beverage exports: with €567m ($648m) – 38% of the total -destined for the US in 2018. Of this, 60% was whiskey, which increased in value of exports to the US by 9% in 2018.
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The Whiskey Experts – Irish Whiskey News © 2018