Irelands whiskey industry has grown markedly in recent years

Ireland's whiskey industry has grown markedly in recent years

The trade body for the Irish whiskey sector is targeting strong rises in both market share and volumes for the category in the years ahead.

The Irish Whiskey Association is set to launch a strategy document entitled 'A vision for Irish whiskey' later today. Among the ambitions in the strategy are:

  • To grow global market share by 300% by 2030: from 4% to 12%
  • To grow exports from 6.5m 9-litre cases to 12m 9-litre cases by 2020
  • To double exports again to 24m 9-litre cases by 2030
  • To increase production by 41% between 2010 and 2025

"The potential is massive," said Bernard Walsh, the chairman of the association and founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery. "If we look at our neighbours in Scotland, we see the world-leading Scotch industry exporting over 90m 9-litre cases annually. There is no reason why Ireland cannot achieve similar success."

The country has 26 new or proposed distilleries, according to the trade body. Last year's exports of Irish whiskey came in at around EUR300m (US$335m), a 220% rise on 2003.

The trade association is also looking to draw up clear production guidelines and promote geographic indication (GI) status for Irish whiskey.