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Gin and premium Irish whiskey are the fastest growing spirits in Ireland

Gin and premium Irish whiskey are the fastest-growing spirits in Ireland, according to new figures.

Premium irish whiskey is one of the “fastest-growing spirits categories in the world”, according to ID’s CEO. (Photo: Edith Hancock)

Gin sales rose by 47.2% in 2017, making it the fastest-growing category amongst Irish consumers, but premium Irish whiskey followed closely with a boost of 40%, according to the latest results from the Irish Spirit Association, signalling a shift back towards darker spirits.

The Irish whiskey as a whole grew by 5%, according to the ISA.

Patricia Callan, director of alcohol beverage federation of Ireland (ABFI) said: “This report showcases the dynamism within the Irish spirits sector, the sector is offering Irish consumer an extensive choice of high quality products which are loved all around the world.”

Callan added that the ongoing shift towards premiumisation in both the on and off-trade meant that customers in the country were spending more, but consuming less alcohol overall, a trend which is replicated in the UK.

Alcohol consumption in Ireland has declined by over 23% since 2003, according to the CSO and Revenue Commissioner data.

“In Ireland last year sales of Irish whiskey were up 5%, but sales of more expensive premium whiskeys were up over 40%. We are seeing Irish people moving from volume-based consumption to more conscientious value-based consumption.”

US whiskey also overtook Scotch to become Ireland’s second-favourite whiskey category in 2017, according to the report.

The news comes after Irish Distillers released its latest financial results last week, showing that global sales of its prestige ranges Redbreast and Midleton Very Rare, experienced 12.8 % volume growth in the year ending 30 June 2018.

Meanwhile in Ireland, Sales of Jameson rose by 9%, while ID’s prestige line was up 23%.

“Our largest markets continue to be the USA, South Africa and Russia, followed by Ireland and the UK,” said Chairman Conor McQuaid.

“Sales of Irish whiskey now account for more than one third of all Irish beverage exports, and we are immensely proud of the strong performance of our full portfolio.”

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