Exports and growth

Irish whiskey’s is the world’s fastest growing spirit category with sales having increased by 11.2% in 2016 (and 17.6% in the US).



In total 8.7 million 9-litre cases were sold in 2016, meaning more that 100 millions bottles of Irish whiskey were sold in 2016.

Irish whiskey exports were worth €505 million in 2016, accounting for more that one third of the value of all Irish drink exports. Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing category among Irish agri-food and drink exports.

The Irish Whiskey Association is working with our members to increase these exports even further. In 2014, more than 6.7 million 9-litre cases of Irish Whiskey were exported to over 100 countries around the world. Our strategy, ‘Vision for Irish Whiskey’, aims to grow exports to 12m cases by 2020, and to double them again to 24m cases by 2030. We aim to grow Irish Whiskey’s global market share from 4% to 12% by 2030

It is therefore not surprising that the drink’s industry is specifically identified as a major export growth category in the Government’s FoodWise 2025 Strategy:
“There are huge opportunities for growth in the whiskey and craft beer sector with plans to double whiskey exports and increase the number of microbreweries to 100. Emerging markets in Asia and the explosion of the craft alcohol market in the United States provide Irish companies with enormous potential to expand….

The ‘FoodWise 2025 – Steps to Success 2017’ Report notes that:
“Irish Whiskey exports grew to €500 million in 2016.I reland is now the 4th largest world exporter of whiskey and Irish Whiskey is the fastest growing whiskey category in USA. Exports are likely to reach 24 million cases by 2030 as companies plan investments of €1 billion over ten years. Larger, mainly multinational players, want an Irish Whiskey in their portfolio and a new generation of smaller independents seek to realise their ambition. All are focused on consumer demand for innovative premium products with a strong story.”