Irish whiskey producers on industry mission to US and Canada ahead of St Patrick’s Day

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) members travel to New York and Toronto as part of industry mission
  • Mission seeks to boost Irish whiskey category profits in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day
  • IWA to partner with the Consulate General of Ireland and Distilled Spirits Council in NYC and Liquor Control Board in Ontario to co-sponsor Irish whiskey events
  • US and Canada account for 45% of global Irish whiskey sales, with 59 million bottles sold in 2018
  • IWA chief: “we will continue to actively engage with North American state bodies, industry representative groups and top-tier media to promote the Irish whiskey category and open the door for Irish producers to the two largest sales markets for their products.”

Members of the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) will travel to the US and Canada this week as part of an industry mission to promote Irish whiskey in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day, an important sales period for the spirit in North America.
The mission seeks to enhance the protection of Irish whiskey, develop business opportunities for Irish whiskey distillers, and promote Irish whiskey among key North American drinks industry groups and international media.
The industry delegation, led by IWA Chairman and Director of Connacht Whiskey Company David Stapleton, will meet with various industry bodies, such as the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in Harrisburg, to deepen its relationships with state-run liquor boards, which have monopoly sales on Irish whiskey. IWA representatives will also meet with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) to discuss industry issues related to trade and market access.
Irish whiskey promotion

Tonight, the IWA will partner with Irish Consul General in New York City, Ciaran Madden, and the Distilled Spirits Council to host “A Celebration of Irish Whiskey”, an event to promote the expansion of the Irish whiskey category to US drinks industry stakeholders and media.

A promotional event will also take place this week in Toronto in association with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), Bord Bia and Invest NI. Fifteen IWA member companies are expected to participate in the event, which seeks to highlight and promote Irish food and drinks in Canada. Six Northern Irish spirits producers will also attend the event as part of Invest NI’s trade mission to Ontario this week.

Comment
Commenting on the mission, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, William Lavelle, said:

“We are excited to represent the Irish whiskey industry on this mission to the US and Canada, two of the biggest sales markets for Irish whiskey.

“Irish whiskey’s global renaissance shows no sign of abating. This is very much down to the exceptional craftsmanship and product innovation of Ireland’s whiskey producers, both large and small, as well as the hard work being put in on the ground, particularly by our network of brand ambassadors in the North American market.

“We see continuing double-digit growth in Irish whiskey sales in North America. The market accounted for 45% of global sales of Irish whiskey in 2018. Clearly there is a growing demand for quality Irish spirits in the US and Canada.

“As the representative body for Irish whiskey, we will continue to actively engage with North American state bodies, industry representative groups and top-tier media to promote the Irish whiskey category and open the door for Irish producers to the two largest sales markets for their products.”