Irish whiskey Market – Insights
Irish whiskey is one of the oldest and most popular distilled spirit among consumers across the globe. It possesses a unique smooth flavor and appears as pale gold color compared to smoky and earthy flavor of scotch whiskey. The global Irish whiskey market witnessed a decline in 20th century, owing to introduction of blended whiskey around the world. Furthermore, additional factors such as independence war of Ireland in 1920s and trade war with Britain coupled with the alcohol prohibition in the U.S. during 1930s, together hampered the production and exports of various distilleries in Ireland. In the later years of 20th century, global Irish whiskey market witnessed a resurgence, owing to rising number of operating distilleries and new entrants in the alcohol beverage industry.
The global Irish whiskey market was pegged at 95 million liters in 2018, and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 8.9% over the forecast period (2019-2027), to reach 200 million liters by 2027.
In November 2019, European Union (EU) and China signed a bilateral agreement for protection of European Geographical Indications (GI) in China, along with Chinese Geographical Indications in the EU. Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a sign used for products, which possesses a reputation or qualities due to its specific geographical origin. The deal will allow Irish whiskey manufacturers to take legal actions against liquor producers, who trades fake products in China. This action is expected to encourage Irish whiskey producers to launch new products in the China, which in turn is expected to drive growth of the global Irish whiskey market during the forecast period.
Figure 1. Global Irish Whiskey Market, Volume Share (%) Analysis, By Region, 2018
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018-19
Furthermore, increasing number of collaborations among leading companies with an aim for increasing their market presence across the globe, is expected to fuel growth of the global Irish whiskey market over the forecast period. For instance, in August 2019, Pernod Ricard, a France-based company and one of the global leaders in alcoholic beverage industry, acquired Castle brands, a U.S.-based liquor manufacturer, which markets premium alcohol beverage brands internationally. As a result of this acquisition, Pernod Ricard took control of the Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey and Clontarf Irish Whiskey.
In addition, the surge in number of different distribution channels such as outlets in airports and online retailing, in recent times, are expected to fuel demand for alcoholic beverages. Moreover, increasing research and developments by companies for production of distilled spirits, owing to the changes in consumer’s preferences for taste and variants, is expected to boost the global Irish whiskey market growth during the forecast period.
One of the key challenges of the global Irish whiskey market include strict government rules and regulations across the globe. For instance, alcohol consumption is prohibited in many countries, especially the ones with Muslim population as majority such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, and others, which in turn, is expected to be a major restraint to overall growth for global Irish whiskey market. In addition to this, stringent government regulations about the legal age of drinking is expected to hamper the market growth of Irish whiskey. For instance, the permissible legal age of drinking alcohol in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and some parts of India such as Punjab, Haryana and Delhi is 25.
Figure 2. Global Irish whiskey Market – Opportunity Analysis
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018-19
Major companies operating in the global Irish whiskey market include Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, William Grant & Sons, and Castle Brands.
The companies operating in the global Irish whiskey market are focused on launching new blends of Irish whiskey. For instance, on 8th February 2020, Kilbeggan Distilling Company, a subsidiary of Beam Suntory, which is one of the world’s leading producers of distilled beverages, launched the limited-edition of Kilbeggan Single Pot Still. This new product is a combination of malted barley and oats, a recipe inspired by traditional Irish whiskeys. This scenario is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period.