Irish whiskey bottles

Drinks Ireland, the body representing the Republic of Ireland’s drinks brands and entrepreneurs, has recently launched its 7th annual spirits industry and market report.

Drinks Ireland Spirits Irish Spirits Market Report 2022

“The spirits industry is of significant importance to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the whole island of Ireland, rural and urban. Total Irish spirits exports increased in value by over 17% in 2022.” Bryan Fallon, Chair – Drinks Ireland/ Spirits

The changes that stood out in 2022 were:

  • Spirits sales in Ireland increased over 6% in 2022 to just under 2.7 million nine litre cases
  • The value of spirit exports also soared by 17.3% to almost €1.5bn.

These increases continued the gains seen in 2021 and moved both domestic sales and exports ahead to their highest levels ever.

  • Irish Whiskey’s spectacular growth continued with export sales reaching 15.2 million cases in 2022 and The United States continued to be the key export destination for the category. Two markets that have seen significant growth are Poland and South Africa. In 2022, Poland grew by over 24% vs 2021 to become Irish Whiskey’s fourth biggest market, overtaking Germany. South Africa grew by over 31% in volume to move up one place to sixth.

Irish whiskey global sales 2022 IWSR

  • The Irish Cream success story continues as it drew even closer to the 10m case benchmark in sales during 2022. This is a testament to all the Irish Cream producers on the island of Ireland who continue to produce the highest quality brands that are welcomed all over the world. Imitators continue to be a challenge to police, particularly in markets where Irish Cream GI does not have the same protections it enjoys in the European Union. This is an area of focus for Drinks Ireland.

Irish Cream Global Sales 2022 IWSR

  • Irish Poitín’s estimated sales in 2022 showed some decline compared to an exceptionally strong 2021. While sales are in line with 2018 and 2019 and the trends are positive, the domestic Irish and the GTR markets are key opportunities for development in the short-term. The reopening of Global Travel Retail in 2022 was especially welcome for Poitín.

Irish Poitin sales 2022

  • The report also shows gin’s meteoric rise in the last ten years has slowed in 2022 (down 1.7% vs 2021). Interestingly, that slowdown is driven by “standard” gin sales, with “premium” gin sales powering ahead by 15% in 2022. This shows that while gin drinkers may be drinking a lesser quantity of gin, they are selecting more premium offerings.

For the full Drinks Ireland report – click here: Drinks Ireland Irish Spirits Market Report 2022.


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