There are only 12 whiskey producing distilleries in Ireland, compared to 115 in Scotland – To date only 4 of the Irish distilleries have produced mature Irish whiskey
The report found:
· An increase in Irish whiskey brands would yield significant economic benefits in terms of exports, output and employment at little or no cost to the Exchequer.
Pat Massey, Director Compecon stated; “Our analysis describes the fundamental challenges facing many smaller independent Irish whiskey brands in Ireland today. While there is a significant demand at home and abroad for Irish whiskey, the potential of these small producers and the industry at large is being stifled by a lack of adequate measures to support the industry.
The wholesale market is seen as being not only crucial to the success of SMEs and early stage businesses but also as essential for the entire Scotch whisky industry. The Irish Whiskey Association has stated in its ‘Vision for Irish Whiskey’ report that it should be possible to enter the whiskey market without having to build a distillery and our research illustrates the benefits of this to producers and the economy.”
Andre Levy, Chairman and Co-Founder with his wife, Mairade (nee Kelly) of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey commented; “While we have a broad customer base both nationally and internationally, built up since 2002, this report describes the challenges that we as an independent Irish whiskey brand, face day-to-day. Issues such as the high cost of market entry, the presence of larger established market players controlling supply and the difficulty in accessing a long-term and competitive mature whiskey supply. These factors are prohibitive to new market entrants and threaten existing brands looking to survive, grow sustainably and share in the category they played a part in growing.
The case for such a market has been made by the Irish Whiskey Association and we believe the Government has a fundamental role to play in supporting the SME sector as we work to grow the economy at home and abroad.”