November 4, 2022

Irish Whiskey Market Looks Promising Into 2023

World markets have teetered through difficult conditions over the last few years and the Irish whiskey industry has been affected just as much as any other. The Irish Whiskey Association’s (IWA) International Trade Report 2022 disclosed that 92% of Irish whiskey producers reported negative impacts as a result of supply chain delays this year: but thankfully, the future looks much brighter.

Indeed, supply chain issues as a result of changing legislation, Brexit and war in Europe has impacted on a variety of industries with many stagnating as a result. For Irish whiskey however, 2023 seems full of promise and industry analysts predict that exports will grow again.

With an increase in sales of some 21% in 2021, Irish whiskey did falter slightly through 2022 as Russia and Ukraine accounted for some 7% of all sales. Yet even without these territories currently unable to fulfil their usual purchasing power, whiskey is expected to recover with new markets coming to the fore. India, Nigeria and China have all been identified as high-growth emerging markets that are likely to result in a sharp increase of exports through 2023.

Of course, it is not expected that 2023 will be entirely without its challenges. Some 78% of Irish whiskey producers admitted to switching suppliers because of supply chain issues, and almost two thirds surveyed admitted that such delays has resulted in postponement of product launches. While issues of this ilk can not simply be rectified overnight, it does look as though improvement is being made. The IWA add to their report that “it is vital that international trade policy keeps up, not just in reacting to threats but also proactively assessing and planning for the future”. 

It is also expected that more Irish whiskey producers will focus more on sustainability moving into 2023, following a recovery period post-pandemic as they’re better able to plan for future growth. This will have a positive impact on the industry in both the reinforcement of successful business practices and beneficial PR and industry perception.

Irish MEP Colm Markey agrees that the outlook is healthy, saying “overall, our export sector is performing strongly despite ongoing global challenges. In 2021, Ireland recorded its best ever trade performance, and figures for 2022 are very encouraging”. This reflects a trend from the country as a whole: with overall exports of goods rising to almost €20 billion in August, an increase of €4 billion compared to the year before. In regards to Irish whiskey in particular, Markey notes “the sector is on-track for an outstanding year for export growth”. 

Yet again, whiskey looks set to develop, grow and flourish in a way unrivalled by any other investment product. With new markets on the horizon and settling economies worldwide, truly, the only way is up.