Irish Spirits Exports See 17% Growth In 2022, Study Finds

By Dayeeta Das
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Irish Spirits Exports See 17% Growth In 2022, Study Finds

The value of Irish spirits exports grew by 17.3% in 2022, to nearly €1.5 billion, according to latest Irish Spirits Market Report by Drinks Ireland.

Spirits sales in Ireland increased by just over 6% during the year to just under 2.7 million nine-litre cases.

In 2022, the three most popular spirits in Ireland in terms of sales were vodka (30%), Irish whisky (26%) and gin (30%).

The on-trade channel accounted for 54.3% of overall spirits sales in Ireland in terms of value, and 22.5% in volume.

The off-trade channel generated 45.7% of value sales and 77.5% in terms of volume.


Bryan Fallon, chair, Drinks Ireland | Spirits said, “The spirits industry is of significant importance to the economic, social, and cultural fabric of the whole Island of Ireland, rural and urban. It’s positive to see growth at home and in our key established and emerging export markets in 2022, after a number of challenging years.

"There were a number of key challenges in 2022, most notably the impact of inflation on raw materials, which put huge pressure on the industry and continues to do so. The sector also continues to be burdened with the second highest overall excise tax on drinks products in the EU, with spirits having the third highest rates behind Finland and Sweden.”

Category Performance

Export sales of Irish whisky reached 15.2 million cases in 2022, with the  United States the top destination, followed by the United Kingdom.

Poland emerged as the fourth biggest market for Irish Whisky, overtaking Germany, with volumes up 24%.


Elsewhere, South Africa saw more than 31% growth in volume to move up one place to the sixth position.

Sales of Irish Cream reached closer to the 10 million-case benchmark in terms of sales in 2022, the data showed.

Sales of Irish Poitín, meanwhile, witnessed some decline compared to 2021, but were in line with figures from 2018 and 2019.

Demand for Premium Brands

The study also found that gin sales declined 1.7% year-on-year as drinkers opted for more premium offerings and lesser quantity.


Vodka sales saw recovery during the year, with 7% growth driven by a 91% increase in sales of premium brands.

Cormac Healy, director of Drinks Ireland, said, "We are seeing the continuing trend of premiumisation in the drinks industry and the culture around drinking in Ireland is evolving, with consumers increasingly choosing quality over quantity. Irish spirits will continue to rise to the occasion, delivering on the unmatched quality and authenticity consumers crave."

Tequila saw a year-on-year growth of 18%, while the ready-to-drink (RTD) category slowed at 0.3%, after registering growth of 14% in 2021 and 26% in 2020.

Some sub-categories within RTDs reported a good performance, such as cocktails and long drinks (up 10.4%) and wine spritzers and coolers (up 5.6%).

Irish-made RTDs doubled their market share from 11% to 22% in the domestic market, data showed.

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