Booming sales of Irish whiskey helped boost the country’s food and drink exports to record heights in 2015.
In a review recently released by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, estimates indicate that the value of Irish food and drink exports increased by 3% last year, exceeding €10.8 billion ($11.7 billion) for the first time.
This gain was greatly aided by the sustained growth in exports of Irish whiskey. The category was up by an estimated 18%, the most significant driver in the beverages category.
Overall, exports of Irish beverages grew 10% in 2015.
“The food and drink industry has been a driving force in our economic recovery since 2009, delivering cumulative export growth of 51%,” said Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney T.D. in a press release. “My Department along with Bord Bia and industry will continue to seek out new markets and new products to guard against the inevitable challenges facing a small open economy exporting 80% of the food we produce.”
Last year the U.S. consolidated its position as the second largest market for Irish Goods after the UK, with exports growing by 40% to an estimated €755 million ($821 million).