Irish whiskey 'recession proof'

US popularity and universal appeal have kept the Irish whiskey market buoyant, according to business analyst Datamonitor.

According to their research, Irish whiskey is predicted to grow at a rate of 9.4% year on year over five years to 2014 in the US compared to just 2% for the overall whisky market and 0.2% for Scotch whisky.

Datamonitor found that one of the reasons Irish whiskey remains strong within the spirits market is its popularity in the US and its ability to break through the age barrier and appeal to a younger audience, unlike the whiskey market as a whole.

Vicky McCrorie analyst at Datamonitor said: “Irish whiskey has successfully set itself apart from the general market which has traditionally been dominated by older drinkers. In fact our research has revealed that in the US within the spirits market as a whole 41% of whiskey drinkers are over 55 compared to only 4% who are in the youngest age category.”

According to Datamonitor, Irish whiskey has broken the mould by appealing to younger drinkers with its image as a prestigious and affordable European drink. While Scotch shares the same European heritage, it has appeared to fail to break through to the younger demographic in the US in part due to cost, resulting in a far weaker predicted growth than its Irish counterpart. Irish whiskey has successfully appealed to “pre-committal” young men who Datamonitor has revealed as both continuing to spend throughout the recession and being more adventurous in trying new brands.

McCrorie added: “Irish whiskey is an example of a European brand trading on the fact that it’s different to what is already on offer in an established market like the US. It has therefore become recession proof. Jameson has succeeded by identifying a market and spotting a demographic where there is potential for growth. As a result their sales have weathered the financial storm and will continue to grow as the global economy recovers.”