Welsh drinks industry shows significant growth

Spirits, cider, low alcohol and alcohol-free beer are some of the key areas of growth across the Welsh drinks sector, according to the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board (FDWIB).

In December, the Growing the Drinks Industry in Wales Strategy was unveiled at an event held by the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board to celebrate the collective work of drinks companies across Wales.

The event was led by the Drinks Cluster, as well as the FDWIB and Welsh Government. The Welsh Drinks Cluster was established to raise the profile of the Welsh drinks sector and to lay out the direction for the industry.

The industry makes a significant contribution to the Welsh economy with a turnover in excess of £800m and a Welsh retail sales value of more than £950m.

The inaugural Drinks Cluster strategy details substantial growth in the sales of gin and rum while sales of no or low alcohol beer has out performed others in the beer and ale category. 

Andy Richardson, chair of the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board, said: “The development of the drinks sector strategy marks a key stage of the Drinks Cluster’s journey. 

“Initial cluster activity has revealed a number of strategic priorities, which respond to the industry’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These priorities have been identified as innovation, scale up, marketing and skills.


“The next step for the cluster will involve working within Special Interest Groups to develop an identity and marketing strategy tailored to each sector’s positioning and needs.

“Our aim is that by working together on the key strategic priorities we will; help build Welsh drink brands both at home and abroad; improve skills and knowledge across the sector to support innovation and increase the environmental performance of the drinks industry.”