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28 May 2022

Longford distillery helps launch new all-island gin strategy

Lough Ree Distillery

Brian Fallon, David Boyd-Armstrong, Michael Clancy and Vincent McGovern

Longford’s Lough Ree Distillery helped launch a new strategy which sets out plans by Irish Gin producers and brand owners to maintain market share and grow sales by 2026.

The Irish Gin Strategy 2022-2026 from Drinks Ireland|Spirits, the all-island trade body, details how Irish gin and gin has experienced a number of years of very fast growth, where sales soared. Between 2014 and 2020 the category grew by 184%.

There are now at least 37 distilleries on the island of Ireland producing Irish Gin, with over 70 brands.

While the ‘boom’ has been slowing in recent years, 2020 was the first year where Irish Gin and gin sales declined, as a direct result of the pandemic.

Irish Gin is a premium plus product which has been established as a world-leader in terms of quality and authenticity. This has and will be key to positioning the category internationally, according to Drinks Ireland|Spirits.

The strategy also outlines how the sector plans to further grow the category domestically, by highlighting the local nature of Irish Gin products and the important role they play in the economic viability of the hinterlands that their producers and brand owners are based in.

Overall, The Irish Gin Strategy 2022-2026 sets out four goals; (1) To promote world-leading standards for quality and authenticity, (2) To sustain a vibrant home market for Irish gin, (3) To promote Irish gin worldwide, starting in the key target markets and (4) To support the viability of Irish gin distilleries.

Michael Clancy of Lough Ree Distillery which creates Slingshot Irish Gin said: “We are delighted to have been part of the development of this new strategy for Irish Gin and we hope to drive growth of our gins domestically and in key export markets in the years ahead. We currently employ five people in County Longford and collaborate with other local beverage producers and hospitality partners in Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon. Our growth will enable us to continue supporting the local economy in the Midlands Region.”

Vincent McGovern, Director of Drinks Ireland|Spirits said: “Irish gin has been a true national success story in recent years. Our members employ dozens of people across both urban and rural Ireland producing this much-loved spirit and exporting to markets across the globe. Following a number of years of very fast growth, and in the context of the ever-changing national and international conditions, there was the need for a fresh strategy for the sector, to ensure it can recover from Covid-19, and continue to grow in the years ahead.”

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