The report, prepared by Compecon for The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey, found a number of “significant barriers” to entry in to the Irish whiskey market inhibiting the growth of the industry as a whole.
The research said that the creation of a bulk wholesale market, similar to that in Scotland, would remove some of the main obstacles facing new entrants.
Andre Levy, chairman and co-founder of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey, said: “This report describes the challenges that we as an independent Irish whiskey brand, face day-to-day.
“Issues such as the high cost of market entry, the presence of larger established market players controlling supply and the difficulty in accessing a long-term and competitive mature whiskey supply. These factors are prohibitive to new market entrants and threaten existing brands looking to survive, grow sustainably and share in the category they played a part in growing.
“The case for such a market has been made by the Irish Whiskey Association and we believe the Government has a fundamental role to play in supporting the SME sector as we work to grow the economy at home and abroad.”
Pat Massey, Compecon director, added: “Our analysis describes the fundamental challenges facing many smaller independent Irish whiskey brands in Ireland today. While there is a significant demand at home and abroad for Irish whiskey, the potential of these small producers and the industry at large is being stifled by a lack of adequate measures to support the industry.
“While Ireland and Scotland are similar in population terms, the Irish whiskey industry is dwarfed by its Scottish counterpart which illustrates the benefit of a proper functioning wholesale market for bulk Irish whiskey. The Irish Whiskey Association has stated in its ‘Vision for Irish Whiskey’ report that it should be possible to enter the whiskey market without having to build a distillery and our research illustrates the benefits of this to producers and the economy.”
The report was commissioned to analyse the performance of the Irish whiskey industry and its potential to contribute to growth in the Irish economy through comparison with the Scotch whisky industry. The report found that Scotch whisky exports in 2014 were in excess of €5 billion, compared to Irish whiskey exports of €350 million.