Ireland's whiskey sector has grown strongly over the past few years , with Jameson, arguably its most famous whiskey brand , leading the way. Owned by global spirits major Pernod Ricard , which is second only to Diageo in sales, Jameson's total value sales were up 17% year-on-year in the year to June 2013 , according to the Financial Times . As the chart illustrates, the wider Irish spirits industry is expected to bounce back strongly over the next few years (whiskey has largely done well throughout) , with exports likely to be a key driver of this growth . Ireland's food and drink sector is a key contributor to exports, and spirits growth is likely to provide a boost to the wider Irish economy .
The US is likely to account for the majority of Irish whiskey exports , and from Pernod Ricard's point of view, Jameson's importance to its business continually growing . Jameson is produced by Irish Distillers , which was bought by Pernod Ricard in 1988. With the economy of China (a major market for Pernod Ricard) slowing , such strong growth in the developed world is a boon.
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|Ireland - Spirits Production (mn litres)|
Irish whiskey has traditionally played second fiddle to Scotch whisky , which dominates in terms of total consumption. However, according to International Wine & Spirit Research , Irish whiskey is the fastest growing segment , with annual growth above 5% coming from a much lower base than Scotch in particular. Evolving tastes and preferences in the US and in Russia , where people are consuming less vodka , are key factors working in the favour of Irish whiskey growth .