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What do people in the US and China think about Irish whiskey? Bord Bia wants to find out

Bord Bia issued the tender, saying both countries represented “significant opportunities for growth” of the whiskey market.

Image: Shutterstock/Igor Normann

BORD BIA HAS issued a tender, seeking a partner to research the usage, attitudes and awareness levels on Irish whiskey in the US and China. 

While sales of Irish whiskey in the US is “going well”, it remains relatively unknown in the Chinese market according to Bord Bia.

According to CSO figures and Bord Bia data, exports of Irish whiskey to the US was worth €340 million this year, but less than €1 million in China.

As both markets offer opportunities for “significant growth”, it said that a decision aimed at studying their attitudes to Irish whiskey was a timely one. 

It seeks to find out the awareness and perceptions of different kinds of whiskeys, such as scotch, bourbon, Irish, single pot stills, single malts etc. in these markets.

As well as this, it wants to know what drives consumers to their whiskey brand of choice, the role of a country’s origin in making someone choose a brand, and any ethical considerations made.

Under usage, it wants details on the profile of drinkers in these countries, on what occasions they’d drink whiskey, typical consumption patterns and understanding the role different blends play on different occasions.

Furthermore, it wants to know where people in these countries buy their whiskey, how often they buy it and how often they’re gifted.

Bord Bia said: “We will need a visually appealing, high-definition conference PowerPoint presentation which highlights the core insights and offers recommendations for the industry.

We will require engaging, directive and impactful outputs that are both clear and insightful. Any creative solutions that you can provide to bring the data to life in an engaging way should be included in your proposal.

Irish whiskey is big business, both in terms of exports and in tourist attractions at home.

Data from the Irish Whiskey Association said that 814,000 people visited whiskey attractions in 2017, some 81,000 more than the year before. The Ibec-affiliated organisation is hoping for that figure to more than double by 2025.

To help achieve that 1.9 million-visitors target, drinks companies want to see more distilleries with visitor centres popping up so that Ireland can attract connoisseurs who take grand tours of well-established whiskey destinations like Scotland.

There are currently 16 distilleries operating in Ireland and another 15 in the planning pipeline, including Diageo’s new facility in Dublin.

According to the Irish Whiskey Association, 12 of the existing facilities hosted tours last year, two of which were new to the hospitality business.

With reporting from Conor McMahon

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