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Although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected all industries in various ways and in varying degrees, most of Ireland’s exports, specifically pharmaceuticals and information technology, have shown strength and resilience because of stronger demand.

Other industries, like food and drink, have had to adapt rapidly to the protracted health crisis. In Japan, the fastest-growing spirits category in Japan is Irish whiskey. Although the pandemic has affected some of their business channels, the outlook within the industry remains positive.

“We are a resilient industry and we know that we will get past this. We are working with the companies and government to see how we can best support them in terms of future export promotions. It’s been a tough year, but we will get through it. I believe that we will continue to grow at a fast rate,” Irish Whiskey Association Head William Lavelle said.

To adapt, several Irish whiskey brands have had to increase their online retail channels around the world and have found much success in Japan.

Hyde Whiskey, a family-owned premium Irish whiskey brand that just entered Japan last year, is just one of the many that has found success in the market.

“We’re expanding rapidly in the Asian market. Japan is one of our top-selling and one of our fastest-growing markets. We have huge aspirations for Japan in the coming years. We put that down to the dedication, skills and expertise of our partners in Japan,” Hyde Whiskey Managing Director Conor Hyde said.