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04/04/14 09:39

Toasting Scottish exports

First Minister promoting Scottish food and drink as part of Scotland Week.

Sales of Scotland’s specialist Innis & Gunn beer in the United States of America have rocketed by nearly 9,000% over the last four years, the First Minister has announced.

In 2013, the independent Edinburgh-based brewer sold close to three million bottles and 4,000 kegs in America last year, up from the 30,000 bottles first shipped in 2009.

It means 900,000 litres of Innis & Gunn were sold in the USA in 2013.

The First Minister cited the firm as a major success story of Scotland’s thriving food and drink industry whilst on a visit to New York promoting jobs and investment for Scotland. He said:

“Innis & Gunn is just one of the many specialist beers that Scotland is home to and the growth in sales to America is nothing short of phenomenal. It highlights the excellent work going on from Scottish firms at home and abroad in promoting their products and, in turn, Scotland as a destination for first class food and drink.

“I’m confident that these figures will continue to rise as the recognition of the Innis & Gunn brand increases in America and further afield, and I’m sure Scottish beer will be enjoyed in bars across the world.”

Dougal Sharp, Chief Executive of Innis & Gunn said:

“In 2009, Innis & Gunn sold 30,000 bottles in the US. Following four years of sustained investment we sold just under three million bottles in the US in 2013, have an office here in New York, we pay US taxes and employ US citizens.

“The US remains our largest growth opportunity and our plan is to continue to invest in this market to deliver success.”

The success of Innis & Gunn comes after a transformational new plan to for a massive push on international exports of Scotland’s food and drink was launched.

Fifteen key export markets have been identified in the Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan, with global experts being deployed in key markets, including North America, to open up new opportunities for Scotland’s food and drink firms.

The food and drink industry is already experiencing success with the value of overseas Scotch Whisky exports increasing by 79 per cent over the last ten years from £2.4 billion in 2003 to £4.3 billion in 2013. And exports of Scottish salmon to the USA are set to hit £200 million for the first time this year.

Building on this success is key, and one key avenue is the US market re-opening to Scotch Beef for the first time in over 20 years.

The First Minister added:

“Whisky and salmon have been global trailblazers for Scotland and have established our reputation as a provider of premium, iconic products. But there’s much more in our larder.

“It’s great news that this lucrative market has reopened - Scotch Beef has been off the menu in the USA for far too long. Although there are still some technicalities to be ironed out before we start exporting to the USA, this is a tremendous opportunity for our beef producers.

“Scotch Beef was awarded the coveted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status around 20 years ago and is regarded as being world class.

“The PGI status guarantees the authenticity of these products and protects consumers from fraud, thus providing a great incentive for Scottish food and drink firms to protect their products from imitation.

“I look forward to see the American appetite for our iconic products grow and see not only our beef, but also Scotch Lamb and venison, on the plates of American diners in the near future.”

Notes to editors

More on the Scottish Food & Drink Export Plan: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Selling-Scotland-to-the-world-9f0.aspx

9,900 litres of Innis & Gunn were sold in 2009. 900,000 litres were sold in 2013.

On Scotch Beef exports, detailed discussions on technical issues such health certification, UK food and feed controls and the plant approval process are on-going with the US authorities. These discussions are led by the EU Commission and the UK Government and once these issues are agreed then export activity can resume.

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