The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced it was granted $1,127,506 through its partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Access Program (MAP) to promote American spirits exports in 2023, which represented a slight increase over 2022 levels.
“DISCUS’ export promotion program continues to play a critical role in helping small and large distillers export and support the long-term viability of the U.S. spirits sector,” said Robert Maron, DISCUS Vice President of International Trade. “U.S. distilled spirits exports continued to face significant headwinds last year due to retaliatory tariffs and the sporadic reopening and closings of the global hospitality sector from the lingering pandemic. Despite the challenges, our 2022 export promotion program successfully resulted in approximately $1.4 million in new exports for U.S. distillers.
In 2022, DISCUS implemented marketing campaigns in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Japan, participated in trade shows in London and Berlin and conducted a trade mission to Japan.
DISCUS began participating in the program in 2006 and has conducted spirits promotions in cooperation with USDA in more than 20 foreign markets, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Vietnam. Since then, total U.S. spirits exports have increased by nearly 90 percent, from $831 million in 2006 to $1.6 billion in 2021.
“This increase is a very positive outcome considering there was a reduction in the overall federal funding for the export program and most groups received a decrease,” said Christine LoCascio, DISCUS Chief of Public Policy. “The increase in our funding is a testament to the great work of the DISCUS Export Promotion team, which develops creative ways to promote U.S. distilled spirits exports.”
Through the MAP program, DISCUS seeks to facilitate the increase of small U.S. distiller exports and promote the U.S. spirits sector by educating the hospitality industry, adult consumers and media in key international markets on the taste, heritage and style of American distilled spirits.
DISCUS’ promotions focus on the range of American spirits, but with a particular focus on the unique qualities of American Whiskeys, including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, American Rye Whiskey and American Single Malt, which account for the vast majority of U.S. spirits exports worldwide.