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  • Writer's pictureVik F.

DISCUS Secures $1M+ for Global Craft Spirits Growth

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) has recently been awarded a significant grant of $1,090,436 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program (MAP) for the year 2024. This move is set to make a substantial impact on the American craft spirits industry, enhancing its presence and appeal in international markets.


For the past 18 years, DISCUS's partnership with the USDA through the MAP has been a cornerstone in the expansion of the American craft distilling movement. This collaboration has provided small distilleries with the necessary resources and support to extend their reach into global markets, an effort that has seen considerable success over the years.


In 2023, DISCUS strategically utilized its MAP funding to target key international markets, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, and Japan. The council also played a significant role in major trade shows in London and Berlin, and undertook a trade mission to Japan. These initiatives have been instrumental in enhancing the global footprint of American spirits, setting the stage for further growth and expansion.


Since joining the MAP in 2006, DISCUS has conducted promotions in more than 20 foreign markets, correlating with a dramatic increase in U.S. spirits exports - a near 145% rise from $831 million in 2006 to $2.06 billion in 2022. This remarkable growth not only highlights the escalating global demand for American spirits but also underscores the success of DISCUS's strategic market expansion initiatives.


A significant focus of DISCUS's efforts is on promoting American Whiskeys, including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, American Rye Whiskey, and American Single Malt. These spirits form a major part of U.S. spirits exports and are globally recognized for their quality and uniqueness. Christine LoCascio, DISCUS chief of policy, strategy and membership, has expressed gratitude towards USDA for its continued support and partnership, which has been crucial in promoting these iconic American products on the world stage.


Apart from boosting sales, a key aspect of DISCUS's strategy under the MAP program involves educating international markets about the distinct tastes, heritage, and styles of American distilled spirits. This approach goes beyond mere marketing; it aims to cultivate a deeper appreciation and understanding of the craft and history behind American spirits.


Looking ahead, with the sustained backing of USDA and the MAP, DISCUS is well-positioned to further enhance the global reputation of American spirits. This funding represents more than just a financial injection; it's a significant endorsement of the quality, diversity, and appeal of American spirits, especially those from craft distillers.


For additional information about DISCUS’s export promotion programs and their impact on the craft spirits industry, interested parties can contact Robert Maron, Vice President of International Trade at DISCUS.


The recent funding announcement and ensuing initiatives by DISCUS signal a bright and promising future for the American craft spirits sector, underlining its growing significance in the global spirits market.


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