Baileys®originated in Dublin some 30 years ago. The forefather of Baileys® was David Dand, the then Managing Director of the drinks company, Gilbeys of Ireland. Along with a small team of technical experts, David Gluckman, Tom Jago, Steve Wilson and Mac McPherson, he spotted the opportunity for a new drink and seized on it.
A combination of ‘gut feel’ and research told David and his team that consumers, in particular women, were ready for something unique, good tasting, low in alcohol, and made of natural ingredients. Significantly, it was also important that the raw ingredients would be easily available and indigenous to Ireland. Being Irish, David drew inspiration from two of his country’s greatest traditions - whiskey distilling and dairy farming. Ireland’s temperate climate and rural landscape provide for cows to graze on green grass all year around – resulting in some of the best cream in the world. The Irish were also the first to distil whiskey – even earlier than the Scots. Indeed, the first distillery in Ireland which is based at Bushmills in County Antrim is now owned by Diageo plc - the same company that owns Baileys®:
“We wanted something that would reflect the good things in Ireland,” Dand is recorded as saying. “We thought agribusiness was good. Ireland was perceived as a pollution free, wholesome country. Then we thought about whiskey. The Irish were inventors of whiskey. We literally mixed them together with a mixer that you would use in the kitchen. It tasted delicious.”
David Dand is described by those who knew him as the ‘godfather’ of Baileys® for his passion and belief in Baileys®, especially in the early days when more obstacles than opportunities appear to stand in his way. One of his biggest challenges was to figure out a way to make the whiskey and cream mix. In trial after trial David’s team found that they would eventually separate out in the bottle. It took them three years to crack the technical process that would combine whiskey and cream in a stable way to make Baileys®. Getting these two ingredients to mix proved to be their greatest achievement. In the end, the answer came almost by accident to David during the course of a conversation with a colleague in the ice cream industry. The team applied the knowledge to create a proprietary process unique to Baileys® and it was quickly patented. At last a perfect marriage of ingredients was possible.
When Baileys® was launched in Dublin on 26 November 1974 at a production cost of $40,000 and a launch cost of $15,000 it became the world’s first cream liqueur brand. It was met with considerable scepticism by those present at the launch who had never tasted anything like it before. But they were unanimous about one thing - its great taste. The great taste of Baileys® was the fundamental reason for its success – something that continues to distinguish it from all other spirits and from the many imitators that were to follow.
R&A Bailey & Co was registered as the company that would market Baileys® worldwide. Then Gilbeys of Ireland was later acquired by United Distillers & Vintners, the drinks division of Grand Met, which in turn went on to merge with Guinness to form Diageo Plc – now the world’s leading premium drinks company.
In its first year, Baileys® was test marketed in Ireland, Netherlands and UK and subsequently launched in these three countries with the addition of Denmark and then Australia. Baileys® was a huge success in Australia with support from the Irish community there. Then in the early 80’s Baileys® reached USA, where it now has more consumers than in any other country in the world.
Initially, sales were projected at 150,000 cases per year by year 5. However within 5 years, Baileys® was selling over 1 million cases and growing annually in double digits. Success fuelled confidence for increased investment from the parent company which in turn reaped more success - new markets were developed year on year and investment in R&D extended the shelf life to 24 months, still the only cream liqueur to give consumers this guarantee today. By the late 80’s, Baileys® had entered the big league of global mainstream spirits and with this brought successive investment in very successful advertising campaigns and sponsorship opportunities that continued to connect the brand with more and more consumers all over the world. Increased capacity was soon needed to cope with growing sales demand and new, state-of-the art production facilities were opened on the outskirts of Dublin in 1992. In 2002 a second production facility was custom built on the outskirts of Belfast in Northern Ireland to respond to further demand. Baileys® now sells in excess of 7 million cases a year in over 130 countries. It is the 7th largest selling global, premium drink brand in the world and every minute of every day more than 2,000 glasses of Baileys® are drank somewhere in the world.
Over 75% of the raw ingredients and packaging used to make and present Baileys is sourced from the island of Ireland. The whiskey is Irish Whiskey supplied from a number of distilleries. The sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar beet. The distinct style of Baileys is derived from a unique proprietary cocoa extract recipe giving Baileys its chocolate character and essence.
220 million liters of fresh Irish milk are required annually to produce the fresh cream used in the manufacture of Baileys. 38,000 of the top-bred Irish dairy cows produce the daily cream requirement for Baileys grazing on approximately 1500 selected Irish farms mainly on the East coast of Ireland. This affords full traceability.
Baileys is sold in 180 countries, wherever alcohol is legally consumed.
6.7 million 9 liter cases were sold in the last Financial Year (ending June 2009). Baileys accounts for over 50% of all spirits exported from Ireland. Over 2,300 glasses are consumed every minute of every day.
Baileys currently ranks 9th in the international league of top selling global premium spirit brands, Baileys is ranked No. 9 in Impact's top 100 premium spirits brands worldwide, Baileys is both the world's No 1 selling liqueur brand and the world's No. 1 selling cream liqueur brand. Baileys is also the top selling Duty Free liqueur brand in the world. (Source: Impact Magazine, Feb 2011).
The top 10 markets for Baileys are: USA, Great Britain, Global Duty Free, Spain, Italy, Germany, Canada, Austria, France, Russia
We are not qualified to give medical advice. If you are a person with a serious food allergy, you should consult your doctor before consuming Baileys. Your doctor can then contact us for a more detailed list of component ingredients if required.
The information below is intended as a guide only.
None of the ingredients used in Baileys use egg or egg products in their manufacture. On the basis of this and to the best of our knowledge there are no traces of egg in Baileys. As we are not qualified to give medical advice persons with requiring an egg-free diet must consult their medical adviser before consuming Baileys.
Baileys contains about 50& cream (& milk protein) from dairy milk. Baileys also contains trace amounts (0.85-1.0%) of Lactose, which is a constituent of milk. If the allergy is specifically to Lactose and not due to any other milk constituent then it may be possible for the consumer to consume Baileys. Please note that we are not qualified to give medical advice therefore you should consult with your medical adviser before consuming Baileys.
None of the ingredients used in Baileys use nut or nut products in their manufacture. On the basis of this and to the best of our knowledge there are no traces of nuts in Baileys. As we are not qualified to give medical advice persons requiring a nut-free diet must consult their medical adviser before consuming Baileys.
Baileys is the only cream liqueur that guarantees its taste for 2 years from the day it was made, opened or unopened, stored in the fridge or not when stored away from direct sunlight at a temperature range of 0-25 degrees centigrade.
One of the keys to achieving this 2 year shelf-life is in our unique process of blending of fresh Irish cream with the spirits and the whiskey without the use of preservatives. The alcohol acts as a natural preservative for the product.
Under normal conditions of storage Baileys has a shelf-life of 24 months.
If you are concerned about a bottle of Baileys please check the Best Taste Before date on the bottle - all bottles carry a Best Taste Before date. This number is located on the bottom left hand side of the back label. Example : Code 11 20XY would mean that we guarantee the product would taste perfect until November20XY (XY is the year 2 years from the date of manufacture).