Record 500,000 bottles of Baileys Irish cream being produced each day at Diageo's Mallusk plant
The Co Antrim home of Irish cream brand Baileys is producing up to 500,000 bottles of the popular Christmas tipple each day in time for the festive season.
Owner Diageo's facility in Mallusk has set a new record for production ahead of an expected surge in sales of the liqueur.
The plant reached a peak of almost 500,000 bottles - the highest level of output since it began producing the drink around 12 years ago.
It makes more than 70% of all Baileys sold across the globe.
According to the company, around 6.5 million people will consume Baileys in the busy December period alone.
Manus Rogan, operations manager at Baileys in Mallusk, said the production line "enables us to meet the significant global demand, with the Mallusk site producing around 70% of all Baileys sold worldwide, and 97% of the liquid made at Mallusk being exported".
"During peak production up to half a million bottles per day are produced, the equivalent of 1.6 million litres of liquid produced each week," he added.
And Jorge Lopes, country director of Diageo in Northern Ireland, said Baileys was a drink "intrinsically linked with the festive season in the minds of consumers, and it is the number one-selling liqueur brand at this time of year".
Visiting the plant, Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kinahan said "businesses like Diageo and its facility at Mallusk must be recognised for the work it does in exporting indigenous produce on a global scale".
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph earlier this year, Mr Lopes said Diageo losing the Bushmills whiskey brand was a big blow to the company.
Diageo, which also owns Guinness, Smirnoff and Harp acquired tequila Don Julio from Casa Cuervo in Mexico in return for the Co Antrim whiskey.