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Issue 102 - Whiskey by Numbers

Whisky Magazine Issue 102
March 2012


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Whiskey by Numbers

American whiskies are on fire, and more and more countries around the world are fanning the flames. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) held its annual economic briefing recently. Overall, the picture is rosy, with volume and revenue growth returning to pre recession levels. The data reveals a classic recession recovery pattern: 2011 sales of super premium spirits grew almost nine per cent over 2010, while the value sector barely crept up one per cent, indicating that people are confident enough to start trading up again.

But there's particularly impressive news about American whiskey. American distilled spirits exports exceeded one billion dollars for the fifth consecutive year. Total spirits exports grew 16.5 per cent during 2010.

American whiskey, which accounts for 69 per cent of exports, grew 13.6 per cent alone.

The biggest export markets are Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, which nearly doubled in sales to $138.2 million from 10 years ago.

Several factors contributed to this growth. Innovation is a big one. According to DISCUS, more than 1,800 new products have been introduced since 2009. Of course, that figure encompasses many categories: vodka, rum and the rest, but American whiskey producers account for a significant output of new products, which cover the gamut from flavoured novelty drinks to the steady flow of new expressions of long standing brands.

“Jim Beam's Devil's Cut is an example of a company that has taken a strong b...

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