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Issue 129 - The Spirit of Scotland

Whisky Magazine Issue 129
July 2015

 

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The Spirit of Scotland

An overview of the Scotch whisky industry today

The UK is always going to be a focus for analysts when it comes to whisky. Being the home of the distilled spirit, particularly in Scotland, it is always interesting to see how the home market embraces one of its own products.

Of course there is a major focus by much of the industry in far-flung countries such as Taiwan, North America, Vietnam, Russia (when allowed) and Hong Kong, mainly due to the higher margins and lower taxation in these softer, often ‘emerging' markets.

However, according to sales data compiled by The IWSR, the news isn't great for the global Scotch market, with a fall in sales in 2013 of 0.8 per cent, taking total case sale down to 96 million, and 14 of the top 25 markets showing themselves to be in decline.

Both globally and in the UK, the major player in the market is Diageo, who have a large and wide portfolio of spirits with a specific focus on Scotch whisky. However, even within the Scotch category, many of its brands wouldn't be recognisable to a UK consumer, being available only in certain markets. For example the Royal Household brand of blended Scotch whisky is not available outside of Japan, but still maintains an important profile brand for the owners, who are also the guardians of the Johnnie Walker brand, the world's biggest selling Scotch.

Other brands of blended Scotch whisky such as William Lawson's (owned by The Glenmorangie Company/ LVMH) and Label 5 (by French company La Martiniquaise) don't really have any footprint here in t...

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