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Issue 94 - On the Rebound

Whisky Magazine Issue 94
March 2011


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On the Rebound

If there's anything that can be said about 2010 when we look back on the year, it's that the economy had not quite rebounded back to tip top shape. Nations' economies tumbled, stock markets offered few promising investment opportunities and if unemployment rates declined at all, they moved with fits and starts. But take heed. There's a ray of light amid the dreariness: the spirits market in the United States was springing back, heralding a positive sign for the years ahead.

At a recent industry briefing held by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the national trade association representing the leading brands, the message was clear: recovery has begun, but it's fragile.

Confidence is on the up and consumers are spending again.

The increase in sales of premium spirits is not as robust as it was after past recessions, but the growth pattern is evident just the same. Whisky categories are particularly vivid examples of this upturn. All the whisky categories combined brought in an estimated $5.6 billion, which accounts for 29 per cent of the American industry's revenues and 25 per cent of the volume.

For those of you thirsting for more specificity, it goes like this: value brands of whiskeys across the board were down by two per cent in volume of sales. High-end and premium products picked up the flack with five per cent and eight per cent growth, respectively.

American whiskey sales by volume were up 2.5 per cent, but within the category, the super p...

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