So you thought France, the USA, the UK, Australia, India or even China shared the greatest part of world whisky consumption? You’re not that wrong… Although, other territories have been seeing an incredible surge in demand for whisky those past few years…
Technically France, but yet so far away from Metropolitan France that it’s hard to compare both territories in terms of lifestyle and culture. Still, inhabitants of Reunion share this characteristic with their mainland French cousins: an appreciation for spirits. Rum of course, but also whisky. La Maison Du Whisky opened a shop there back in 2002, whisky festivals (such as the famous Whisky Live) are legion on the island and different clubs of malted enthusiasts gather every month… See, even on a tiny island where rum is king, whisky can try to take the lion’s share… And kind of succeed !
Home to some incredible whisky bars (which you may not see even in Scotland), Singapore has become a whisky eldorado and also acts as a sort of “whisky hub” in Asia. La Maison Du Whisky has its own branch there, iconic bars and avant-garde restaurants are spreading like mushrooms…
Singapore is also huge for duty free shopping… And you all know whisky are one of the top items to buy when at the airport (we all want to put our hands on those travel retail exclusive bottlings, don’t we…). And when seeing all those brand ambassadors attending whisky events and touring whisky bars in Singapore those past years, there’s no doubt this market is meant to grow bigger over the next decades.
Distilleries are already increasing their production capacity to be able to provide enough liquid sunshine to Asian consumers… And some brands have been mostly capitalising on those Eastern whisky enthusiasts (SPEY, Fusion Whiskies…)
shifting from vodka to whisky?
Whisky takes the fourth position among the category of alcohol mix in terms of sales value in Poland and the fifth in terms of sale volume. Beer, vodka and table wine are ahead of whisky and in terms of sales volume, also sparkling wine. However, this is the most dynamically developing category in the alcohol mix, which has been reporting the highest sales value growths for some time now.
The predominant whisky segment is Scotch whisky, which accounts for 81.6% of sales volume and 76.9% of sales value of this category.
A segment that deserves the most attention is Irish whiskey. Despite its small size, this segment developed very dynamically and showed an upward trend (value growth of 37% compared with the last year) – and those are not the latest figures!. (read more)
It’s no wonder one of the most prestigious whisky magazines out there, Whisky Quarterly, has been brought to life by a Polish company (Stilnovisti)!
The Swedes are among the top whisky drinkers in the world. According to the Scotch Whisky Association, annual exports of Scotch whisky to Sweden rose by £10m between 2003 and 2013 to £36.4m. (read more)
Well, Swede’s viking souls being attracted to Scotland’s liquid wonders shouldn’t come as a surprise… Yet, when you first hear that Sweden has one of the most important Scotch whisky consumption per capita in the world, it’s always kind of surprising. Especially considering alcohol promotion & commercialisation is far from easy in Scandinavia.
I remember discussing with the guys from Teerenpeli last year (Finland) who actually explained that they couldn’t even use the word “whisky” on their website… At least, those strict rules offer room for creativity! I recently interviewed the guys from the northenmost distillery in the world, who also highlighted this issue…
Sweden has some of the strictest controls on alcohol sales in Europe as well as having one of the highest alcohol tax systems in the world. The Systembolaget stores (state monopoly) are only open between 9am to 6pm on weekdays and 10am until 3pm on a Saturday and the Saturday opening has only been in place since 2001. If you are going to have boozy weekend you really need to plan for it!
Whisky is mainly sold through Systembolaget and the range is restricted due to the space in the individual shops. Although, the growth of online whisky sales and wine clubs which delivers their products direct to consumers has forced the Swedish Government to look again at modernising the Systembolaget… To be continued! (read more)
Cover Pic: Bill Frymire