The consumption of imported spirits globally rose by just over 4% last year, according to recent figures from the IWSR.

The research organisation said late yesterday (18 June) that imported spirits grew by 4.3% in 2011 compared to the previous year, coming in at almost 14m nine-litre cases. The US was the largest growth market last year, increasing imported spirits by 3.9m cases.

All four BRIC markets made the top ten, joined by the emerging markets of Mexico, Poland, Ukraine and Chile. The mature markets were represented by Germany.

“The emerging markets are experiencing growing affluence and the development of a middle class,” said the IWSR. “This also allows greater penetration of imported spirits to all regions and the on-going development of the markets.”

In category terms, whisk(e)y ruled the roost, selling 5.4m more cases in export markets in 2011 than in 2010. Vodka was the second-largest growth category globally, driven by strong performances in the US, Russia and Ukraine.

"Global sales of imported spirits took a dip in 2009 due to the global economic crisis," the IWSR said. "But, volumes recovered in 2010 and have maintained healthy growth."

Top 10 largest growth imported spirits markets

Country Largest growth category Volume Change 2010-2011 
United States Vodka 3,945.1
Russia Whisk(e)y 1,067.3
Ukraine Vodka 1,042.4
Germany Flavoured spirits 1,000.5
Brazil Whisk(e)y 951.2
India Whisk(e)y 570.7
China Brandy/Cognac 533
Mexico Whisk(e)y 491.4
Poland Whisk(e)y 482.5
Chile Vodka 360.7
Source: The IWSR

 All volume figures in: ‘000s nine-litre cases