India has consolidated its position as the largest global market for whisk(e)y in 2002. The sub-continent's consumption is expected to reach 52 million cases - almost 20% higher than the USA, which represents the second largest market, according to a report from beverage industry analyst Canadean,

The report also says that India will again strengthen its position in 2003, with consumption likely to rise to 55 million cases. This market is fuelled almost entirely by Indian whisky, which accounts for over 99% of total consumption. In the same period, consumption is likely to fall in the US and Thailand, the second and third largest markets respectively.

South Korea accelerates whilst brakes applied in South America
The market in South Korea has mirrored the country's recent economic fortunes. The strong recovery since the Asian financial crisis has coincided with consumption more than doubling in the last four years. South Korea is now the fourth fastest growing national market. More significantly, of the 10 markets increasing most rapidly, South Korea is second only to India in volume.

Whisk(e)y consumption in many South American countries continues to recede with Bolivia, Venezuela, Paraguay and Argentina among the five markets showing the largest downturns.
Whilst the popularity of the major brands has increased in the USA, this has not been enough to off-set the declining Bourbon and American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky and Blended Scotch Whisky sub-categories.

Blended Scotch the favourite
Blended Scotch is still by far the most important - the biggest consumers being the Spanish who drank 9.8 million cases in 2002. Their French neighbours are expected to replace Americans as the second largest consumers whilst the UK reinforces Europe's domination of the sub-category in fourth place.

Major brands strong in the USA but losing ground in Thailand
Although the US remains an important market for blended Scotch, Americans consumed twice as much Bourbon and American whiskey. This was largely attributable to two brands - Jack Daniel's Old No 7 and Jim Beam. However, the US's fastest growing overall brand with significant consumption volume is Diageo's Crown Royal, a Canadian Whisky.

Thailand's consumption remains huge - 2002's likely 29 million cases placing it third overall and more than doubling that of its nearest rival. However, the global brands have still failed to make a significant impact with the five best sellers all being secondary Whiskies.