UK: Vodka sales leap in UK, Scotch whisky slumps – research

By | 21 December 2010

Vodka and Scotch whisky have been the respective winners and losers in the UK's spirits market between 2005 and 2009, according to recent research.

A report, released this month by market information provider Key Note, has shown that, between 2005 and 2009, sales of vodka in the country increased by 16.8% and currently account for 32.4% of the UK's entire spirits and liqueurs market. Conversely, the Scotch whisky sector has recorded a 23.3% slump over the five-year period and accounts for 24.3% of the market, down from the 31% share that it held in 2005.

The majority of spirits sectors saw some loss over the review period, Key Note says in its '2010 Market Report, Spirits & Liqueurs', with consumer preferences shifting away from more traditional spirits and towards more fashionable and popular alcoholic drinks, such as vodka.

“The last decade has seen demographics in the UK dictate the market, with divisions in the spirits and liqueurs market having formed corresponding to consumer age,” the report says. “Growth in sales of white spirits and particularly of vodka has been maintained by younger consumers, who have enjoyed the versatility of the spirit.

“In contrast, the dark spirit industry has reported a gradual decrease in the past few years. The Scotch industry, especially, has experienced a steady decline for some time, although, since the recession was announced in the UK in 2008, conditions have worsened.”

Key Note also suggests in the report that the own-brands sector for spirits and liqueurs is ripe for growth going forward. “In the last few years,” the company says, “the own-brand market has seen increased growth.

“If the economic instability continues, further growth could be seen as price-conscious consumers will tend to opt for cheaper own-brand spirits over the higher end branded products.”

Expert analysis

Spirits and Liqueurs

Over the last 5 years, each individual sector within the spirits and liqueurs market has observed various changes, with the biggest alterations involving vodka and Scotch whisky. In Spirits & Liqueurs, this new market report says that sales of vodka increased by 16.8% over the review period (from 2005 to 2009) and currently account for 32.4% of the entire spirits and liqueurs market. Conversely, the Scotch whisky sector has seen a massive decrease of more than 23.3% over the last 5 years and currently accounts for 24.3% of the market, down from the 31% share that it held in 2005. The majority of sectors saw some loss over the review period, with consumer preferences shifting away from more traditional spirits and towards more fashionable and popular alcoholic drinks, such as vodka.

Sectors: Spirits

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UK: Vodka sales leap in UK, Scotch whisky slumps – research

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