Scotch Whisky Essentials 2016

Scotch Whisky Essentials 2016

just-drinks, in association with The IWSR, presents this seven-part review of the Scotch whisky category. In part one, we look at how the sector has performed in recent years.

From 2002 to 2012, the global Scotch whisky market was in continuous growth – a golden age, which has since lost its sparkle. In 2014, consumption dipped by 0.7% to just over 95m cases, following a similar decline in 2013.

This has come despite a near-5% surge in malt Scotch sales in 2014, with the overall Scotch category dragged down by its huge reliance on blended Scotch, which recorded a 1.3% volume decline.

Emerging markets have been hit by a combination of economic slowdown and socio-political instability, while blends are performing sluggishly in Scotch's more traditional and mature destinations.

Nonetheless, there are bright spots: Scotch is growing well in Mexico, South Africa - and India, which remains the industry's biggest hope, despite its punishing levels of excise duty.



There are multiple reasons for the slowdown, but we are in 200 markets, so you win some, you lose some. It's anecdotal at the moment. There's a sense this softening is over and that things are picking up globally.

David Frost, CEO, Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)



Supply and demand remains a complex area for Scotch. While major malt whisky brands face a shortage of aged stock, there are fears of an oversupply of younger spirit thanks to production increases over the past several years.

Trends in the sector have impacted sales of leading blended Scotch whisky brands in particular, including the biggest of them all, Diageo's Johnnie Walker.

For the just-drinks Scotch Whisky Essentials content page, click here

All data has been sourced from just-drinks' joint report with The IWSR, Global Scotch Whisky Insights.