UK consumers develop thirst for Bourbon and rum

UK consumers develop thirst for Bourbon and rum

Bourbon sales are going from strength-to-strength in the UK as consumers expand their brown spirits repertoire at the expense of Scotch whisky, according to new figures.

Bourbon sales in the UK rose by 25% between 2005 and 2009 and are forecast to increase by another 22% up to 2014, according to figures released by the organisers of Vinexpo, the wine and spirits trade fair. They cited IWSR figures yesterday (12 January) that project Bourbon sales to reach 1.5m nine-litre cases in the UK in four years.

If proved correct, demand for Bourbon will grow twice as fast as that of any other spirits category up to 2014. The second highest performer is set to be rum, offering evidence that consumers are seeking more exotic brown spirits.

Scotch whisky, albeit starting from a much higher base, has experienced a rough time in the UK of late. Volume sales slipped by 11% between 2005 and 2009 and are likely to remain stable at 6.5m cases over the next four years.

Other more traditional brown spirits, such as Cognac and generic brandy, are expected to fare even worse. Cognac volumes have fallen by 13% since 2005 and are prediected to drop by another 8% to 2014, to 672m cases.

Vodka will remain easily at the top of the list. Sales momentum will slow, but volumes are still forecast to rise by nearly 7% to 9m cases by 2014.