Whisk(e)y volumes increased despite slowdowns in China and India

Whisk(e)y volumes increased despite slowdowns in China and India

Growing consumption in Europe and Africa kept global whisk(e)y volumes on the rise last year, but slowdowns in India and China affected the overall spirits category, according to new figures.

Whisk(e)y - including Scotch and non-Scotch - was the largest-growing spirits category in volume terms in 2013, up 2.3% to 361m nine-litre cases, according to IWSR research released today (10 June). It was whisk(e)y's first year of growth in Europe since 2007, while the spirit was the fastest-growing category in Africa.

Last week, it was announced that Diageo's Johnnie Walker Scotch had retained its place at the top of the Power 100 list this year, while Brown-Forman's Jack Daniel's also made the top 10, reflecting Bourbon's growing global popularity. 

However, whisk(e)y's growth only just offset declines in other spirits categories. Overall spirits volumes last year remained flat at 3.09bn cases. Rum fell by 4.5m cases to 145.6m, while vodka increased by just 2.3m cases to 496.3m.

IWSR blamed the overall flat performance for spirits on slowdowns in China and India, where volumes increased by only 0.8% and 1.2% respectively.

This was “significantly slower than the double-digit growth seen in previous years”, IWSR said.

Europe posted the biggest decline for spirits overall, falling by 2.2m cases to 291m cases. Spain lost about 900,000 cases, while the German market also contracted.

Meanwhile, beer grew globally by 85.6m cases thanks to consumption rising by more than 230m cases in Asia-Pacific. The main growth came from China, IWSR said.

Last year, the IWSR said 38% of global spirits consumption was in China in 2012.