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Scotch driving spirit sales in travel retail

Spirit sales have continued to outpace wine in global travel retail, driven by the popularity of Scotch and vodka in all major regions across the world.

Big brands such as Johnnie Walker have driven Scotch sales in travel retail

Sales of both wine and spirits in travel retail grew to 29.1m cases in 2012, up 4% on the previous year, with wine contributing just 1% growth. According to the IWSR Duty Free/ Travel Retail Summary Report 2013, light and sparkling wines drove growth while vermouth and fortified wines declined.

Spirits on the other hand grew 5.2% to 21.4m cases as traveller demand for Scotch in every main region soared by 472,700 cases (7%) during the year thanks to innovation releases from the major brands.

Vodka meanwhile maintained its position as the second-largest spirits category in travel retail with double-digit growth in Eastern European markets including Russia and Ukraine, as well as in Spain and Latin America. The category also achieved strong growth in Germany and the UK.

Other whisky categories also performed remarkably well, with North American whiskey up 9%, Irish up 8% and other whisky up 5%.

The bulk of growth in global travel retail’s wine and spirit sales came from Europe, with the region delivering an additional 431,000 cases during 2012. An increase in traveller numbers to Central and Eastern Europe offset slower growth to Western and Southern European countries, and a decline in the region’s largest market of the Nordics.

Sales in Africa and the Middle East grew fastest at 13.7% as travel to sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow and tourism returns to North Africa following the civil unrest in 2011.

Asia Pacific meanwhile saw volumes grow 4.2% as travel between regions increased in the year, while sales in North America rose by a steady 1.9%. A decline in sales in Brazil however meant slower growth for the Latin America market.

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