Vodka set to ‘outsell’ blended whisky in UK

23rd September, 2014 by Amy Hopkins

Vodka has the potential to overtake blended whisky as the best-selling spirit in the UK’s off-trade, new figures have revealed.


New figures suggest that the current growth trajectory of vodka in the UK’s off-trade means the spirit is poised to overtake volume sales of blended whisky

Citing volume figures collated by Nielsen, The Times reports that in the year to the end of August, sales of blended whisky in supermarkets and other shops fell 1.7% to 49.7 million litres.

Meanwhile, vodka sales were up 0.3% to 44.6m litres, with its rate of growth predicted to increase until 2016, when its volume sales may exceed those of blended whisky.

Nielsen data also shows that cream liqueurs increased sales by 4.1% in the UK’s off-trade to 16.8m litres, gin sales had increased 5.9% to 15.9m litres and sales of brandy dropped 4.5% to 11.6m litres.

Total volume sales of vodka in the UK, in both the off-trade and on-trade, have already overtaken those of blended whisky.

Chris Wisson, drinks analyst for Mintel, told The Times that vodka’s growth in the off-trade is a result of its popularity among younger consumers.

He said: “Vodka is relatively tasteless, meaning it is more palatable for a wider range of consumers, while whisky can be quite a divisive taste.”

However, The Spirits Business recently reported that according to analysts at Euromonitor International, economy brands are expected to drive growth of global blended Scotch whisky volumes over the next five years by 3%.

It was also revealed yesterday that overall exports of Scotch whisky had declined 11% in the first half of 2014 to £1.99bn, prompting industry calls for greater government support.

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