Nikka Japanese whisky ‘shatters sales records’By Becky Paskin
Nikka has “shattered sales records” in its 80th anniversary year, as European sales of the Japanese whisky brand top one million bottles for the first time.
The brand saw sales soar by 45% across Europe in 2014, led by France where sales exceeded 600,000 bottles alone.
Outside France, Nikka’s leading European markets are Germany, the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland.
Thierry Benitah, general manager of La Maison du Whisky, which imports and distributes the brand in France, said: “Nikka never fails to surprise us with its incredible ascent. Driven by some really exciting new product launches and innovative gift packaging designs with the support of our European distributor network, and a continued growth in France, I believe the brand can go beyond the 1.5 million bottle mark in 2015.”
Nikka whisky has witnessed similar success in its home market of Japan, where sales in 2014 grew by 20%.
The popularity of TV show Massan, which explores the relationship between the “mother and father of Japanese whisky” Masataka Taketsuru and his Scottish wife Rita Cowan, has been attributed to the brand’s recent sales surge.
Capping off its record year was a win for the brand in the inaugural Spirits Business Most Innovative Spirits Launch of the Year award.
Nikka Coffey Malt achieved the accolade after being praised by judges for exploring the distillation process to create a single malt whisky from a coffey still.
To support the future growth of the brand in Europe, La Maison du Whisky has appointed Speciality Brands to oversee the brand’s portfolio in the UK.
Chris Seale, managing director of Speciality Brands, said: “We are truly delighted that Nikka is joining our portfolio. Japanese whisky is enjoying a massive surge in popularity in the UK and is recruiting new fans every day.
“Nikka is at the very forefront of this increased popularity and we have many plans to bring Nikka to even more whisky lovers whilst of course at the same time recruiting some new fans to the category.”
To support its vision, Speciality Brands has employed ex-El Dorado ambassador Stephanie Holt as its full-time Nikka UK brand ambassador.