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Johnnie Walker ‘dominates’ travel retail sales

Diageo’s Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky continues to “dominate” spirits sales in global travel retail, while overall Scotch volumes experienced a “strong recovery” last year.

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Johnnie Walker “dominates” spirits sales in GTR, where Scotch in general has experienced a “strong recovery”

New figures released by the IWSR ahow that the blended Scotch brand added 47,000 cases in 2014 to its GTR volume sales, which reached 2.25 million in the year.

Absolut Vodka came in second place in the IWSR’s top 10 best-selling travel retail brands, with 918m cases sales. Jack Daniel’s took third place with sales of 872m cases.

Brown-Forman’s Finlandia Vodka dropped out of the top 10 due to decline in sales in Russia, allowing Edrington’s blended Scotch brand The Famous Grouse to move up into the 10 best-selling list.

The IWSR states that the “most notable” trend in the sector last year was the “strong recovery” in Scotch whisky volumes. A total of 217,000 cases of Scotch were added, accounting for 40% of all additional spirits volumes in the travel-retail channel.

Scotch recovered from declines in 2013 to surpass its 2012 levels, and 16 of the Scotch brands in the top 100 grew in volume, led by Diageo’s Johnnie Walker.

“Across GTME (Global Travel Retail Middle East), Diageo brands gained share particularly in whisk(e)y, led by Johnnie Walker in Global Travel Asia, where premium-and-above variants drove the brand’s net sales growth,” said a Diageo spokesperson.

In total, spirits volumes grew by 2.5% in travel retail last year, reaching 22.1m cases.

IWSR notes that “growth rates remain slow”, with volumes increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% since 2010, but adds that last year marked an “improvement” on the 1.4% in 2013.

Other spirits brands in the top 10 list include: Chivas Regal, Bacardi, Baileys, Ballantine’s, Smirnoff, and Hennessy.

Despite its success in travel retail, in total, Johnnie Walker experienced an 11% sales drop in 2014 to 17.9m cases, as The Spirits Business‘s Brand Champions shows.

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