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Premium spirits sales see global growth

Consumers are seeking “quality over quantity” as the premium-and-above spirits sector enjoyed sales growth in 2015 while overall spirits remained flat, according to new IWSR figures.

Premium spirits whisky IWSR
Premium-and-above whisky sales reported solid growth in 2015, according to IWSR figures

Global premium-and-above spirits volume sales soared by 6.7 million nine-litre cases in 2015 compared to the previous year, but total spirits volumes grew just 0.5% (up 14.1m cases).

Whisky, gin, vodka, rum and Tequila categories experienced the largest growth within the premium spirits sector.

Premium-and-above whiskies enjoyed a sales spike of 3.9m cases (7.3%) in 2015, while standard whiskies grew 2.5m cases (3.1%).

Sales of value whiskies grew 5.9m cases (2.6%), but with India out of the equation – the world’s largest market for value whiskies – value whisky dropped 2.3m cases.

American whiskey enjoyed sales growth of 1.9m cases (4.8%), while Canadian whisky rose 2.1m cases (8.6%). The Scotch whisky category struggled with a 0.2% decline globally last year, equal to 166,000 cases.

The US was praised for bolstering sales of premium vodka, rum and Tequila, while the UK was described as the “key growth market” for premium gins thanks to a burgeoning gin and tonic trend and the “every-growing range of craft gins” on the market.

Super-premium spirits also displayed growing interest in several markets, reporting US sales up 3.3% in the US, 19% in the UK, 23.1% in Mexico, 3.7% in duty free and 14.5% in France.

The best growth markets for premium spirits were reported as the US at 8.6%, the UK at 11.6%, Canada at 8.2%, France at 10.7% and Australia at 11%.

However, the picture for travel retail was not as positive as domestic markets with spirits dropping 3.3% to 21.8m cases in 2015.

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