Scotch consumption in Scotland on the rocks

on 02/01/11 at 7:32 pm


A new generation of UK drinkers is shunning whisky in favour of trendier spirits such as vodka.

Scotch whisky sales in the home market “slumped” by almost a quarter between 2005 and 2009, a new report has claimed.

In its 2010 market report, Spirits & Liqueurs, independent drinks analyst Key Note claims that the value of whisky sales in the UK, the world’s third-largest market for Scotch, fell by 23% in the five-year period from 2005-09. The figures are supported by the Scottish Whisky Association’s (SWA) own statistics, which show that 4.2 million fewer litres of pure alcohol (LPA) of whisky were sold in the UK in 2009 than in 2005.

Scotch now accounts for only 24.3% of the UK spirits market – dramatically down from the 31% share that it held in 2005 – largely due to the rise of a generation of whisky-averse younger drinkers and competition from more aggressively-marketed white spirits such as vodka. Much of the competition is manufactured by the same multinationals which own the majority of Scottish distilleries.

“The last decade has seen demographics in the UK dictate the market, with divisions in the spirits and liqueurs market having formed corresponding to consumer age,” the report says. “Growth in sales of white spirits and particularly of vodka has been maintained by younger consumers, who have enjoyed the versatility of the spirit.

“In contrast, the dark spirit industry has reported a gradual decrease in the past few years. The Scotch industry, especially, has experienced a steady decline for some time, although since the recession was announced in the UK in 2008 conditions have worsened.”

{Full story via Herald Scotland}

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