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International demand for British gin & whisky delivers record export drinks sales


Export sales of British beverages reached a new high in February, with demand for Scotch whisky and British gin proving particularly popular with international palates.

In total, international sales hit £8.3bn, up 7% on February 2018, marking a doubling of demand in the last 15 years and providing a surpless of £1.6bn.

Total service and product export sales also grew by 3.1% on a year-to-year basis, reaching £639.9bn.

And with Brexit just around the corner, even if that corner is now slightly further away than it was one month ago, EU exports for the beverage category are far dwarfed by the demand in non-EU countries which account for over 63% of exports, including massive demand increases in India and Japan where export sales grew 49% to £179m and almost 24% to £188m respetively.

The US remains the biggest fans of British drinks though, sipping up £1.8bn of local product.

International director of the Scotch Whisky Association, Sarah Dickson commented on the results that: “Scotch whisky continues to blaze a trail for UK exports, making up more than half of all UK beverage exports.

“Last year, 41 bottles of Scotch whisky were shipped from Scotland every second to around 180 global markets, with an export value of £4.7bn. We should be proud that Scotland’s national drink is the world’s premier whisky, enjoyed by millions around the globe.”

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“Consumers in key global markets are looking for products with a strong story, and with Scotch whisky they can discover a spirit with an unrivalled reputation for quality, authenticity and provenance.”

And the results are a big win on the political front for the Department of International Trade, with Liam Fox commending the growing demand for British exports in a challenging global economic environment.

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