The whisky yearbook


EDRINGTON-BEAM SUNTORY
CONTENTS

Asset 3

Foreword

We intend that The Whisky Yearbook will become an invaluable tool to understand current trends and interpret future direction of travel.

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MARK RILEY

Managing Director, Edrington-Beam Suntory UK

Whisky (we have chosen the e-less version for the category as a whole and for simplicity’s sake) is a truly remarkable product and, in my opinion, the broadest and most dynamic category in the spirits industry. No other spirits category caters to as wide a range of consumers, consumption occasions, taste profiles or price points.

What’s more, the UK whisky landscape is incredibly fluid and in a constant state of change and development – a weekly challenge that I have enjoyed tackling most of my working life.

Whisky may be one of the oldest spirits categories but it is at the same time one of the most progressive and innovative.

With the change of our name last year (from Maxxium UK), the new Edrington-Beam Suntory UK business has put its unrivalled portfolio of whiskies from every corner of the globe at the heart of our business. Our brands make up 28% of the whisky sold by volume in the UK, making us the largest supplier in the country.

Reflecting our approach we have created this, The Whisky Yearbook UK 2019.

We hope that it will help you keep track of the current market trends and opportunities within the whisky category as well as anticipate how consumption and premiumisation patterns will evolve over the coming years.

2018 was a year of dramatic change, often driven by events outside the industry’s control.

Over the last twelve months we have started to see the impact of exchange rates on the UK market. Moreover, there has been the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland and the potential future effect of EU tariffs on imports of American whiskey.

It is too early for this edition of the Whisky Yearbook to fully extrapolate the full effects these outside forces are having on the category, we have been able to discern some of them and future editions of this publication will further document and analyse these shifts.

At the same time, whisky does not sit alone within spirits and is of course impacted by shifts in consumer behaviour elsewhere. Most significant, as we will reference throughout, has been the continued growth in gin. We have been beneficiaries of this trend as our Roku brand has already become a significant player in the premium gin category following its launch just a year ago.

As a result, there has undoubtedly been some evidence of switching (particularly in mixed spirits and in on-trade cocktails) which has impacted whisky and this is just the sort of trend this report – and its future editions – will track.

So, rather than create a static report based on fixed data, we intend that The Whisky Yearbook will become an invaluable tool to understand current trends and interpret future direction of travel.

Thank you for your interest, support of our brands in this amazing category and we look forward to your feedback.

Please savour your whisky of choice responsibly.

Sláinte

Whisky may be one of the oldest spirits categories but it is at the same time one of the most progressive and innovative.