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Johnnie Walker heads up Scotch travel-retail recovery

Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker has headed up the list of top ten spirits sold in the travel retail industry for another year, as Scotch saw further recovery across the sector.

Volumes of the Diageo-owned whisky brand rose 2.1% in 2014 to £2,256.3 cases, according to the latest data from the IWSR – an increase of around 47,0000 cases this year. Volumes for Johnnie Walker are now almost 9% higher than those in 2010, and more than double that of the next biggest seller, Absolut vodka which held onto its second position despite flat volume increases of only 0.6%.

The report noted the strong recovery of Scotch across the travel retail sector, which turned around in 2013 following a period of decline. Volumes are now higher than 2012 levels, it said, with around 217,000 cases were added over the year so that Scotch now accounts for around 40% of additional volume across the sector. Pernod Ricard’s Chivas Regal brand also saw good growth of 3.8% followed by Jack Daniel’s, whose growth slowed from last year, but still saw increases of 3.1%.

LVMH’s cognac brand Hennessy saw the largest volumes gains during 2-14, up 12.9% to 546.2, which remained in ninth place. This marked the return to growth of Cognac with an uplift of 1%, despite the fall off of Chinese cognac sales, as it was buoyed by the stronger American market. Not far behind Hennessy in terms of growth came Smirnoff in eighth place, up 10.6% to 582.4 cases.

Overall, the top ten travel brands remained largely the same as last year, with only Edrington’s Famous Grouse creeping into the top ten, replacing Finlandia vodka. This was result of declining sales of Russia, the IWSR said. However the Famous Grouse saw relatively flat growth of 0.4% to 391.8, growing marginally ahead of Pernod Ricard’s Ballantine’s whisky in seventh place.



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