Scottish drinks industry receives Burns Night boost

The Scottish drinks industry has another cause for celebration this Burns Night as new government figures reveal that beer and gin exports are catching up with those of ‘guid auld Scotch’.

Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom has a plan to boost UK food and drinks exports by £2.9bn in the next five years

The annual celebration of poet Robert Burns, held on the poet’s birth date of 25 January, is now marked around the world, with Burns suppers enjoyed as far afield as South Korea and the US.

While a ‘wee dram’ of Scotch is the traditional drink of choice for Burns Night – with HMRC overseas trade statistics revealing that Scotch exports are currently shipped at a rate of 34 bottles every second – UK gin and ale industries are also experiencing a marked rise, Leadsom said.

Defra figures reveal that nearly a billion pints of beer and 150 million bottles of gin were exported from the UK last year.

With two-thirds of the UK’s gin produced in Scotland – accounting for more than half the world’s total exports – and a record 22 breweries opening last year – bringing the total number of breweries to more than 100 for the first time in more than a century – the demand for traditional Scottish drinks shows no sign of slowing.

“Scotch whisky is a driving force of the UK food and drink industry, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all our food and drink exports each year,” Leadsom said.

“It’s fantastic other businesses are following suit and exporting around the world.

“I want to build on the the significant global opportunities for our food and drink businesses by giving companies the skills and confidence to start tapping into new international markets.

“This Burns Night I would encourage people around the world to celebrate with the very best the Scotland has to offer.”

A statement from Defra also noted that demand for Scotch whisky – the UK’s biggest food and drink export, worth £400bn a year – continues to rise, with almost 900m bottles exported between January and September last year – an increase of 3% on 2015. This success is set to continue, it said, with the Scotch Whisky Association expecting seven new whisky distilleries to open in Scotland this year.

Fuelled by a growing thirst for Scotland’s craft ales, exports of beer were worth £479 million from January to October last year, a 16% rise from the same period in 2015. Exports of gin were worth nearly £400m between January and October – an 11% increase on 2015 – and total gin sales broke the £1bn mark in 2016.

Beer, whisky and gin all form a key part of the UK government’s plans to boost food and drink exports over the next five years. The recently launched UK Food and Drink International Action Plan aims to forge stronger economic links with key countries around the world, opening up new markets and helping first-time and existing exporters to bring a £2.9bn boost to the UK economy.

In particular, Defra has identified a growing thirst for whisky in both the US and Canada, where it is targeting an extra £579m in exports over the next five years. A target of £215m in export growth is also set for Mexico and Latin America amid growing demand for a wide range of British products, including gin.

“Whisky is a vital part of any Burns night celebration – and these statistics show the industry is going from strength to strength,”  Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said.

“They also show the growing thirst for other fantastic Scottish drinks such as gin and craft beer, which have seen business booming.”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Fine Wine Sales Administrator

Davy's Wine Merchants
London, UK

Content Manager (Maverick Drinks)

ATOM Supplies
London, UK

Graphic Designer (NPD)

ATOM Supplies
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Press Officer

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

UK Private Clients Manager

Ditton Wine Traders
London, UK

London Business Development Manager

Maisons Marques et Domaines UK Ltd

Head of Buying - Spirits

Enotria&Coe
West London, UK

Liquid Production Supervisor

ATOM Supplies
Tonbridge, Kent, UK

Sales Account Manager – Cotswolds

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, UK

Communications & PR Manager

Bruichladdich
Islay, UK

International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show

London,United Kingdom
26th Feb 2018

Spirited London

London,United Kingdom
15th Mar 2018

Prowein 2018

Dusseldorf,Germany
18th Mar 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more