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UK drinks exports jump 13% to £9.4bn as sales in Asia grow

Drinks exports from the UK have jumped from £8.3bn to £9.4bn year-on-year, according to new research, bumped up by whisky buyers in India and Singapore.

UK drinks exports jump 13% to £9.4bn as sales in Asia grow

Accountancy firm Hazlewoods has reported that UK drinks exports grew 13% from £8.3bn in the year to 31 July 2022 to £9.4bn a year later.

Spirits are playing a key role in rising drinks exports, driven by heritage gin and whisky brands.

Rebecca Copping, associate partner at Hazlewoods, said that British heritage brands have successfully placed themselves as a luxury in the international drinks market. She commented: “A large chunk of this success is due to young, wealthy consumers purchasing quality drinks brands that signify status and success.”

Copping said that consumer spend on luxury goods has “held up well”, despite volatility in the economy and high interest rates around the world, but warned that “sales growth of luxury goods is slowing”.

“This post-Covid boom in luxury goods sales certainly had a hand in increasing UK drinks exports,” she argued. “Now the industry is focused on long term growth, reaching bigger, untapped markets.


Traditional markets in EU countries continue in their demand for Scotch. France, Germany, Spain and Poland are all among the top 10 export markets by volume.

Exports to the EU reached close to £1.6bn in the last year despite Brexit, making it the second largest regional market for Scotch whisky.

However, Brexit related red-tape has caused more perishable, lower margin drinks exports to the EU, including beer, to have suffered in the past year, Hazlewoods said.

Outside the EU

The US remains the biggest export market of Scotch whisky by value, and drinks exports to countries outside the EU continued to boom, according to the accountancy firm.

Copping said: “While whisky is playing a huge role in the export increase, this is also a success story for UK drinks brands that focus on gin and other spirits. It’s the heritage image and luxury branding that draws in a lot of consumers, especially those in growing markets like India and Singapore.”

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