Total whisky sales in the UK are predicted to grow 6% in value to £2.4 billion by 2022, according to a report by Edrington-Beam Suntory (EBS). 

The report, which sources data from CGA and Nielsen, also forecasts 2.7% growth in volume terms to 7.6 million [8.4 litre cases]. 
The Whisky Yearbook report predicts Scotch single malt whisky will be one of the growth sectors in whisky throughout 2019 and into the next decade.

It predicts value sales will grow making single malt a £408 million category in 2019, leading to £439 million in 2022. 
Scotch single malt whisky and US whiskey will see value growing ahead of volume, indicating further premiumisation, but Scotch blended whisky will experience in fall in both value and volume by 2022, it said. 

The report stated: “This is being driven in part by more accessible whisky on offer, attracting new drinkers to single malt and encouraging blended whisky drinkers to trade up. 

“There is a quest for greater adventure for the consumer – which brands and brand owners alongside retailers and on-trade outlets can help facilitate – that EBS UK sees as the core driver behind this trend.”

Looking at the off-trade data from 2018 the report said: “The biggest disruptor in the off-trade at a category level has been the growth of single grain whisky – led by brand leader, Haig Club.”

Meanwhile the two smallest categories in the off-trade, Canadian and Japanese whiskies, posted the highest growth in percentage terms in 2018 and interest in these shows no signs of abating. 

There also continues to be a growing interest in the premium segment of American whiskey, which saw a 5.3% rise in volume sales in 2018 with value up 3.5% to £28.8 million. 

Gareth Brown, marketing director, EBS UK, said: “As we have seen, research has identified the key drivers of growth in the category. Among these, discovery will bring new consumers to whisky. Adventure will encourage drinkers to expand their repertoires and encourage trade-up. 

“The opportunity is there to continue to adapt and evolve our offerings, educate our consumers and take them with us on a journey through the diverse and fascinating world of whisky, of which we are proud to be at the heart. The incremental value in our achieving this is immense and is one that Edrington-Beam Suntory UK is committed to realising.”

EBS UK has a selection of whiskies in its portfolio including The Macallan; Laphroaig, Highland Park, Auchentoshan, The Famous Grouse, The Ardmore and Bowmore. It has American whiskies (Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam) as well as Canadian and Irish brands. It also has Japanese whiskies: Yamazaki, Toki, Hakashu, Chita and Hibiki.