International Taste for American Whiskeys Drives Growth
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The value of U.S. distilled spirits exports rose a robust 10.6
percent—up more than $67 million—to a total of $698.5 million in the
first half of 2017 as compared with the same period in 2016, the
Distilled Spirits Council reported today.
In dollar terms, the growth was led by the largest category: American
whiskeys including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey and American Rye, which
rose nearly $27 million to $464.6 million up 6.1 percent. But, smaller
categories of other American spirits showed strong increases such as
brandy, up 39.4 percent or $12.2 million to $43.45 million total; vodka,
up 51.2 percent or $11.4 million to $33.6 million total; and rum, up
49.5 percent or $5.2 million to $18.55 million total, respectively.
“This clearly demonstrates the growing appeal of U.S.-made spirits,
particularly American whiskeys, in many foreign markets,” said Council
Senior Vice President for International Trade Christine LoCascio. “But
other traditionally smaller categories such as brandy, vodka and rum are
now showing strength in many highly competitive markets.”
Strong Growth Markets Include UK, Japan, Germany, France
LoCascio pointed out among the largest gains were in the United Kingdom,
up 39 percent or $18 million to $64.8 million; Germany, up 33 percent or
$13.6 million to $55.4 million; France, up 21.4 percent or $9.1 million
to $51.8 million; Brazil, up 313.8 percent or $7.8 million to $10.2
million; Panama, up 76.5 percent or $6.6 million to $15.3 million; and
Japan, up 14.3 percent or $6.5 million $52.2 million.
“Around the world, adult consumers are seeking out American spirits
because of their diversity of flavors and styles, mixability and
authentic heritage,” LoCascio stated. “As in the domestic market,
premiumization is the backbone of our export strength.”
Other strong markets for U.S.-made spirits markets for the first six
months included Italy, Poland, Latvia and Chile, LoCascio added. Canada
remains the single largest market for U.S. spirits exports, which were
valued at $87.6 million between January and June 2017. Mexico is the
tenth largest export market, with sales totaling $18.4 million over the
same period, she said.
Council Run Export Promotion Program Contributes
LoCascio noted that the Council has been running an export promotion
program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and
American embassies since 2005, and has conducted education seminars and
events in 19 countries.
“Several of the countries showing strong growth in value or percentage
imports are markets where the Council conducted recent promotions,
including Germany, France, Brazil, Hong Kong and Singapore,” LoCascio
Over fifty U.S. companies, small, medium and large, from 23 states have
participated in these promotions since 2005. The next promotion is later
this month in London, featuring 22 small, medium and large distillers.
It includes a media event at the Deputy Chief of Mission’s (DCM)
residence, as well as a trade event for distributors.
The program also supports American spirits representatives in China and
India, key future growth markets, who work to introduce the local
beverage trade to distinctive characteristics of American spirits,
particularly Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey.
“In many target markets around the globe, U.S. ambassadors have hosted
tastings and seminars in the embassy or residence, which attract
high-level media, distributors and other beverage trade influencers. It
is a partnership that helps showcase our nation’s spirits products in
these prestigious venues, and has paid many dividends in contributing to
export growth,” LoCascio concluded.
Distilled Spirits Council
Frank Coleman, Senior Vice President of