Whisky fuels Scottish retail sales rise

Whisky Whisky brands have been credited with helping to boost retail sales of Scottish food and drink products

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New analysis has shown the popularity of whisky helped retail sales of Scottish food and drink brands across Britain rise to nearly £2bn.

The figures cover the 12-month period to May 2014.

Famous Grouse, Bell's Whisky, Whyte & Mackay and Grant's Whisky were the top four Scottish food and drinks brands during the period.

Other brands like Baxters, Tunnock's and Irn-Bru have helped retail sales value rise by more than 36% since 2007.

Between May 2013 and May 2014, the estimated value of retail sales of Scottish food and drink products was up by 3.3%, according to the Scottish government analysis of grocery purchases across Scotland, England and Wales.

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As economies in other countries develop, young, professional consumers are developing a taste for Scotch whisky ”

End Quote David Frost Scotch Whisky Association chief executive

Scotland's food minister Richard Lochhead said: "Business is booming for Scottish food and drink, not just here in Scotland but across these islands and around the world.

"Our global reputation for top-quality food and drink with unrivalled provenance is driving up sales of iconic Scottish brands and products at home and further afield - as demonstrated by the strong and increasing demand for Scottish food and drink brands in England and Wales."

The analysis comes as new figures show that almost one fifth (19%) of Scotch whisky exports goes to Commonwealth countries.

Last year, exports to the Commonwealth were up 1% on 2012 to £793m, from a global total of £4.3bn, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Singapore is the largest market in the Commonwealth for Scotch whisky, with exports of £330m last year, followed by South Africa with exports of £163m, Australia at £84m and India with £69m.

Economic growth and increasing disposable incomes mean new markets are also emerging in parts of Africa, the SWA said.

Exports to Nigeria rose 43% to almost £14m last year, making it the seventh biggest market in the Commonwealth.

David Frost, SWA chief executive, said: "In many Commonwealth countries, Scotch whisky has been popular for years.

"As economies in other countries develop, young, professional consumers are developing a taste for Scotch whisky, which they rightly regard as an aspirational drink of quality."

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