15% of U.S. Consumers Favor International Whiskey

Nearly 15% of U.S. consumers favor the International whiskey category.

That's according to CGA’s BeverageTrak, which finds that the Whiskey category experienced a significant 16% uplift in Q4 of 2022 compared to the previous quarter. The Winter season in particular demonstrated robust growth, with Q1 of 2023 exhibiting an impressive 11% increase compared to Q3 of 2022.

This uplift outperformed the overall spirits market, which witnessed a 9% velocity increment during Q1 compared to Q4, and a 7% increase compared to Q3 of 2022. Florida and New York showed the most substantial growth (31% and 26% respectively) between Q3 2022 and Q1 2023.

International whiskey’s robust performance is attributable to increased sales within eating outlets, a preferred occasion for Scotch and Japanese whiskey drinkers. according to CGA’s Client Director, Andrew Hummel. Japanese whiskey, in particular, is prominently selected during celebratory meals (59%), in food-centred business meetings (28%), and over meals involving children (18%).

Consumption patterns within the rest of the international whiskey category demonstrate relatively more homogeneity. Around 64% of Canadian, Irish, and Scotch whiskey drinkers choose to enjoy their drams during meals with friends, and nearly 50% during meals with family.

CGA’s report indicates that the International Whiskey category presents a multitude of prospects for suppliers, operators, and brands to capitalize on.

“By incorporating current insights into their strategic planning, stakeholders can effectively harness the category’s potential and achieve substantial gains in the dynamic American On Premise market," Hummel said. "Adapting swiftly and implementing optimal strategies will be crucial in seizing the opportunities that lie ahead in the upcoming months.”