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American whiskey category sees 19% value growth in the UK according to Nielsen

Published:  28 April, 2015

American Whiskey is now worth £190m in the UK and saw growth last year of 19% according to Nielsen's most recent beer, wines and spirits data.

The figures are according to the latest data release from Nielsen with a moving annual total of 52 weeks.

According to the report, "American whiskey is one of the stand out growth sub categories in BWS."

Primarily the growth was driven by big brands, with Brown-Forman's Jack Daniels being a 'key contributor' and the number one brand for the category.

Jack Daniels grew its value by 17% in the latest figures and was responsible for driving £154m of sales value in the category.  Tennessee whiskey has saw an 18% increase in value growth for the same period.

Whisky splash

Jim Beam the second largest American whiskey brand is also up over 50% in value over last year.

Smaller brands like Woodford Reserve, which is also part of the Brown-Forman portfolio,  and Buffalo Trace are equally doing well, which is in line with consumer trends centring around more artisanal producers. Brown-Forman reported it saw 32% growth within the Woodford Reserve Family brand for the nine months leading up to its third quarter results which were announced last month.

American whiskey consumers are 'over' indexed toward younger drinkers with 17% of the value of sales coming from 18-34 year old consumers, which is significantly different compared to the 8% those same consumers are responsible for spending in the broader spirits category.

Flavoured 'whiskey' which does not meet the technical requirement of whiskey since the alcohol by volume is lower than 40% is also growing in popularity and is a space to watch according to Nielsen. Brown-Forman Q3 results saw Jack Daniel's flavoured whiskey, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, grow underlying net sales by 32% compared to Jack Daniels  trademark which grew by 8% during the same period.