Johnnie Walker leads Scotch whisky recovery in 2014


Diageo’s Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky has once again topped the list of the 10 leading travel-retail spirits brands, which has remained almost unchanged since last year, according to data from the IWSR.

Spirits volumes in the overall travel-retail market grew by 2.5% in 2014, adding 537,000 nine-litre cases to reach 22.1m cases in total. “While growth rates remain slow – by comparison volumes have increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% since 2010 – it represents an improvement on the 1.4% increase seen in the previous year,” said IWSR.

Johnnie Walker continues to dominate at the top at 2.25m cases. The brand added 47,000 cases in 2014.


The biggest trend in the spirits during 2014 was the strong recovery in Scotch whisky volumes: 217,000 cases of Scotch were added, accounting for 40% of all additional spirits volumes in the travel-retail channel. In 2014, Scotch recovered from declines in 2013 to surpass its 2012 levels, as 16 of the Scotch brands in the top 100 grew in volume, led by Johnnie Walker.

The brand’s growth came from Africa and the Middle East, and recovery in Asian markets.  “Across GTME (Global Travel Retail Middle East), Diageo brands gained share particularly in whisk(e)y, led by Johnnie Walker in Global Travel Asia, where premium-and-above variants drove the brand’s net sales growth,” according to Diageo.

Vodka brand Finlandia dropped out of the top 10 mainly due to a decline in sales in Russia leaving room for Scotch brand Famous Grouse to move up into the top 10.