Global malt whisky market to hit £5.5bn by 2031

Last year in 2021, the global malt whisky market was valued at nearly £3.6bn. Within a decade, this figure should be around £5.5bn, according to Allied Market Research’s report, Malt Whiskey Market By Type.

pouring whisky glass

What’s the expected rate of growth?

As it stands, the market is expected to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% between now and 2031. By using CAGR figures, we can get a more accurate depiction of what to expect over the years to come, especially in the event there is a potentially volatile year. That being said, with scotch whisky exports rising by 19% in 2021, we aren’t surprised to see such an outlandish figure.

What’s growing the whisky market?

Over the past few years, there has been a shift from beer and wine to spirits consumption. This has been due to restaurants and pubs adopting their own cocktail menus as it has become a necessity to retain profitable young customers.

It’s becoming increasingly popular to see even the most unlikely of establishments adhere to “cocktail culture”, as even cinemas will now have a fully functioning bar with an expansive selection of spirits. With even small chains like Everyman Cinema featuring classic whisky cocktails, there’s no surprise that to keep consumers coming back, retro and unique cocktails have become the hottest commodity in the hospitality industry.  

From reading further into the report, we can see that Asian countries like India have seen a growing demand for cocktails with whisky as a primary ingredient. Reaching these previously untapped markets and popularising whisky to nontraditional whisky drinkers will immensely boost sales of even bottom-shelf bottles.   

What could prevent this growth?

The key factor that could prevent this growth is health consciousness. According to Allied Market Research, these concerns for general health and well-being have forced governments into enforcing strict rules and regulations that affect the sales, distribution and advertisements of spirits. 

Another factor limiting its potential growth is the idea that whisky is a “man’s drink”. This belief can restrict women or the uninitiated from trying whisky. Fortunately, this belief has diminished over time, allowing anyone to enjoy the spirit. In fact, Metro posted a satirical article in 2018 covering this topic titled “A guide to drinking whisky if you’re a weak female”. As you can see, although gatekeeping of whisky still exists, it is slowly fading out. 

A closer look at the research 

The report details that scotch whisky is the main component of the growth, accounting for two-fifths of the global malt whisky market in 2021.

Additionally, despite the popularisation of bottom-shelf whiskies for cocktail making, consumers’ preferences are shifting towards premium whiskies. This change alone will mean the average customer will pay more to enjoy a higher quality spirit. 

Another interesting fact from the article is despite Europe holding the largest share of the market, the Asia Pacific region is predicted to have the highest CAGR at a staggering 5.9%. This figure is more than 1.2% larger than the global average, with the projection being due to the region experiencing a significant boost in urban population and quality of living standards. 

What does this mean for investors?

This estimated growth clearly depicts malt whisky as being one of the most stable markets to invest in. Especially for those holding assets that can make available to the Asia Pacific region, these individuals can expect potentially the greatest returns on their investment.

Read more on why whisky should be your next investment here: Invest in a fine whisky cask for safe returns 

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