Blended Scotch looks upmarket to boost US sales

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Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Falling sales in the USA for blended Scotch whisky has seen marketers look to boost sales through upmarket branding and premium blends, reports the Shanken News Daily.

While single malts have seen increasing sales growth, standard blends (between $15 and $22 a bottle) have fallen by 5% and budget brands (below $15) by 4% a to Pernod Ricard USA.

To counter this sales drop whisky makers and distributors have introduced premium expressions of their blends, such as Johnnie Walker’s newly released Double Black, Dewar’s 18yo and The Famous Grouse’s Black Grouse brand extension.

They have also chosen to raise the price on many of their “standard” blends to make up for the shortfall, seemingly with little impact on sales volumes.

Jim Brennan, whisky VP at Rémy Cointreau USA who distribute Famous Grouse, told Shanken News: “Brands like Grouse, Dewar’s and Johnnie Walker Red are moving beyond $20 at retail. We thought that would be a major issue, but sales have been growing.”

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