While wine is still big business, whiskey was the star performer on Wine-Searcher last year.
There has never been a better time to be a whiskey lover, and a look at Wine-Searcher data from 2022 proves it.
Diving into our database reveals that whiskey – that is, all types from single-malt Scotch to Bourbon, via Irish, Canadian and all the rest – has enjoyed a massive jump in popularity among consumers and the retail trade.
The number of whiskey offers – that is when a retailer lists a price for a specific product – grew by 14.2 percent over 2021, as stores cashed in on the continuing surge in interest in whiskey. Total whiskey offers listed on Wine-Searcher now top 1 million globally.
The number of retailers listing whiskey offers on Wine-Searcher has grown even more strongly, rising by 22.3 percent against 2021, but the number of searches for whiskey carried out across our site is even more impressive: that figure jumped by 26.6 percent to pass the 28m search mark, meaning demand for whiskey is currently growing faster than the available supply.
Those rises are even more significant when measured against wine and against all spirits. Wine offers grew by 5.4 percent, while merchant numbers were up 13.2 percent. Searches, however, only grew by 4 percent against 2021. Spirits fared better; offers were up by 15 percent, merchants listed grew by 24 percent, and search volumes were up by 29 percent, driven by whiskey and the strong interest in Tequila and gin.
The US remains the biggest market for whiskey, globally, with retailers there listing 12 times as many offers as its nearest rival, the UK. Germany is ranked third for offers, followed by the Netherlands and – perhaps surprisingly – New Zealand. In fact, New Zealand punches way above its weight when it comes to whiskey, outscoring traditional whiskey markets like Japan, India and Hong Kong when it comes to offers.
However, we should note that the situation in India is unique in that online alcohol sales are not allowed, so there are substantially fewer offers from there.
When it comes to searches, the US is still the top dog, but India is quickly catching up. Whiskey searches from the US rose by 2.3 percent, but searches from India soared by more than 50 percent, putting the huge whiskey market firmly in second spot, just 2m behind the US. The UK is a distant third, followed by Canada and Hong Kong.
One traditional whiskey country that isn’t doing so well, though, is Ireland. The home of whiskey is languishing in 30th place on our list of offers, behind less-obvious whiskey markets like Portugal, Romania and Poland. When it comes to merchants listing on Wine-Searcher it is in 20th position, while whiskey searches from Ireland fell by around one third in 2022.
Ireland also saw falls in searches for spirits generally, which fell by around 25 percent, while wine searches there fell by 29 percent, although you can buy whiskey at the grocery store there, so perhaps they don’t need as much help finding it. Or prerhaps the lure of Guinness is simply too much for Irish consumers.
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