The 21st century has seen a renaissance of craft distilleries throughout the United States as well as other countries, producing distinctive vodkas, whiskeys and bourbons as well as a wide range of specialty spirits. In the US, many have found distribution across large regional markets and a number have launched successful export programs.
But distillers have been hard-hit by the fallout from the Trump administration’s aggressive trade policies. Until 2018 many of the fastest-growing markets for American spirits were in the European Union. In a tit-for-tat response to US tariffs on aluminum and steel, however, the EU last year imposed a 25% import duty on a basket of American products including whiskey, causing sales to plummet. Until these disputes are resolved, US distillers are well advised to focus on other regions.
Nevertheless many high-potential export markets remain. Economic recovery in developed markets and an expanding middle class in emerging markets offer promising export opportunities in parts of Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.
I recently published a report identifying non-EU markets with high growth potential for American whiskey based on an analysis of current trade and economic figures. The report also highlights next steps in building an export program with respect to primary and secondary target markets as well as indirect marketing opportunities. This will be the first of a series of global market analysis reports focusing on specific product categories.
If you’re an independent distiller pursuing stronger sales and strategic growth, the report offers current data and actionable insights for entering leading international markets. Purchase the Global Market Analysis: American Whiskey for 2019 here for immediate download.