Malt sales grow ahead of overall spirits market
27 August, 2008
Premium blends have always been the linchpin of the duty-free whisky category in the Middle East but the region's largest operator, Dubai Duty Free , has noticed a significant jump in malt sales .
Sales of malt whisky rose 32 per cent in the first half of 2007 despite DDF suffering from a lack of floor space to showcase the category properly. By contrast, overall whisky sales increased only 23 per cent, lagging behind overall liquor sales, which were up 28 per cent in the same period.
"We believe that as customers get more sophisticated in choosing their whisky they will increasingly switch from blended to single malt whiskies to highlight their status, taste and superiority over regular whisky drinkers," said DDF purchasing and research manager Sharon Beecham.
She added that DDF's recent introduction of limited quantities of The Macallan 40 Year Old was proof that regional travellers' tastes were becoming more sophisticated.
And, in another sign of the growing market for malts, Dubai-based distributor The Dead Whisky Society now provides DDF with rare, collectable whiskies from mothballed distilleries such as Dallas Dhu.
DDF is also seeing strong sales growth for the bourbon sector, where sales grew by nearly 35 per cent in the first half of 2007. Premium lines such as Makers Mark, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel's Silver Select and Jim Beam Black are driving the trend.
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