Insights & Trends
The New World of New World Whisky
Some of the most exciting areas of whisky innovation are coming from New World distilleries. Through interviews with world whisky makers, retailers, bartenders and craft spirits analysts, the latest category insights and data, as well as our own US and UK consumer survey on the whisky market growth, it's clear the whiskey market is on the cusp of real change, with New World whisky playing an important role in helping develop the whisky industry.
hWhat is New World Whisky?
NEW WORLD WHISKY IS A WHISKY NOT PRODUCED IN SCOTLAND, IRELAND, CANADA, THE USA OR JAPAN OR A WHISKY MADE IN A STYLE NOT TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE COUNTRY THAT IT IS MADE IN.
According to IWSR's 2018 Drink Market Analysis, whisky has grown faster than most other spirits, with a 7% rise in the previous year. At the same time, the global whiskey market is expected to grow by 5.7% in 2023 and by 581 million nine-litre cases per year by 2023.
Fuelled by growth in the overall category alongside exciting innovation, a new generation of master blenders drinks founders and disruptive New World Whisky distilleries have the potential to bring about a new defining era for New World Whisky.
While whisky is traditionally considered a product of Scotland, Ireland and the US, today there are over 30 countries making whisky worldwide.
LIQUID INNOVATION WITHIN A GROWING CATEGORY
New producers have learned their craft from the original whisky pioneers, respect local traditions, culture and heritage, and develop artisan distilled spirits. While they still aim to bring the spirits of the past alive through traditional blending techniques, they also explore the innovation of new spirits across the production spectrum.
RESONATING WITH A NEW GENERATION
New whisky distilleries are gaining attention worldwide, in traditional and non-traditional regions such as Denmark, New Zealand, Mexico and Bolivia. These emerging New World Whisky producers are forging their own styles, creating a connection with a new generation of consumers who are interested in discovering new products and experiences.
Market demand is shifting based on the new generation's consumer preferences.
New World whisky makers have an exciting opportunity to capture the imagination of consumers seeking new experiences and different flavours, through unique storytelling, utilising digital e-Commerce platforms to sell their products and harnessing social media.
NAVIGATING IN A NEW RETAIL ENVIRONMENT
Like all industries – the drinks industry has had to navigate change and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst the shape of recovery is uncertain, there are ways that New World Whisky brands can adapt.
According to the report, 62% of UK respondents who drink whisky and 82% of the US whisky-drinking respondents trust bartender recommendations. This proves that New World Whisky brands can significantly support the on-trade through education and positive consumer experiences.
With a greater need for sophisticated online shopping platforms, the eCommerce opportunities for new spirits and other alcohol brands, in general, are huge but largely undeveloped. IWSR's 2018 Drink Market Analysis shows that just 2% of all global spirits sales were made online.
With 30% of consumers claiming they would not purchase a bottle of whisky they've never tried before, trial at home has become a crucial way for New World Whisky brands to attract new customers via virtual tastings and sampling packs.
The way whisky brands are discovered, bought and consumed is rapidly shifting as at-home consumption rises, digital advances make discovering and purchasing easier, and the market becomes busier with new entrants. These were growing trends already, but the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated their growth in many ways.
THE FUTURE OF WORLD WHISKY IN THE GLOBAL MARKET
New World whisky makers play an important role in developing the new whisky category through liquid innovation, digital communication, the formation of real connections and their followers.
Yet for the category to fully realise its potential numerous challenges must be faced. Stronger partnerships between brands and retailers must be forged, e-commerce must become more sophisticated, communication more inclusive and an agile mindset adopted.
Distill Ventures is committed to developing innovation in whisky by helping startup drinks brands or established distilleries to scale through funding, networking, expertise and partnering. We're proud to work hand-in-hand with the best entrepreneurs and their cutting-edge whisky brands as we collectively continue to learn, evolve and seek out new partnerships.