Business development · 12 February 2018

Record whisky exports lead overseas taste for British food and drink

An equivalent of over 1.2bn bottles of whisky were sold abroad in 2017
UK export sales reached over 22bn in 2017, government figures have revealed, with record whisky exports leading global demand for British food and drink produce.

According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), UK food and drink businesses have seen overseas demand rise steadily in recent years and now export to 217 markets.

At 4.5bn and an equivalent of over 1.2bn bottles whisky exports continued to be the country’s most lucrative. Scotch whisky now accounts for over a fifth of all UK food and drink exports, with sales rising 1.6 per cent in volume and 8.9 per cent in value.

Highest whisky sales in 2017

  1. USA (£922m)
  2. France (£433m)
  3. Singapore (£291m)
  4. Germany (£184m)
  5. Spain (£175m)
Commenting on record single malt sales, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Karen Betts, said: “Scotch whisky is not just a core part of Scotland’s national identity and heritage, it is also a fundamental part of our export economy.

“It’s very important to the industry that our global markets remain robust and resilient as the UK navigates Brexit and establishes new trading relationships around the world.”



Indiegogo was the wrong place to raise funding for me

Having tried, and failed, to raise 10, 000 using crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, Calum Leslie pivoted his business and has launched his own whisky brand.


Elsewhere in Britain’s spirits revival, international gin sales reached over 500m last year, and UK breweries enjoyed higher beer sales in Japan and New Zealand.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.