Neat figures indicate Scotch is on the up in the USA.
Food and Drink Secretary Richard Lochhead raised a dram to the sophisticated American palate today during his visit to Washington today after it was revealed premium single malt Scotch Whisky exports to the US soared by 60 per cent between 2004 and 2014.
The most popular single malt Stateside is 12-year-old Glenlivet, with 2.4 million litres exported last year, followed by 12-year-old Macallan (1.4m litres) and 15-year-old Glenlivet (1m litres).
Mr Lochhead met with the President of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Dr. Peter H. Cressy, members of the council, representatives from Scotch Whisky companies and retailers to toast the success of Scotch in the USA and further promote our quality produce.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
"The USA has long been our biggest export market for whisky, and these figures speak for themselves. Americans clearly have great taste and appreciate the finer things in life, including our premium single malt whisky.
"America is a key, and important, growth market for a range of our products and it's great to see that our whisky exports are going from strength to strength.
"Scotch Whisky is so popular that we export a bottle a bottle every 40 seconds and I've definitely been impressed by the enthusiasm for our fine malts in the US."
"It is a pleasure to host a media luncheon and Scotch tasting in honour of Secretary Lochhead, as he visits to celebrate Scotland's Year of Food and Drink," said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy, who in 2007 was named a Keeper of the Quaich.
"In the U.S. market, Scotch is worth over $2 billion in supplier sales, which translates to around $6 billion in retail sales," he added. "Americans have become extremely discerning Scotch consumers, with the most expensive products experiencing the fastest growth."
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:
"Scotch Whisky opens the doors for many Scottish food and drink products across the globe, including the USA. The USA is by far the biggest market by value for Scotch Whisky. Figures we published today show that exports of Scotch to the USA in the first six months of this year remained steady at £327 million compared with the first half of 2014.
"Consumers in the USA are seeking out quality with Single Malts and premium blends doing especially well. We are confident demand for Scotch in the USA will grow in the years to come."
Overall exports of whisky to the US increased by 55 per cent between 2004 and 2014, with the three most popular blends being Dewars White Label, Johnnie Walker Black Label, and Johnnie Walker Red Label.
Mr Lochhead is in North America for a six day series of meetings with key retailers, importers and Government Ministers in Canada and the USA to support the work of the industry in achieving the objectives set out in the Scottish Food & Drink Export Plan. He will be accompanied by Jim McLaren, Chair of Quality Meat Scotland, James Macsween of Macsween of Edinburgh, Vice-President of National Farmers' Union Scotland Rob Livesey, and George Milne from the National Sheep Association.
The engagements are designed to promote Scottish food and drink to build on the recent success which has seen exports to the USA increase by 44 per cent - from £450 million in 2007 compared to £799.9 million in 2014 and a 39 per cent increase in exports to Canada - from £49.4 million in 2007 compared to £80.9 million in 2014.
2015 is Scotland's Year of Food and Drink, which aims to celebrate Scotland's fantastic natural larder, Scottish provenance and further enhance the country's reputation as a Land of Food and Drink. It is intended that the legacy of the year will encourage the people of Scotland, and visitors, to enjoy the quality produce that is available to them on their doorstep, while also raising awareness within industry sectors, continuing the strong working relationships established across the sector beyond 2015.
The Export Plan for Scotland's food & drink industry was developed by the Scotland Food & Drink Export Partnership which comprises Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Development International, Quality Meat Scotland, Seafood Scotland, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Scottish Bakers, with significant financial support from the Scottish Government. The plan can be viewed at www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org/media/66630/export-strategy-0314.pdf