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How Scotch whisky conquered the world

Scotch whisky is ideally positioned to gain from the growth of the middle class in emerging markets such as Asia, South America and Africa. And for the new clientele it comes packaged in tradition and offers quality provenance.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, explains: “We are appealing to the emerging markets. We’re appealing to the affluent, the middle-class people who are aspirational, people who see Scotch whisky as the drink of choice.

“They can afford it, and it means they’re part of a global network.”

Moreover, it works as both a means of celebration and sharing, and (unlike champagne) it’s well-suited to drowning one’s sorrows when times are not so good.

But while benefiting from globalising markets, it breaks the rules by avoiding worldwide megabrands.

Instead there are thousands of blends, distillery malts, maturation ages and expressions from different types of cask.

Each move up the premium ladder boosts profits.