Survey highlights international importance of Scotch


As global revellers prepare to bring in 2013 with a dram, whisky has been revealed to be Scotland’s most recognised international asset.

Seeing in the New Year with a dram is a tradition both at home and abroad – and the popularity of Scotch Whisky was confirmed this week topping a YouGov opinion poll to find Scotland’s best asset which was recognised the world over.

Scotch Whisky came top with 26 per cent, ahead of other Scottish icons including tartan (eight per cent), scenery (24 per cent), Robert Burns (three per cent) and inventions (four per cent).

It’s just another success for whisky which continues to grow in popularity, bringing a real boost to the nation’s economy as 40 bottles of Scotch are shipped overseas each second.

The growing success story means:

* 140 million cases are exported worldwide every year

* Exports earned £134 every second

* Laid end to end they would stretch more than 30,000kms – or about six times the distance between Edinburgh and New York

* 10,300 people are employed in the Scotch Whisky industry – many in economically deprived areas

* 35,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry (figures from the Scotch Whisky Association and refer to 2011)

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Scotch Whisky is a truly iconic product and one that has an enviable reputation both at home and abroad. Its contribution to Scotland – in terms of jobs, tourism and exports – is truly impressive.

“We are renowned for producing the world’s finest whiskies and that is very much testament to the skills of the people who work across the industry – whether it be producing the spirit or bottling and packing.

“It’s reassuring to know that, with around 20 million casks maturing in warehouses around Scotland, the industry is in safe hands for years to come.

“Scotland’s whisky sector is an international success story and, with exports at an all-time high, I’m sure it will continue to go from strength to strength. As we gear up for Hogmanay, people from across the globe will take great pleasure in toasting the New Year with a fine dram, enjoying a little bit of Scotland as they welcome in 2013.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,073 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14-17 December 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).