Initially, the "American bars" were located inside hotels and it took about ten years for them to make their presence felt outside, and for this reason, the period that followed, i.e. 1965-1975, was also the one that led to the formation of new drinking preferences for Greeks, from cognac to whisky.
The scenes of Greek films where brands such as Vat 69 or White Horse star in the buffets of Athens townhouses, but also in the bars of Xenia hotels are typical, New Money wrote.
From the dawn of 2000 it seemed that whisky was the dominant choice for those who wanted to drink. Also typical are the data obtained from a statistical survey by the Market Analysis company, which showed the alcoholic trends for the period January-August 2003 throughout Greece.
These were not significantly different from their counterparts in the period of 2002. First in the public's preferences was whisky, which in the shops showed a consumption rate that reached 28.3%.
In second place were imported beers with a percentage of 18.7%, followed by the consumption of Ready To Drink (ready to drink cocktails,) with a percentage that reached 17.5%.
It is the time when Johnnie Walker advertisements, with the motto "Keep Walking", appeared on the radio, television, cinema and billboards, but also in advertisements in newspapers and magazines.
At the same time, the data of the World Drinks Trends 2003 ranked Greece in the 19th place in the world ranking, with the annual per capita consumption of pure alcohol reaching a corresponding percentage of 7.9 litres.
The Greeks and the consumption of whisky
A lot has changed since then, but not the preference of the Greek public for whisky, which took the lead in its alcoholic choices.
If we take into account the report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012, then we will find that in our country there was a stabilisation in alcohol consumption from the beginning of the 2000s until 2010.
In fact, from the processing of the data of the report, it emerged that Greece was approximately at the European average, occupying the 28th position among 53 European countries, with whisky first in the choices of its residents and visitors.
Of course, in per capita consumption the Greeks were always in the top positions.
In the years of the pandemic
In recent years whisky sales seem to have passed the scope of the pandemic, which brought great restrictions on entertainment due to bans and ongoing lockdowns. At the same time Fact.MR gave an impressive forecast for the global whisky market, which sees annual growth of 5.6% until 2027.
In the same report there is an estimate that whisky revenues are expected to double between 2021 and 2031, approaching the astronomical sum of $108 billion.
In our country, a report by IRI Hellas came to present the data collected from organised retail, both in mainland Greece and Crete, according to which alcoholic beverages increased their turnover by 17.26% compared to in 2020, while in the same period there was a growth of 19.21% in terms of sales volume.
Whisky kept the role of leader in this period as well, constituting the largest category of alcoholic beverages. The total turnover reached 65.13 million euros, recording an increase of 14.6%, compared to the previous year.
The IRI Hellas report showed that demand growth was strong in all regions, with Northern Greece registering a growth rate of 19.8%, Crete 18.3% and Central Greece 15.4%.
In terms of consumption, this too had a notable increase especially in large supermarkets (above 2,500 sq.m.) with +18.1% compared to 2020, while the rest of the stores moved at levels between 11.5%- 14.9%.
The exponential growth rate of the turnover of whisky in our country is indicative of its commercial dynamics, since from €52.73 million for 2018, we went to €51.42 million for 2019 and from there to €57.34 million for 2020, before reaching the amount of €65.13 million as mentioned above.
Of course, in all this consumption, the role of tourists is important, who "disappear" in the summer the more expensive and rarer so-called premium brands.
The large alcoholic beverage companies in Greece
The large turnovers also involved the large alcoholic beverage companies.
In fact, Diageo Hellas in the last financial year of that year (1/7/2020 – 30/6/2021) showed sales of €50 million from €49.8 million a year earlier, while it managed to increase its net profits tenfold, which exceeded €2.44 million from €234,873 in the previous period.
Accordingly, in 2021 the Karoulias company had a total revenue of €49.3 million and the AMBYX company also showed sales that showed an increase of +12% and amounted to €98 million.
This is compared to €87.3 million for 2020, overcoming all significant industry shortfalls due to the impact of the pandemic on domestic and global production.
Whisky as an investment
At the same time, reports of evidence are increasing which prove that the king of investments is whisky since on a 12-month basis the yield of the rare single malts index reaches 40%, followed by currencies (12), wine (9 %), works of art (9%), watches (5%) and cars (2%).
If we even interpret the numbers over a 10-year period, we will be surprised to find that whisky excels by an overwhelming percentage, since the return reaches 582%, while for cars it is 258% and for works of art 158%.