The One Product That’s Beating Inflation? Apparently, It’s Whiskey.

Surprisingly, prices for the spirit are down after adjusting for inflation

A man shopping for booze at a supermarket. Prices for whiskey have actually decreased over the past three years.
Inflation can't topple a good bottle of whiskey.
iStock / Getty Images Plus

Whiskey has proven to be recession-proof, as well as pandemic-proof. Now, it looks like the spirit may even be able to overcome inflation.

Utilizing research by GlobalData of around 7,000 products sold in 40 countries, the publication Just Drinks suggests that while prices for whiskey have increased globally since 2019, they’ve actually decreased while adjusting for inflation.

Taking all of those factors into account, a country like Estonia actually saw a 22% decline in whiskey prices over the past three years. In the United States, the decrease was a modest 1.5%. Meanwhile, only three countries in the data set — France, Colombia and Ireland — witnessed an increase in whiskey prices relative to inflation over the same time frame.

As well, it’s the bigger bottles that are seeing the biggest discounts. Adjusting for inflation, one-liter bottles became 16% cheaper overall in 2022 than in 2019. The 750ml bottle, a standard in the U.S., saw a relative 5% drop.

If you look at brands, only three (The Macallan, Wild Turkey, Ardbeg) saw a price increase after an adjustment for inflation.

It’s difficult to draw conclusions here. Obviously, the secondary market is booming and demand for whiskey is increasing; perhaps the overall increased availability of product and the diminishment of some tariffs has helped keep prices at bay.


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