The country’s economic slump has created renewed demand for locally produced brandy. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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These are the orders ringing out in bars across South Africa as thrifty consumers switch from imported, big-brand whisky to various types of locally produced brandy to quench their thirst.The trend, fueled by a stagnant economy that is strangling spending, has led to the first increase in brandy sales for more than a decade, and falling sales of pricier whisky.Brandy still lags its rival in the contest to be the No. 1 spirit by some distance – about 32 million liters is sunk a year versus nearly 39 million of whisky – but the gap has almost halved since 2014, when the economic slump set in.Most brandies retail for around $8 (110 rand) for a 750 milliliter bottle, compared with around $13 for Diageo's Johnnie Walker Red Label and $20 for Pernod Ricard's Jameson, the two most popular whiskies. The two companies dominate the market for whisky, which accounts for a third of the South African spirits market.Sales of more imported whisky rocketed while brandy demand shrunk.
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