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American Independence Day spotlights Scottish business power

Scottish brands recover post-Covid

As American’s across the globe celebrate Independence Day today (July 4), we highlight some of Scotland’s biggest exports across the pond.

Many businesses based across the north and north-east play a major role in the goods travelling to the USA.

Scottish salmon ‘is best in the world and for good reason’

Pre-Covid, Scottish Salmon exports to the US in 2019 totalled 27,200 tons.

In 2021, more than 22,300 tons of Scottish salmon was exported to America worth in excess of £150m.

The US accounted for more than one in five Scottish salmon exported in 2021, but was worth £1 for every £4 of Scottish salmon sent overseas.

US accounted for more than one in five Scottish salmon exported in 2021.

Outside the European Union, the US is the largest market in both volume and value terms for Scottish salmon, says the Salmon Scotland association.

“Scottish salmon is a premium product compared to other salmons around the world,” Salmon Scotland director of strategic engagement Hamish Macdonell told The Press and Journal.

“Scottish salmon is seen as being the best in the world and for good reason.”

Scotch whisky ‘gives the industry something to toast’

In 2019, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said 35.6m litres of pure alcohol were exported to the US, compared to 31.2m litres in 2020 and 35.2m in 2021.

Scotch industry is recovering strongly.

“Ten months on from the suspension of the tariffs that were imposed over 18 months as a result of the Airbus/Boeing dispute, we are not yet at the levels seen before the tariffs or pandemic, but with a 13% increase in volume and 8% in value of export to the US last year the industry is on the road to recovery,” said Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, Mark Kent.

“Figures since January continue to highlight this trend and give the industry something to toast as people gather for New York City’s Tartan Week.”

Shortbread ‘coming back strongly’

Sweet biscuits exports to the US, of which shortbread forms a major part, totalled £32.6m in 2019, falling to £26.7m in 2020 and £25.5m in 2021.

UK shortbread market share to the US in 2020 was slightly less than £20m.

“They (Americans) have really come to know Walker’s Shortbread from the way we have serviced the market,” Walker’s head of international sales, Alastair Walker told The Press and Journal. “We also set up our own subsidiary company in the US – Walker’s Shortbread Inc in 1998.

“We took a dip in 2020 with Covid, but are coming back strongly.”

Tartan Week

Scotland was also in the spotlight earlier this year with the Tartan Day Parade in New York marking the end of Tartan Week.

It featured Inverness-born former Doctor Who and Avengers actress, Karen Gillan as Grand Marshal, heading thousands of pipers and drummers celebrating all things Scottish.

Inverness’s Karen Gillan . Photo by Broadimage/Shutterstock

The event also included a number of people representing Scottish goods and services such as highland fashion weaver, Prickly Thistle.

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