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Exclusive: Impact Databank’s Survey Of The World’s Top Spirits Brands By Retail Value

March 14, 2012

Impact Databank is set to release its exclusive analysis of the world’s top 100 spirits brands by retail sales value, which shows total top-100 retail revenues rising by 6.5% to $77.3 billion last year.

The most dominant categories by retail sales value continue to be vodka and Scotch. Vodka had 23 brands in the top 100, totaling $17.18 billion in retail sales value (up 6.8%), while Scotch had 17 brands totaling $16 billion (up 5.6%). No other spirits category came close to those two. Rum, ranked third by retail sales, was at around $6.64 billion, up 4.6%.

Vodka may be the top seller at retail, but Scotch lays claim to the top global brand by value. Johnnie Walker had a world-beating retail value of $5.24 billion last year on a 6.5% volume increase to 18 million cases, and its retail sales were more than $2 billion higher than second-ranked Smirnoff’s $3.18 billion.

Among rum brands, Bacardi ranked first at $2.53 billion—roughly $1 billion ahead of Captain Morgan. And among Tequilas, ultra-premium Patrón became the world’s largest Tequila brand by retail sales value last year at $1.1 billion, passing Jose Cuervo ($1.03 billion).

Four Cognac brands in the top 100 by value generated a total of more than $5 billion in retail value, led by Hennessy at $2.77 billion. Hennessy is the world’s third-largest spirits brand by value with a global volume of only 4.9 million cases. Among other Cognacs, Rémy Martin had retail sales value of $1.2 billion, followed by Martell at $845 million and Courvoisier at $575 million.

Jack Daniel’s led the Bourbon category last year at $2.38 billion, while Jim Beam and portfoliomate Maker’s Mark combined for nearly $1.3 billion. Jameson, the sole Irish whiskey on the list, posted a double-digit retail value increase to $735 million.

Premium-and-above vodka brands besides Smirnoff generally saw positive results, as Grey Goose ($1.37 billion), Skyy ($610 million), Ketel One ($535 million) and Svedka ($530 million) achieved solid growth. Diageo’s ultra-premium Cîroc vodka debuted on the list at $550 million, as did White Rock’s Pinnacle, at $455 million.

Single malt Scotch leaders have carved out a place on the value top 100 with a combination of lofty pricing and volume growth. William Grant & Sons’ Glenfiddich tallied $435 million in 2011, while Pernod Ricard’s The Glenlivet hit $330 million.

For more on Impact Databank’s survey of top 100 spirits brands by retail value, see the March 1&15 issue of Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

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