Intellima’s Millionaires’ Club survey examines the world’s largest selling million-case spirits brands, and uses data compiled over a three month period from producers and distributors worldwide, coupled with reliable secondary data.
A subsequent report, released earlier this month, showed that brands from emerging markets comprised 12 of the world’s top 15 largest selling spirits brands by the end of 2012.
And while 17 of the top 20 ‘global’ brands posted sales growth, with six showing double-digit increases in 2012, Richard Halstead, Intellima project director for the Millionaires’ Club said: “It’s clear that a fundamental power shift is underway in global spirits”.
He added: “Brands from developed world countries may still rule the roost in terms of value and brand recognition, but the exciting growth stories are all coming out of the developing world, such as South America, Asia and the Philippines.”
‘A story quietly unfolding for years’
For instance, Intellima’s findings show that native rice-based spirit Jinro Soju from South Korea tops the list with 65m cases sold in 2012, more than double second-placed brand, Emperador brandy from the Philippines.
International brands Smirnoff and Bacardi occupy 3rd and 6th place respectively, but Intellima warned that Bacardi was “in danger of losing its coveted position as the world’s largest selling rum as Philippines brand Tanduay closed to within 200,000 cases in 2012”.
Also in the Philippines, Ginebra San Miguel gin became not only the largest-selling product in that category, but also the fifth-largest brand overall in the Millionaire’s Club.
Moving on to whisky, Diageo’s Johnnie Walker lost its top spot to McDowell’s No.1 from takeover target United Spirits, despite a 5% sales increase in 2012.
Hamish Smith, Intellima publications editor, said: “The Millionaires’ Club 2013 concludes a story that has been quietly unfolding for years. The story that Scotland no longer makes the world’s best-selling whisky.
[Also] that the biggest brandies and gins don’t come from France, the UK, or the US but from the Philippines and India; that Bacardi – so long the transcendent spirit – is being overrun in the confines of its own category,” Smith added.