Diageo’s Johnnie Walker just edged out Hennessy (owned by LVMH) to top the IWSR’s 2013 World Class Brands rankings according to data from IWSR, a global provider of data on wine, spirits and ready-to-drink. Jack Daniel’s (Brown-Forman), Jameson and Martell (both Pernod Ricard) round out the top five. The IWSR has ranked these brands using its 2012 volume and value data.
Johnnie Walker has seen strong growth in a number of markets across the world, rising by over 100,000 cases in 2012 in countries like Mexico, Poland, the US, South Africa and Thailand, as well as the duty free/travel retail market. Overall, the brand grew by 1 million cases over the year to reach 18 million cases in total. The IWSR’s World Class Brands list is the definitive ranking of top-performing global spirits trademarks. These brands have been ranked by the IWSR using its 2012 volume and value data.
An international presence is the initial criteria for inclusion in the World Class Brands list. Inclusion requires at least 20,000 nine-litre cases to be sold in at least three different regions (due to its international nature, duty free counts as one region). 135 brands qualified as international brands using this criterion.
Hennessy’s second-ranking position is aided by its high price per case, but the brand also had a strong growth year in 2012. Thanks to a record year in China and a return to growth in the US, Hennessy added over 250,000 cases. These two countries now contribute a 63 per cent share of brand sales.
Jack Daniel’s, the third-ranked brand in the list, saw volume gains driven by strong growth in the US and increasing interest in the brand’s flavour extensions brought total volumes to 12.2 million cases in 2012.
Jack Daniel’s has been experiencing strong sales in a number of its key global markets such as Germany (+13.9 per cent), France (+11.8 per cent) and Australia (+15.7 per cent), as well as in smaller markets such as Poland and Brazil.
Brown-Forman has also enjoyed remarkable success with its flavoured Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey extension. The flavoured variant has succeeded in recruiting non-traditional consumers such as women into the franchise.
Diageo also has the largest number of World Class Brands, with 28, including four in the top 10 (Johnnie Walker, Cîroc, Buchanan’s and Captain Morgan). That Diageo tally also includes four brands from the recently-acquired USL India.
Paris-based Pernod Ricard follows with 18 entrants and three in the top 10 (Jameson, Martell and Absolut). Beam Inc. is well represented on the list with 11 brands, including its flagship Jim Beam at number nine. Bacardi follows with nine brands and Campari with seven. In terms of categories, Scotch has the largest representation with 37 entrants. Vodka is next with 25 brands, followed by liqueurs at 18, rum with 13 and non-Cognac brandy with five.