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Top travel retail brands announced

Two spirits brands sell more than 1m cases in travel retail – Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky and Absolut vodka – according to The IWSR Drinks Record Top-50 list of leading travel retail spirits brands in 2008.

Diageo’s Johnnie Walker retained its market leadership last year, although its sales were down by 1.2% to 1.6m cases, owing to a sharp fall in sales of Johnnie Walker Black Label in the Americas and other important markets, such as the British Isles, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Diageo, the leading supplier to the travel retail liquor sector, with a market share of 25.8%, is now focusing more strongly on its leading brands, including Johnnie Walker and Baileys. Diageo owns six of the top-25 largest growing spirits brands in travel retail in 2008. They also own nine out of the 50 leading spirits brands in travel retail.

The consolidation of V&S and strong growth for most of its leading brands has enabled Pernod Ricard to build its share of the travel retail market to 23%, up from 22.3% in 2007. The French group produces 11 of the top 50 brands and seven of the top 25 growth brands. Travel retail’s second largest spirits brand, Absolut, which was acquired by Pernod Ricard last year when it bought V&S, increased sales by 1.3% in 2008 to 1.05m cases.

Bacardi Global Travel Retail achieved big gains with each of its leading brands in travel retail last year. Bacardi rum grew by 7.3%, Bombay Sapphire gin by 10.4%, Dewars Scotch whisky by 29.4% and Grey Goose vodka by 32.9%. All four brands rank among the top 10 growth brands, and Bacardi was the second-largest growth brand in 2008.

Two other rum brands – Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club and Diageo’s Captain Morgan – also featured among the brands posting the largest volume gains last year after each added about 15,000 cases, reflecting the strength of the rum category.

Edrington’s Famous Grouse moved up one place in the ranking of the top 50 travel retail brands to ninth, and was the third-largest growing brand in 2008. The Famous Grouse increased sales by 10.4% to exceed 0.4m cases, with the brand enjoying strong growth in its two largest travel retail markets, the Nordic countries and Germany.

The two leading Cognac brands, Rémy Cointreau’s Rémy Martin and LVMH’s Hennessy, both outperformed the Cognac category, which only expanded by 1.7% last year. Hennessy achieved a 9.7% increase in volumes and Rémy Martin a 7.9% rise.

Another of travel retail’s largest cognac brands, Courvoisier, also increased volumes last year: by 5.3%. Courvoisier owner Beam Global produces four other brands that rank in the top 50, and these enjoyed mixed fortunes. The company’s flagship brand Jim Beam grew by 2.1%, but sales of Canadian Club, Teacher’s and Sauza declined.

Fifth-largest supplier Brown-Forman’s leading brand Jack Daniel’s added nearly 30,000 cases to rank seventh among the largest growth brands.

There are two new entries in the top 50 ranking: Campari’s Skyy vodka, which enjoyed a 32.2% rise in travel retail volumes last year, and C & C International’s Tullamore Dew, sales of which grew by 23.7%.

About The IWSR
The IWSR supplies volume and value data on global alcohol consumption including the global duty free/ travel retail market.

1 October 2009 - Felicity Murray