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Smirnoff extends lead on the IWSR’s Top 50

Smirnoff vodka once again tops the IWSR’s Top 50 International Spirits Brands list, extending its lead on its competitors. In 2011, Smirnoff sold 6.79m cases more than second-placed brand Bacardi, increasing the gap by over 500,000 cases. Smirnoff sells more than 1m cases in five different countries spanning four different regions.

Smirnoff is one of 13 vodka brands which combined make up over a quarter of the list. Ukrainian brand Khortytsa has entered the list for the first time at number 11; its sales in Europe grew in 2011, allowing the brand to meet the IWSR’s criteria. There are three Ukrainian vodkas in the top 11; all lost volumes in 2011 due to a declining local market, which increased the importance of developing their export markets.

Diageo has eight brands in total on the list. These include third-ranked brand and top-ranking whisk(e)y Johnnie Walker, the highest-ranking liqueur Baileys in 10th, and the top-ranking gin Gordon’s in 19th place.

Pernod Ricard has the most brands in the list (10). Their highest-placed brand Absolut (4th) continues to go from strength to strength, growing 2.8% in 2011 versus 2010.

Bacardi-Martini’s William Lawson’s Scotch (45th) was the fastest-growing of the top 50 in 2011, increasing an impressive 31.7%. The brand has enjoyed very strong growth in Russia where the whisk(e)y market continues to boom.

The global nature of these brands almost serves as a hedge against the economic and regulatory vagaries of specific regional and country markets.



1 August 2012 - Felicity Murray