Jameson only Irish brand in IWSR’s Top 100 

Jameson remains the only Irish whiskey in IWSR’s Top 100 global spirits brands, just published.

With sales of 5.9 million cases in 2016, volumes grew 12.4% over 2015 according to IWSR which puts the brand in 48th place in the Top 100, up one place from last year’s listing.

And according to an earlier IWSR On-Premise Insights Report 2016, Irish whiskey has gained the most share of on-premise consumption since 2008, driven by Jameson.

The world’s 100 largest spirits brands by volume in IWSR’s July edition pits famous international brands against local spirits titans that dominate in their home markets. The list is uniquely based on the IWSR’s proprietary database.

The Asian spirit Jinro remains the world’s most popular alcoholic drink, selling well over 65 million nine-litre cases in 2016; the South Korean Soju brand maintains the number one spot that it has held for so many years.

To put Jinro’s massive volumes in context, it sold more in 2016 than the second and third place brands – ABD’s Officer’s Choice whisky (32.3 million cases) and Thai Beverages’ Ruang Kao (31.2 million cases) – put together.

The Jinro brand alone holds 2% of the global spirits market with its sales of 65.9 million cases coming to considerably more than the total spirits market of the UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Spain, Poland, Italy or travel retail to name a handful, states IWSR.


Emerging markets shaping global spirits industry

This year’s Top 100 list brings into focus the defining role that emerging markets play in shaping the global spirits industry. The drinking population in India, Brazil and South East Asia, in particular, is growing each year. This keeps Indian whiskies, cachaça and soju/shochu brands in high positions on the list; population growth and wider distribution also help international brands to reach new consumers.

If the top 10 is dominated by giant domestic Asian brands the international bestsellers are not far behind. Iconic drinks such as Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky (11th), Bacardi rum (13th) and Jack Daniel’s whiskey (16th) do not completely rule their home markets as they face more competition from other international spirits brands – but their global reach ensures that they’re still available to hundreds of millions of potential consumers and generally at affordable price points, states the IWSR.

Eighteen of the brands in the Top 100 belong to Diageo, making the British company the most-represented owner among brands selling over three million cases, followed by Pernod Ricard with eight brands.

Reflecting its status as a highly aspirational drink in the developing world, whisky is the most represented category in the Top 100, with 28 brands featured.

The list features six rums of which Bacardi stays at 13, Captain Morgan drops to 24 from 21 and Havana Club remains at 68.

By contrast, some categories are conspicuous by their near absence. There’s only one tequila – Jose Cuervo in 47th position – among the world’s Top 100 brands and only two bitters, Jägermeister (35) and Fernet-Branca (53). This perhaps indicates that in many parts of the world these drinks have no rival and have become the market leaders to such an extent that they define the whole category.


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