The Chinese spirit sold a hefty 61.38 million nine-litre cases in 2011 – and that’s just locally – a long way ahead of its nearest rival, Smirnoff vodka, which came in in second place with a case count of just 24.7 million.
Bacardi took fifth place with sales of 19.56 million cases.
Diageo’s planetary pride and joy Johnnie Walker took eighth place with sales of 18 million cases while Absolut from Pernod Ricard landed 16th place through sales of 11.21 million cases. Nineteenth place was taken by Jack Daniels with 10.77 million case sales.
This is the fifth edition of the Drinks International Millionaires Club which reviews the top-selling spirits brands in the world having sales of nine-litre cases in 2011 reaching a million or more.
This year’s top spirits brand ranking reveals many newcomers to the list and for the first time Euromonitor International’s research gives insight into the rise of the Chinese baijiu market. In addition to listing the top spirits brands globally – by region and category – Euromonitor’s ranking also shines some light on the fastest-growing brands and how domestic and international spirits companies are looking to uncover growth opportunities.
“Companies with an international presence and a strong focus on emerging markets continue to secure growth,” says Jeremy Cunnington, Alcoholic Drinks Senior Company Analyst at Euromonitor International, “This does not mean, however, that domestic or local brands in emerging markets are not performing.”
Brands owned by Western European companies account for 17 out of the top 50 in the rankings. French company Pernod Ricard is (along with United Spirits) the company with the most brands in the list with 22, with Britain’s Diageo third with 16.