According to IWSR, the presence of brands such as these on the Real 100 list is testimony to the fact that although the major categories of whisk(e)y and vodka continue to dominate, consumers’ desire for choice will always sustain demand for different varieties of spirits.
The standout performer in the IWSR’s Real 100 remained Indian whisky brand Officer’s Choice. The brand has seen a Category Annual Growth Rate of 24.8% since 2005 and in 2013 it became the largest whisk(e)y brand in the world.
“This extraordinary performance showed little sign of abating in 2014,” reports IWSR, “Growth of 18.1%, or nearly 4.4 million cases, saw Officer’s Choice leapfrog Smirnoff to claim fourth position in the rankings.“
Jinro remained in top position with sales volumes of 63.4 million nine-litre cases in 2014.
According to IWSR, one trait that immediately stands out from even a quick glance at the Real 100 list is the number of brands that are primarily sold in a single market. Of the top 10, only Smirnoff at 25.7 million cases (up 0.4% on 2013) and Johnnie Walker at 18.8 million cases (down 1.7%) can be said to have a truly international presence. “Considering the list as a whole, an amazing 61 out of the 100 brands featured derive 90% or more of their sales from one market. Six more derive at least 80%,” reports IWSR.
“One characteristic that jumps out is their volatility. Of those brands whose volumes grew or fell by more than 10% between 2013 and 2014, the vast majority were local spirits. The same is true of those brands that climbed or fell by at least 10 places in the rankings since last year. An obvious explanation for this trend is that a lack of geographical diversification renders local brands highly susceptible to changes in their key market.”