‘Local’ spirits outsell Smirnoff

At 76 million nine-litre cases South Korean soju brand ‘Jinro’, comfortably outsells even global “giants” like Smirnoff to retain its number one position from last year – by a comfortable 44 million-case margin

The massive appeal of ‘local’ Asian brands such as the top-ranking South Korean soju brand ‘Jinro’ which, at 76 million nine-litre cases, retains its number one position from last year – by a comfortable 44 million-case margin – vastly outsells even global brands like Smirnoff in IWSR’s Real 100 rankings of the world’s largest spirits brands by volume, published exclusively in the this month’s  IWSR Magazine.

The first truly global brand on the list,  at number six, Diageo’s Smirnoff vodka, sells over 25 million cases across 155 countries and has risen by one place in the rankings this year.

Bacardí Rum remains in 13th place, unchanged from the previous year.

Eighteen of the brands in the Real 100 belong to Diageo, making the British company the most-represented owner on the list. Pernod Ricard follows with 10 brands.

The most-represented category in the Real 100 is whisky, with 29 brands featured but 15 of these whiskies are Indian, of which 10 are owned by either Diageo or Pernod Ricard.

Jameson Irish Whiskey was one of the biggest climbers in the whisky category going from 48th to 43rd in 2016-2017 through growth of 12.1% to 6.5 million nine-litre cases.

One place below this lies another Irish brand, Baileys Irish Cream, down two places from last year despite a 3.7% growth in volumes.

Nineteen vodka brands appear on this year’s list which also featured six rum brands.


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