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The world’s 10 largest Scotch whisky brands

As The Spirits Business gears up to reveal the 2013 Brand Champions – those brands performing exceptionally over the past year – we run down the world’s largest spirits by category, beginning with the world’s 10 largest Scotch whisky brands.

Worlds-largest-Scotch-whisky-brands
We name the world’s largest Scotch whisky brands by volume

The number one-selling Scotch whisky in the world will come as no surprise, it being one of the most popular brands drunk in both established and emerging markets alike.

However those readers familiar with our 2012 Brand Champions list will see a few shake-ups in this year’s top 10 Scotch whisky brands, which are ranked according to volume sales of nine-litre cases.

With global demand for Scotch soaring – particularly from Asia, Latin America and the US – the major brand owners are investing heavily in increasing production to ensure that demand doesn’t outstrip their supply capabilities. Pernod Ricard and Diageo both announced substantial investment plans in Scotch production last year, together representing five of the 10 largest whisky brands in the world.

As we prepare to publish the results of the 2013 Brand Champions online – a somewhat comprehensive list of those spirit brands selling over one million cases annually – on 8 July, over the next few weeks we will run through which spirit brands are leading their respective categories with the largest number of volume sales.

Click through the following pages to discover which are the world’s largest Scotch whisky brands.

10. Bell’s

Bell's World's largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 2.5m
2011 case sales: 2.5m
Growth in 2012: 0%

Bell’s, the premium blended Scotch owned by Diageo, has maintained steady volumes over the past year.

9. Label 5

Label-5-worlds-largest-scotch-brands

2012 case sales: 2.5m
2011 case sales: 2.5m
Growth in 2012: 0%

Label 5 blended Scotch whisky, which recently launched its CatchThe5 digital marketing campaign, has endured a couple of years of stagnant growth, but continues to be one of the most popular Scotch whiskies in several markets across the globe.

 

8. William Lawson’s

William Lawsons World largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 2.6m
2011 case sales: 2.3m
Growth in 2012: 13%

Having launched in Russia five years ago, William Lawson’s blended Scotch whisky has sailed past some of the world’s larger brands to become the country’s biggest imported spirit, with sales of almost a million cases last year. The brand, onwed by Bacardi, has risen from 13th to eighth position in just five years.

7. Dewars

Dewars World largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 3m
2011 case sales: 3.2m
Growth in 2012: -6%

The Bacardi-owned blended Scotch, a hit amongst its American drinkers, shrank slightly in the past year, pushing it down from sixth position to seventh. That all may change in the 2013 Brand Champions however, when sales of Dewar’s Highlander Honey – the first Scotch to add honey flavouring – are taken into account.

6. The Famous Grouse

The Famous-Grouse World largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 3.2m
2011 case sales: 2.9m
Growth in 2012: 10%

Product innovation in The Famous Grouse line-up has helped drive sales of the Edrington-owned brand in the last 12 months. Its popular Snow Grouse and Black Grouse editions continue to do well in travel retail and the off-trade, while prime marketing investment has helped drive awareness of the brand around key gifting occasions.

5. William Grant’s

William Grant's World largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 4.5m
2011 case sales: 5m
Growth in 2012: -10%

A hefty drop for William Grant & Sons’ namesake blended Scotch, which dropped 500,000 case sales in the last 12 months. However its wide sales gap from closest rivals Dewar’s and The Famous Grouse have ensured William Grant’s has kept its position as the world’s fifth largest Scotch whisky brand.

4. J & B Rare

J&B-Rare World largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 4.6m
2011 case sales: 4.8m
Growth in 2012: -4%

A slight drop for Diageo’s J&B Rare blended Scotch brand, which counts the US as one of its largest markets along with South East Asia, and southern Europe, particularly Spain, France and Portugal.

3. Chivas Regal

Chivas-Regal World's largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 4.8m
2011 case sales: 4.9m
Growth in 2012: -2%

Chivas Regal has continued to prove itself as a truly global brand, despite its first drop in sales since the recession hit in 2008. The market-leading Scotch aged over 12 years in Europe and Asia Pacific, Chivas Regal remains only ever so slightly ahead of J&B Rare on the list of the world’s largest Scotch whisky brands, despite grabbing third position from William Grant’s this year.

2. Ballantine’s

Ballantines World's largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 5.8m
2011 case sales: 6.5m
Growth in 2012: -11%

Sales have drastically declined for the Pernod Ricard-owned brand in 2012, although Ballantine’s is still one million cases ahead of its nearest rival Ballantine’s, also owned by Pernod.

1. Johnnie Walker

Johnnie-Walker Worlds largest Scotch whisky brands

2012 case sales: 19.7m
2011 case sales: 18m
Growth in 2012: 9%

Johnnie Walker, still strides ahead of the competition, has proven this year why it deserves to be the world’s largest Scotch whisky brand. An additional 1.7m case sales in 2012 have propelled the Diageo-owned brand even further ahead of its nearest rival Chivas Regal, which lags behind on 5.8m case sales. A truly global brand, Johnnie Walker adopted colour coding from the start, giving consumers a clear ladder of products to choose from and encapsulating them within the Johnnie Walker family.

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