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Brand Champions 2014

The world’s largest-selling spirit brands – all selling over one million cases in 2013 – are all heroes in our book, but only 10 can be named Brand Champions 2014.

The Spirits Business Brand Champions is a list of the world’s largest spirit brands selling over one million cases a year

To become a Brand Champion is no easy feat. To even grow to one million cases requires significant financial investment, clever branding and marketing and firmly established routes to market, not to mention the skill involved in developing the product in the first place. And all this takes time; the average period between a new product launch and reaching the one million case milestone is around 10 years.

Which is why every single brand listed is considered a hero in our book. Each one sold more than one million nine-litre cases in 2013, according to our independently verified data, which in itself deserves recognition and hearty applause. Some are Brand Champions stalwarts, having made the list ever since its inception in 2008, while this year we warmly welcome six newcomers from all corners of the globe.

Of course this list is not exhaustive – you may notice a lack of some spirit categories, including some regional Asian spirits, which are only covered in the Top 100 Spirit Brands in the June issue of The Spirits Business. Similarly, some companies are more secretive about their sales figures than others, and are subsequently omitted. Of those included, 10 brands stood out from the rest as having achieved something truly spectacular during the year. These are the 2014 Category Brand Champions, or superheroes if you will. As in previous years, they are not necessarily our pick of the fastest-growing brands or those shifting the most stock in their category, but the products we feel are deserved of additional praise for outperforming the market or achieving a personal milestone.

We’d like to draw your attention to the accomplishments of one brand in particular, which as our 2014 Supreme Brand Champion, (see below) has mastered the concept of market domination. After all, everybody needs a hero to look up to.

Supreme Brand Champion 2013: Officer’s Choice

India’s Officer’s Choice whisky has swooped our 2014 Supreme Brand Champion title

Last year it looked certain that United Spirits’ McDowell’s No.1 would overtake Johnnie Walker as the world’s largest whisky brand; no-one suspected Allied Blenders & Distillers’ Officer’s Choice to swoop in from behind to take the spot for itself. The fastest-growing Indian whisky of the year with 31% volume growth to 23.8m cases, Officer’s Choice has pelted forward from its position as the world’s eighth largest spirit to become not only the world’s largest whisky brand, eclipsing Johnnie Walker by 3.7m cases, but the second-largest spirit in the world (third if you include Jinro Soju, which is not on this list).

India drinks 1.4bn litres of whisky a year (155.5m cases, according to Euromonitor), so for a regional brand to command 15% of that market is astonishing. Its newly-found position is precarious though; with McDowell’s No.1 just 220,000 cases behind, it could be all-change at the top next year. If both brands hold their growth rates steady, by this time next year the Indian whiskies could very well be 30m case brands, and knock Diageo’s Smirnoff off the top spot.

Use the guide below to navigate your way through the spirit categories to discover the world’s largest spirit brands and our choice of the 2014 Category Brand Champions.



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