Close Menu
Brand Champion

Scotch Whisky Brand Champions 2015


After hitting 1m case sales for the first time, The Glenlivet has been named the Scotch Whisky Brand Champion of 2015

How the tables have turned for Johnnie Walker. Diageo’s flagship blended Scotch whisky, after experiencing five years of steady, solid growth, has slipped back to pre-2011 volumes in the space of just 12 months. China’s austerity measures came unexpectedly for the British drinks group that has invested plenty of resources into building the Johnnie Walker brand in Asia. In the six months to 31 December 2014, Diageo reported Johnnie’s volume sales fell 16% in Asia Pacific alone, which went some way to contributing to an overall decline of 11% for the calendar year.

The Chinese market is indeed proving challenging for all Scotch brands playing at the premium-and-above end of the scale, which coupled with political tensions in Russia and Eastern Europe, is having a negative effect on global volumes. The Scotch Whisky Association reported a 3% volume decline in exports during the year, and indeed over half of the brands selling above one million cases lost volumes or posted static growth during the period.

Johnnie Walker may have been our Scotch Whisky Brand Champion 2014, but this year fortune is favouring another section of the category, as single malt Scotch whiskies gain favour among aspirational consumers.

For just two years, Glenfiddich has remained the sole representative of the single malt category in the Brand Champions, delivering slight yet consistent growth over the past five years. But despite its solid gains, a newcomer in the form of Pernod Ricard’s The Glenlivet is testing Glenfiddich’s reign on the list.

For Nikki Burgess, global brand director for The Glenlivet, the brand is thriving in a category that is currently in high demand in markets across the world. “Single malt continues to be highly aspirational and a growing number of consumers are discovering it across many different markets,” she says.

She claims that a series of NPDs released throughout the year have delivered visibility and gains for the brand, citing the launch of The Glenlivet Winchester Collection, Nadurra First Fill Selection and Oloroso, and most recently, The Glenlivet Founders Reserve, an NAS whisky designed to sit at the lower end of the range.

According to Burgess, “The Glenlivet has been the biggest contributor to the growth of the single malt Scotch whisky category in the last five years”, which may be her way of hinting the brand could take over from Glenfiddich as the world’s largest single malt by next year.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the rest of our Brand Champions 2015.


BRAND OWNER 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 % +/-
Johnnie Walker Diageo 16.2 18.0 19.7 20.1 17.9 -11%
Ballantine’s Pernod Ricard 6.2 6.5 5.8 6.0 6.1 2%
Chivas Regal Pernod Ricard 4.5 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.6 -2%
Grant’s Willliam Grant & Sons 5.0 5.0 4.5 4.7 4.4 -7%
J&B Diageo 4.9 4.8 4.2 4.0 3.7 -7%
William Lawson’s Bacardi 1.7 2.3 2.6 2.8 3.1 11%
William Peel Belvédère 2.5 2.9 2.5 2.7 2.8 4%
Dewar’s Bacardi 3.3 3.2 3.0 3.0 2.7 -10%
Label 5 La Martiniquaise 2.3 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.6 3%
Bell’s Diageo 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 0%
Teacher’s Highland Cream Beam Suntory 1.9 2.1 2.1 2.0 2.0 -1%
Clan Campbell Pernod Ricard 1.8 2.0 1.3 1.7 1.7 -1%
Passport Pernod Ricard 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6 14%
Buchanan’s Diageo 1.4 1.6 1.9 1.9 1.6 -16%
Sir Edward’s Bardinet 1.2 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.5 8%
100 Pipers Pernod Ricard 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.3 1.4 5%
Glenfiddich Willliam Grant & Sons 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.0 0%
The Glenlivet Pernod Ricard 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.9 1.0 7%


It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No