Scotch Whisky Brand Champion 2017: Glenfiddich
Celebrations are afoot for the Scotch category. In 2016 global exports returned to growth for the first time in three years, with values climbing 4% to £4 billion (U$5.2bn). But look to single malts and the revival is even greater: exports soared by 12% in value to cross the £1bn (US$1.3bn) threshold for the first time.
The vibrancy didn’t translate to volume gains across the board in The Brand Champions 2017, however. Big names like Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal both saw losses, yet others, including Ballantine’s and Black & White, saw impressive gains. William Grant & Sons’s Glenfiddich, our Scotch Whisky Brand Champion this year, also flourished, with volume sales climbing by 9.5% to 1.21 million cases. The growth has both cemented its place in the million-plus contingent and put clear water between it and single malt arch rival The Glenlivet, owned by Pernod Ricard.
“With Glenfiddich our goal is simple – it is to delight our consumers with an unparalleled range of single malt Scotch whiskies,” said Enda O’Sullivan, Glenfiddich global brand director. “We are delighted with the current performance of Glenfiddich, and rather than focus on the best-selling single malt we are committed to leading the category through innovation and creativity.”
It is this drive for meaningful newness that O’Sullivan attributes as a key driver to the brand’s growth acceleration, with the 2016 performance building on 5.24% gains the previous year. “The brand is attracting the next generation of premium whisky drinkers through the release of highprofile new expressions, particularly The Glenfiddich Experimental Series, a range of unexpected and unusual variants created by malt master Brian Kinsman, taking single malt into a bold new direction and helping to define a new Scotch era,” he reckoned.
The Experimental Series, which includes IPA cask and craft beer barrel-finished expressions, stirred up a considerable amount of positive social, lifestyle and trade media coverage, he added. “So while we are delighted with the brand’s performance over the past 12 months we are building and planning for the future.”
And will the wider global interest in Scotch continue to propel the sector? “The desire for quality and authenticity remains key, manifesting in the craft movement and a focus on innovation in developed markets, and the ongoing aspiration among consumers in emerging markets to enter the Scotch category,” O’Sullivan said.
See the adjacent column to discover the spirits that sold more than 1m cases last year, as well as The Brand Champions 2017 of each individual category.
Scotch whisky (Figures: million 9l case sales)
|Grant’s||Willliam Grant & Sons||4.46||4.71||4.37||4.35||4.48||2.90%|
|Chivas Regal||Pernod Ricard||4.83||4.68||4.59||4.39||4.26||-2.96%|
|Label 5||La Martiniquaise||2.51||2.51||2.58||2.58||2.59||0.39%|
|Black & White||Diageo||N/A||1.20||1.30||1.40||1.80||28.57%|
|Teacher’s Highland Cream||Beam Suntory||2.10||2.02||1.99||1.62||1.55||-4.07%|
|Clan Campbell||Pernod Ricard||1.31||1.66||1.65||1.61||1.55||-3.73%|
|Sir Edward’s||La Martiniquaise Bardinet||1.38||1.43||1.54||1.54||1.54||0.00%|
|100 Pipers||Pernod Ricard||1.58||1.32||1.38||1.45||1.44||-0.69%|
|Glenﬁddich||Willliam Grant & Sons||1.03||1.05||1.05||1.11||1.21||9.50%|
|The Glenlivet||Pernod Ricard||0.90||0.97||1.04||1.06||1.03||-2.83%|