Local Spirits Brand Champion 2018: Jinro

18th June, 2018 by admin
Jinro: The world's best-selling spirits brand

Jinro: The world’s best-selling spirit brand

Korean soju brand Jinro has held on to its position as the world’s best-­selling spirit brand, boasting consistent growth over a number of years. Jinro’s volumes increased by 5.2% to 75.6m cases in 2017 – the brand’s biggest jump in at least four years, with sales rising by more than 8m cases since 2013.

Jungho Hwang, president of Hite-­Jinro America, attributes Jinro’s success to overseas markets, which have “grown significantly”, as well as increasing domestic market share. Jinro’s most important region, Southeast Asia, has been boosted by the rise of K-pop and Korean food, Hwang notes.

Hwang also cites the burgeoning trend of low-­abv drinks: “The overseas sales growth of fruit soju is remarkable. Consumers are looking for relatively low-­alcohol and easy-­to-­drink fruit flavours. In the Japanese and Southeast Asian markets, people drink a lot of cocktails, but more and more people drink shots, as in Korea.”

In the ‘local’ category – comprised of spirits largely consumed in their domestic markets – more than half of the brands reported declining volumes last year. Muginoka shochu saw a double-­digit loss, while the volumes of fellow shochu Daigoro fell so drastically (30.8%) that the brand has now dropped below the 1m case threshold.

Last year’s fastest-­growing local spirit, Aguardiente Antioqueño, also saw its sales drop by 4.4% to 3.4m cases in 2017. Though the sugarcane­-made spirit is the best-­selling aguardiente in Colombia, it is yet to relive its glory days of 2013 when the brand sold 4.3m cases.

Diageo’s Ypióca cachaça and Compañia Pisquera de Chile’s Mistral pisco, however, reported the highest increases, both up by 6.3%. Diageo attributed Ypióca’s growth to a good performance in Brazil, new packaging and a new communication platform. As for the future of the brand, Diageo will focus on premiumisation as it seeks to grow distribution.

Unfortunately, all baijiu companies approached by SB declined to disclose their volume data.

Nevertheless, the future of the local spirits category looks optimistic. A recent report compiled by Vinexpo and the IWSR forecasts that the consumption of ‘national spirits’ – such as baijiu, soju and shochu – is set to grow by 2.1% to 1.48bn cases between 2016 and 2021 – constituting almost half of the global spirits total.

*The Brand Champions data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied. All brand data is supplied in millions of nine-­litre cases.

Local spirits (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 %+/­-
Aguardiente Antioqueño Fabrica de Alcoholes y Licores de Antioquia 4.3 4.2 2.5 3.6 3.4 -4.4%
Cachaça 51 Companhia Müller de Bebidas 19.0 18.0 16.8 16.7 14.7 -12.0%
Pitú Pitú 10.6 10.6 10.6 10.9 10.7 -2.2%
Velho Barreiro Tatuzinho 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 10.0 1.0%
Ypióca Diageo 6.5 5.2 4.9 4.8 5.1 6.3%
Mistral Compañia Pisquera de Chile 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3 6.3%
Yeni Diageo N/A 3.5 3.5 3.4 3.4 0.0%
Iichiko Sanwa Shurui 8.0 8.0 7.8 7.8 7.5 -3.7%
Kanoka Asahi Breweries 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.3 -2.9%
Muginoka Suntory Spirits 2.1 2.1 2.0 2.0 1.6 -18.8%
Jinro Hite-­Jinro 67.4 70.9 71.8 71.9 75.6 5.2%

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