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Top nine best-selling liqueur brands

Despite health trends threatening to thwart the category, liqueurs appear to be in good shape. Our list of the top-selling brands highlights stability in the sector.

SB presents the world’s best-selling liqueur brands

In the face of calls for low-sugar drinks, the liqueurs category has had to work overtime in order to retain its audience. Despite these challenges, seven out of the nine best-selling liqueur brands posted marginal growth over the last 12 months.

Figures from Euromonitor also show that the category has enjoyed year­-on­-year growth since 2016, with case sales reaching 112.3m in 2018 – the same year that liqueur sales in the UK hit £1.2 billion (US$1.5bn).

A host of innovative new products were launched over the past year, with new liqueurs from Hayman’s, Copper & Kings and De Kuyper aiming to redefine the public perception of the sector.

Following our recently published Brand Champions 2019 report – an analysis of the spirits brands selling more than one million cases annually – we run through the world’s best-selling liqueur brands on the market today.

Click through the following pages to discover the top seven best-selling liqueur brands listed in order of their nine-litre case sales.

Data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied to The Brand Champions 2019.

9. Cointreau

2018: 1.2m
2017: 1.2m
% change: 0.9%

Place last year: 8

French drinks producer Rémy Cointreau’s namesake orange liqueur brand saw a marginal increase in its sales, retaining figures of 1.2m nine-litre cases in 2018.

In its latest financial results, Rémy Cointreau reported the liqueur achieved “good growth”, particularly during the second half of the fiscal year. The brand’s Art of the Mix campaign was cited with aiding growth.

The last 12 months have seen Cointreau debut two limited edition bottle designs as well as a limited edition ‘Let’s Margarita’ tote.

8. Disaronno

2018: 1.2m
2017: 1.2m
% change: 0.9%

Place last year: N/A

Illva Saronno-owned Disaronno posted its third consecutive year with sales of 1.2m nine-litre cases in 2018. The Italian liqueur brand has maintained sales of 1.2m since 2016, after its results dipped to 1.1m in 2015.

Earlier this year, Disaronno transferred its distribution in Germany to family-owned spirits group Borco.

7. Choya

2018: 1.3m
2017: 1.2m
% change: 5.0%

Place last year: N/A

New to this year’s Brand Champions report was fruit liqueur brand Choya, which posted sales of 1.3m nine-litre cases in 2018.

Made with the fruit of the ume tree, the Japanese liqueur brand saw its sales recover last year after a dip to 1.2m in 2015. The Choya range includes an aged and un-aged bottling.

6. Žoładkowa Gorzka

2018: 1.3m
2017: 1.4m
% change: -4.6%

Place last year: 6

Stock Spirits Group-owned Žoładkowa Gorzka saw its sales decrease for the second consecutive year in 2018, posting results of 1.3m nine-litre cases.

Despite declining sales for the liqueur brand, parent company Stock Spirits reported a revenue increase of 8.7% to €282.4 million (US$320.1m) for 2018, bolstered by “solid” growth in Poland.

5. Lubelska

2018: 1.5m
2017: 1.5m
% change: 5.5%

Place last year: 5

Žoładkowa Gorzka stablemate Lubelska had rather different fortunes, posting a 5.5% sales increase in 2018.

Despite a sales boost to reach 1.5m nine-litre cases in the 2018 calendar year, the Polish vodka brand still sits below its five-year high of 1.8m nine-litre cases in 2014.

Earlier this year, brand owner Stock Spirits reported a “solid” performance for the start of 2019 and announced the acquisition of spirits firm Bartida.

4. Kahlúa

2018: 1.6m
2017: 1.6m
% change: 0.6%

Place last year: 4

Coffee liqueur brand Kahlúa saw marginal gains in 2018 as it maintained sales of 1.6m nine-litre cases.

This year, the Pernod Ricard-owned coffee liqueur brand launched a new programme with an aim to source 100% of its coffee sustainably by 2022.

The past year has also seen Kahlúa debut a ready-to-drink canned Espresso Martini and unveil a pre-made Espresso Martini on tap in Australia.

3. De Kuyper

2018: 2.0m
2017: 2.0m
% change: 0.4%

Place last year: 3

After unveiling a refreshed look for its range, Dutch liqueur brand De Kuyper transformed its declining sales of 2017 and maintained its 2m nine-litre annual case sales.

At the start of 2019, De Kuyper said its biggest innovation “is still to come” as the Dutch liqueurs maker prepared to unveil a trio of liqueurs created alongside bartenders Alex Kratena, Monica Berg and Simone Caporale, as well as updated packaging for its Peachtree liqueur brand and appointed new distributors in Germany and Austria.

2. Malibu

2018: 3.7m
2017: 3.7m
% change: -1.1%

Place last year: 2

A slight dip for Pernod Ricard-owned Malibu saw its sales stagnate at 3.7m cases after three years of continued growth.

The rum-based liqueur remains the second best-selling brand in the category, sitting comfortably ahead of third place rival De Kuyper.

Malibu, which debuted its Summer Games campaign in 2018, recently announced the global roll-out of its ‘contemporary’ bottle design and unveiled plans to capitalise on the ‘millennial pink’ trend with the launch of two new ready-to-drink Malibu products: Malibu Strawberry Spritz and Malibu Fizzy Pink Lemonade.

1. Baileys

2018: 7.1m
2017: 6.9m
% change: 2.6%

Place last year: 1

For the second year running, Diageo-owned Baileys takes the title of best-selling liqueur brand and Liqueurs Brand Champion after posting further gains and sales of 7.1m nine-litre cases.

Gráinne Wafer, global brand director for Baileys, told The Spirits Business: “Baileys had a fantastic year last year, and that really comes off the back of our three­-year strategy, which is all about repositioning Baileys.”

With five consecutive years of growth for the Irish cream liqueur brand, Baileys has branched out in the last year with the re-release of its coffee creamers range and the launch of a range of baking supplies in partnership with ingredients manufacturer Clabber Girl Corporation.

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