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Top 10 most valuable spirits brands 

Research firm Brand Finance has revealed its ranking of the world’s most valuable spirits, which is once again dominated by Chinese powerhouses. Here, we count down the top 10.

Brand Finance has announced its ranking of the most valuable spirit brands

The annual report from Brand Finance outlines the most valuable spirit brands in the world.

To calculate the value of each brand in the report, Brand Finance analysed the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand Finance also investigated the revenue forecast for each company and the royalties that it could gain by selling its assets.

Despite the challenges facing the industry in 2020, four of the 10 most valuable spirits brands in the report have seen their value increase.

Chinese spirits dominated the top three in this year’s Brand Finance Spirits ranking, while global brands such as Jack Daniel’s and Bacardi also grabbed a spot on the list.

Brand Finance also noted that the world’s most valuable alcoholic drinks brands could cumulatively lose up to US$33 billion in value as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Click through the following pages to find out the top 10 most valuable spirit brands of 2020, according to the Brand Finance Spirits 50 ranking. 

10. Bacardi

2020 value: US$3.1bn

2019 value: US$3.7bn

% change: -14.2%

2019 position: 8

Rum brand Bacardi saw its value drop 14.2% in 2020 according to Brand Finance. In 2019, Bacardi posted a sales growth of 3.9% (Brand Champions 2020 figures), unveiled new products and announced funding measures to support the on-trade as it struggles through the coronavirus pandemic.

9. Gujing Gong Jiu

2020 value: US$3.3bn

2019 value: US$2.7bn

% change: +22.6%

2019 position: 10

Owned by Anhui Gujing Group Co, Gujing Gong Jiu was one of the year’s fastest-growing brands. The Chinese baijiu brand saw its value increase by 22.6% to reach US$3.3bn, according to Brand Finance.

8. Smirnoff

2020 value: US$3.3bn

2019 value: US$3.5bn

% change: -5.1%

2019 position: 9

Vodka brand Smirnoff remains the world’s best-selling vodka, but saw its value dip 5.1% according to Brand Finance. In recent months, the Diageo-owned brand has branched out into the hard seltzer market and highlighted its history in a new campaign.

7. Hennessy

2020 value: US$3.6bn

2019 value: US$3.9bn

% change: -6.1%

2019 position: 7

The world’s best-selling Cognac brand, Hennessy, retains its position as the seventh most valuable spirit brand. After posting sales of eight million cases in 2019, the brand saw its value dip 6.1%, according to Brand Finance.

6. Johnnie Walker

2020 value: US$4bn

2019 value: US$4.6bn

% change: -13.1%

2019 position: 5

In its 200th anniversary year, blended Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker dropped one place to sixth in the Brand Finance ranking of the most valuable spirit brands. The Diageo-owned whisky recently announced plans create a plastic-free, paper-based bottle, which will debut next year.

5. Jack Daniel’s

2020 value: US$4bn

2019 value: US$4.3bn

% change: -5.6%

2019 position: 6

Despite a slight dip in value, American whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s has moved up one place to fifth in this year’s ranking. The Brown-Forman-owned brand recently partnered with Nearest Green Distillery to launch a US$5 million initiative to boost diversity across the American whiskey industry.

4. Luzhou Laojiao

2020 value: US$5.6bn

2019 value: US$5.4bn

% change: +4.7%

2019 position: 4

The namesake release from China’s Luzhou Laojiao Company increased its value by 4.7% to reach US$5.6bn. Distilled from fermented sorghum, the baijiu is produced at the oldest continually operating distillery in China.

3. Yanghe

2020 value: US$7.6bn

2019 value: US$9.1bn

% change: -15.4%

2019 position: 3

The only baijiu brand in this year’s report to see its value dip, Yanghe is produced by the Jiangsu Yanghe Brewery Company. Last year, Johnnie Walker owner Diageo developed a “new-to-world whisky” as part of its joint venture with Jiangsu Yanghe.

2. Wuliangye

2020 value: US$20.8bn

2019 value: US$16bn

% change: +30.1%

2019 position: 2

The fastest-growing brand in this year’s report was Chinese baijiu Wuliangye, which increased by 30.1% according to Brand Finance. Produced by Wuliangye International, the producer recently signed a strategic partnership with Pernod Ricard to “capitalise on shared resources to boost their joint development in both the Asia and global spirits markets”.

1. Moutai

2020 value: US$39.3bn

2019 value: US$30.5bn

% change: +29.1%

2019 position: 1

After increasing its value by 29.1%, baijiu brand Moutai retains its position as the world’s most valuable spirit brand. Last year, Moutai producer Kweichow Moutai announced it had experienced supply shortages for international markets for the first time as exports reached US$369 million in the 10 months to 31 October 2019.

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