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Top 10 fastest-growing spirits on Instagram

Drinks marketing agency Yesmore has revealed the 10 spirits brands in the UK that gained Instagram followers at the quickest rate in 2022.

Celebrities and influencers helped to bring drinks brands to new audiences on Instagram

Yesmore recently revealed the top 100 fastest-growing drinks brands on Instagram, covering beer, cider, wine and spirits.

The agency has collated a year’s worth of research to name the brands that recorded the biggest percentage growth in the number of followers on Instagram in 2022.

The number-one and number-two spots were held by two rum producers, while three Diageo-owned brands were among the top 10 spirits on the list.

Yesmore’s report also recognised spikes in follower numbers according to time and season, including Irish celebration St Patrick’s Day on 17 March.

Meanwhile, several brands among the top 10 spirits represented on the list made use of celebrities and influencers in their visuals to attract followers.

Scroll below to see the 10 fastest-growing spirits on Instagram in 2022, according to Yesmore. Data was captured from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022. 

10. Cambridge Gin (@cambridgegin)

Total followers: 9,400
Followers gained in 2022: 1,869
% growth: 20%

English gin producer Cambridge Gin grew at a steady rate throughout the year, the agency noted. The gin brand’s growth was led by ‘great quality content and engaging community management’.

Cambridge Gin experienced follower peaks around key campaigns to mark its 10th anniversary in 2022, including a giveaway that generated almost half of its annual follower growth.

9. Grant’s (@grantswhisky)

Total followers: 24,912
Followers gained in 2022: 5,248
% growth: 21%

Scotch whisky brand Grant’s experienced double-digit percentage growth in followers, boosted by its ‘How To’ series in collaboration with Vice in the summer.

Yesmore said the move showed the value of high-profile partnerships with publishers, rather than using an influencer or celebrity, to reach new audiences.

8. Absolut (@absolutuk)

Total followers: 18,584
Followers gained in 2022: 4,167
% growth: 22%

Yesmore attributed Absolut vodka’s growth to its partnership with singer Olly Alexander (pictured centre), of Years & Years.

The Pernod Ricard-owned brand teamed up with the English musician in November last year to launch The Absolut Choir campaign to champion inclusivity.

A three-week media campaign saw Absolut visible across online video and social channels, backed by a media partnership with Ladbible.

7. Jameson (@jamesonuk)

Jameson Aisling Bea

Total followers: 10,555
Followers gained in 2022: 2,657
% growth: 25%

Fellow Pernod Ricard brand, Irish whiskey Jameson, experienced 9% growth during the month it featured content starring Irish actress and comedian Aisling Bea.

Bea starred in a 30-second advert as part of Jameson’s multi-million-pound campaign Widen the Circle, which featured heavily in March ahead of St Patrick’s Day.

6. The Famous Grouse (@thefamousgrouseuk)

Total followers: 7,297
Followers gained in 2022: 2,052
% growth: 28%

The UK account for Edrington-owned The Famous Grouse experienced growth each time it posted animated assets of a grouse in various scenarios, Yesmore said.

Furthermore, the blended Scotch brand seemed to have ‘watertight paid campaigns as they grew at the most saturated times of year for paid content’, the agency noted.

5. Smirnoff (@smirnoffeurope)

Smirnoff Diageo

Total followers: 19,505
Followers gained in 2022: 5,588
% growth: 29%

Diageo’s Smirnoff Vodka brand recorded a 29% rise to nearly 20,000 followers in 2022.

Yesmore said a partnership with one of the most popular influencers of the year, Amelia Dimoldenberg, was used to launch Smirnoff’s new vodka expressions in time for summer.

Collaborating with someone at the forefront of popular culture helped to boost the brand’s following significantly, the agency noted.

4. Gordon’s (@gordonsginglobal)

Total followers: 22,482
Followers gained in 2022: 7,852
% growth: 35%

Gordon’s saw its follower growth rise by more than a third last year. The Diageo-owned gin brand took a video-first approach in 2022, posting short, moving graphics to showcase its ready-to-drink (RTD) products.

However, Yesmore believes the brand didn’t take advantage of using more reels, which it believes would have increased its growth further.

The agency said while Gordon’s performed well, it could have been a lot better with some higher-quality video content and a strategic approach to its social plan.

3. The Famous Grouse (@thefamousgrouse)

Total followers: 7,423
Followers gained in 2022: 3,533
% growth: 48%

The Famous Grouse once again made another strong showing in the top 10 list with its global Instagram account experiencing 48% growth.

Like the UK handle, the brand’s global account benefitted from grouse visuals.

Yesmore noted that the brand linked to its wider marketing activity and had a consistent identity across its campaigns.

2. Captain Morgan (@captainmorgan_official)

Total followers: 12,060
Followers gained in 2022: 7,382
% growth: 63%

Spiced rum Captain Morgan was the third Diageo brand to make the top 10 list, after growing by an astonishing 63% in 2022.

The brand’s growth was attributed to the release of a new TV advert and through-the-line campaign in the summer, demonstrating the effectiveness of a fully-integrated marketing campaign, Yesmore said.

Captain Morgan recruited Bafta-winning presenter, musician and chef Zuhair Hassan, known professionally as Big Zuu, to voice the 20-second spot for its Spice On campaign in August.

1. Bacardí (@bacardi)

Bacardi rum range

Total followers: 226,890
Followers gained in 2022: 169,832
% growth: 75%

In early 2022, Yesmore noted Bacardí rum’s following soared, but it didn’t see any clear changes to its strategy or campaigns to explain the whopping 75% uplift.

The agency thinks it might be due to celebrations around the brand’s 160th birthday and the announcement of winning its 1,000th rum award.

The brand also has by far the most followers among the top 10 fastest-growing spirits list, with 226,890 followers.

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