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The world’s biggest-selling liqueurs

There is a wealth of styles and flavours to explore when it comes to liqueurs, meaning competition at the top has never been fiercer.

We count down the biggest-selling liqueur brands

French liqueurs appear to be in particularly rude health, with exports up by 14.1% in volume and 12.8% in value last year, according to trade body the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux de France (Fevs).

This year, the title of Liqueur Brand Champion was bestowed upon De Kuyper following the brand’s 3.2% volume growth in 2022. But how did the other million-case-selling liqueurs fare last year? Regular readers of The Brand Champions report will know the ‘Brand Champion’ titles are not awarded for sales volume alone. Here, we count down the world’s biggest-selling liqueur brands.

It is worth noting that this year, South African firm Distell declined to provide figures for its Amarula brand after the company was taken over by brewing giant Heineken in April. Furthermore, Rémy Cointreau also opted not to share figures for its Cointreau liqueur brand for the second year running.

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 2023.

6. Choya

Choya-Liqueur2022: 1.5m

2021: 1.6m

% change: -5.2%

Place last year: 8

Japanese liqueur Choya struggled to retain its 2021 sales last year with a 5.2% volume decline. The fruit liqueur brand dropped to 1.5m cases – below its 2020 peak and in line with its 2018 and 2019 performances.

5. Kahlùa

Kahlua-Espresso-Martini2022: 1.8m

2021: 1.8m

% change: 3.4%

Place last year: 6

Pernod Ricard-owned Kahlùa enjoyed a slight rise in sales last year with 3.4% growth. The coffee liqueur sold 1.8m nine-litre cases in 2022 – and since November last year, the brand has been made entirely from sustainable coffee.

To help other brands become more environmentally friendly, Kahlùa released a free toolkit with advice on how to adopt more eco-friendly practices.

4. Lubelska

Lubelska-Range2022: 1.9m

2021: 1.9m

% change: 0.0%

Place last year: 5

It’s been a steady three years for Lubelska. The liqueur brand, owned by Stock Spirits Group, has maintained its 1.9m-case sales since 2020 – but not quite managed to reach the 2.0m cases it sold in 2019.

3. De Kuyper

De Kuyper liqueur Triple sec2022: 3.6m

2021: 3.5m

% change: 3.2%

Place last year: 3

Dutch brand De Kuyper enjoyed its biggest volume sales in the last five years in 2022, climbing by 3.2% to hit 3.6m cases.

The liqueur brand had an active 2022, which included launching five bottled cocktails in the on-trade last August. That same month, the brand appointed a new global marketing director.

2. Malibu

Malibu liqueurs2022: 4.8m

2021: 4.9m

% change: -1.8%

Place last year: 2

Despite a 1.8% dip in sales in 2022, Pernod Ricard-owned Malibu’s volume sales remained high compared with its pre-pandemic performance. The rum-based liqueur sold 4.8m cases last year, and kept its marketing efforts elevated to maintain Malibu’s ‘momentum’.

In April last year, Malibu launched the ‘Welcome to Malibu’ global video campaign, before releasing a UK-focused push in July to position the brand as a year-round drink.

1. Baileys

Baileys S'mores liqueurs2022: 8.8m

2021: 8.8m

% change: 0.2%

Place last year: 1

Diageo-owned Baileys had a stagnant 2022, just nudging sales up by 0.2%. At 8.8m cases, the volume is still more than 1.5m cases higher than the brand’s pre-pandemic sales. New-product-development has clearly kept consumers intrigued in the brand, and included the launch of a s’mores-inspired bottling in September last year.

In addition, Baileys became a B Corp-certified company last September, which is likely to appeal to consumers’ penchant for sustainably-led brands.

Looking for more million-case-selling updates? Check out the world’s biggest-selling speciality spirits.

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