Close Menu
Top 10

Top nine best-selling local spirits brands

There was a mixed performance among the major local spirits players in 2023, however some brands managed to hit new milestones.

Local spirits soju
Korean spirit soju is expected to post stagnant sales between 2022 and 2027

Locally produced spirits, such as Chinese baijiu and Chilean pisco, have long dominated sales in their home countries. At the same time, some brands have also recognised the potential of global expansion, tapping into consumers’ interest in Asian cuisine and flavours.

However, there is still a long way to go to return to growth for certain categories. Standard‐and‐below baijiu is expected to decline by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% over the next five years (2022‐2027), according to IWSR. But ultra‐premium bottlings are predicted to soar by 7% over the same period, signalling a trade‐up among consumers.

Korean spirit soju is expected to report stagnant sales between 2022 and 2027, while shochu could see a CAGR drop of 2%. However, in China, these spirits are expected to grow their volumes with a 6% rise for soju and an 8% increase for shochu.

Spanning pisco, raki, cachaça, baijiu, soju and shochu, the world’s biggest-selling local spirits brands saw slight changes in their rankings. One brand also entered the list for the first time.

Below, we count down the biggest local spirits brands by volume in 2023 from the companies who supplied data for The Brand Champions 2024 report, which is now available to read online.

All data has been listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes were calculated based on the full data supplied. All data is recorded in millions of nine-litre cases.

9. Tekirdağ Raki

2023: 1.1m

2022: 0.9m

% change: 12.9%

Place last year: N/A

A newcomer to The Brand Champions was Diageo’s raki brand Tekirdağ, which surpassed one million cases last year after growing by 12.9%.

The Turkish spirit is produced from locally grown anise and is one of eight raki brands produced by Diageo.

In the year ending 30 June 2023, Diageo’s net sales in Turkey soared by 38%, with volume growth of 9%. Diageo said growth was driven by price increases in response to inflation and higher excise duties, and was also boosted by Scotch, vodka and raki.

8. Shui Jing Fang

2023: 1.4m

2022: 1.3m

% change: 11.2%

Place last year: 8

This year’s Local Spirits Brand Champion, Diageo’s Shui Jing Fang baijiu, rose by 11.2% to reach 1.4m cases. The brand’s growth was impressive, especially considering that the baijiu category is in decline in China.

“Our growth last year was mainly led by the increasing demand of our core products, including No. 8, aided by more resilient price points and occasions of consumption, as well as a stronger brand right to win at this price point,” said Zong Hua Hong, chief corporate relations officer, Shui Jing Fang.

According to Diageo’s financial results for the last six months of 2023, Shui Jing Fang’s organic sales soared by 32%. It is one of Diageo’s key brands in Asia Pacific.

The brand recently ran a campaign to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the discovery of Shui Jing Fang’s first distillery, located on an archaeological site, found in 1988.

7. Mistral

2023: 2.3m

2022: 2.4m

% change: -4.3%

Place last year: 6

After four years of consecutive growth, Chilean pisco Mistral recorded its first decline, dropping by 4.3% to 2.4m cases in 2023.

Owned by Compañía Pisquera de Chile, Mistral became the first aged Chilean pisco to enter the Finnish market in 2022. Countries such as Argentina and Chile are its most successful markets.

Chile is responsible for 80% of global pisco production, with an annual production of approximately 35m litres. ProChile, the trade agency of the Chilean government, has been working to develop the presence of its national spirit in the UK, France, Germany, the US and China.

6. Yeni

2023: 2.3m

2022: 2.3m

% change: 0.4%

Place last year: 7

Diageo’s biggest raki brand, Yeni, has been hovering at 2.3m cases since 2021 and only managed a 0.4% uptick last year. The brand reported higher case sales of 3m in 2018 followed by several years of declines.

As one of Diageo’s ‘local stars’, Yeni suffered a 6% decline in the last six months of 2023, according to the group’s financial results.

Diageo’s raki portfolio also includes: Tekirdağ, Kulüp, Altinbaş, İzmir, Civan, Vefa and Tayfa.

5. Ypióca


2023: 3.3m

2022: 3.7m

% change: -11.2%

Place last year: 4 

Cachaça brand Ypióca suffered the biggest drop among the best-selling local spirits, plummeting by 11.2% to 3.3m cases. The move saw it slip down one place on our list.

The Diageo-owned Brazilian brand has only grown once over the past five years, with a small increase of 1.7% in 2022.

In the year ending 30 June 2023, Diageo reported that Ypióca’s organic sales rose by 7%.

Within the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, Diageo’s spirits sales fell by a quarter (25%) between July and December 2023.

The company’s total sales in Brazil plummeted by 27% during the six-month period.

4. Kanoka

2023: 4.0m

2022: 3.5m

% change: 14.3%

Place last year: 5

Japanese shochu Kanoka had the best performance of the million-case local spirits brands, rising by 14.3% to hit 4m cases for the first time.

Brand owner Asahi Breweries said its shochu has a mellow flavour designed for casual consumption at home. The genshu (undiluted) shochu combines barley, rice and sweet potatoes.

3. Iichiko


2023: 6.5m

2022: 7.1m

% change: -8.2%

Place last year: 3

While Kanoka managed to grow its volumes, fellow shochu brand Iichiko took an 8.2% tumble last year to 6.5m cases. The brand has sat at around 7m cases for the last four years until now.

Iichiko is made using a blend of proprietary barley koji, yeast, spring water, and two-row pearled barley, as well as low-pressure and ‘atmospheric’ distillation techniques.

The brand recently launched a 30% ABV shochu in the US, called Iichiko Special, made from 100% two-row barley and fermented with koji. The new launch could help the brand recover its sales in 2024.

2. Chum Churum

2023: 27m

2022: 26m

% change: 3.9%

Place last year: 2

Korean soju Chum Churum experienced a 3.9% sales boost in 2023, marking its third year in growth. The brand also achieved 27m cases for the first time.

In December 2023, Spirit of Gallo partnered with Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co to distribute its Korean soju brands, including Chum Churum in the States, this year. The move could see the brand boom in the US, as Spirit of Gallo said soju has become increasingly popular in the market with multicultural drinkers.

Britt West, senior vice-president and general manager for Spirit of Gallo, said the category has “doubled in the US over the past five years”. He believes consumers are looking at soju as a full-flavoured, higher-ABV ready-to-drink product.

Chum Churum, which translates to ‘like the first time’ in Korean, is available in two non-flavoured variants: Original (16.5% ABV) and Rich (20% ABV).

1. Jinro

2023: 97.4m

2022: 100.9m

% change: -3.5%

Place last year: 1

The world’s biggest-selling spirit, Korean soju Jinro, suffered a 3.5% fall last year but it still shifted an enormous 97.4m cases. It also marked the brand’s first decline in five years after an impressive 2022 when it surpassed the 100m case milestone, prompting us to name it Supreme Brand Champion in 2023.

But its volumes could return to growth this year due to growing global interest in soju.

“As the Korean wave is spreading out to all around the world, Korean food and drinking culture is also having a great impact on overseas consumers,” Kim Kang‐wook, overseas business headquarters global strategy team manager at Hite‐Jinro, told The Spirits Business last year.

“Korean soju is also influencing overseas consumers, so the Korean market is a very important starting point for our company, as the competitive edge in the Korean market leads to overseas markets.”

In 2023, Jinro set its sights on the UK with several activities in the market including a three-month summer pop-up with Yard Sale Pizza and an activation with WingWing restaurant. It also increased its presence at All Points East with a bigger space for the brand’s second year at the London-based music festival.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No