Smirnoff, the vodka brand owned by UK alcoholic drinks producer Diageo, obviously has a loyal fan base and is steadily adding to it, judging by IWSR’s 2011 list of the Top 50 International Spirits Brands. Not only has Smirnoff retained its leading position in the rankings, but it has widened the gap with competitors, figures from the wine and spirits market researcher show.
Last year Smirnoff outsold runner-up Bacardi by 6.79 million cases, widening the gap by more than 500,000 cases. Its owner Diageo is represented on the list by eight brands in total. They include Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, which was ranked at number three overall and came in first in its category. Two other Diageo brands, Baileys liqueur and Gordon’s gin, secured the leading positions in their categories and landed at number 10 and 20 respectively in the overall rankings.
Diageo’s French rival Pernod Ricard was the company with the highest number of brands making it into the top 50, with ten of its portfolio names featured on the list. The highest-ranked was Absolut vodka, which finished in fourth place. Absolut has been enjoying steady growth and its sales volumes expanded by 2.8% in 2011, IWSR said.
William Lawson’s Scotch, which is owned by Bacardi-Martini, finished the race at number 45. This may not seem like much out of 50 in total but this was the brand that delivered the best results in terms of growth rate. William Lawson’s Scotch grew by 31.7% last year, buoyed by robust demand in the booming Russian market for whisk(e)y.