Johnnie Walker Takes Position as World’s Top Performing Spirits Brand, but Jack Daniel’s Progress Catches the Eye

Monday, October 17, 2011

LONDON, October 18, 2011 -

Johnnie Walker has been confirmed as the top performing global brand in the spirits sector, but new research also confirms positive findings for brands such as Jack Daniel’s, Absolut and Captain Morgan.

The research from The IWSR and just-drinks, entitled The World’s Top Performing Spirits Brands, incorporates The IWSR’s ranking based on volume, retail value and five-year growth, with a just-drinks reader survey of industry opinion on what have been the best-performing brands of 2010.

One of the stand-out performances was Jack Daniels, the flagship brand of Louisville-based Brown-Forman, which punches above its weight in the global spirits market.

In the overall ranking from The IWSR, Jack Daniel’s came in fourth with a total score of 310 (out of a possible 327), and was the only brand not owned by either Diageo or Pernod Ricard to feature in the top eight.  

Moreover, in the brand ’stand out’ rating element of the survey, where readers were asked to rate the brands on a score of 1 to 5, it came second behind Johnnie Walker, the top brand in The IWSR’s overall ranking. Jack Daniel’s had an average rating of 4.10, while Diageo’s flagship Scotch whisky brand scored 4.19. Jack Daniel’s was also the only other brand to have a score above 4.

Another brand which, perhaps unsurprisingly, scores well on innovation is Absolut vodka.

While the Pernod-owned vodka comes in third on The IWSR overall ranking - behind Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff -  the just-drinks reader survey gave Absolut the highest rating with regard to innovation, with an average score of 3.73, versus 3.35 for Johnnie Walker and 3.30 for Smirnoff.

Meanwhile, Johnnie Walker was not only the leading brand in the IWSR rankings but was also identified, ominously for its competitors, as the brand with the most growth potential in the just-drinks reader survey.

Johnnie Walker’s volumes grew by 8.5% in 2010 to reach 15.5m nine-litre cases, excluding RTD volumes and sales in sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific Islands. The brand sells more than 1m cases in three markets, namely the US, Brazil and Thailand, and more than 500,000 cases in a further three countries, Mexico, Australia and Greece. While Greece could fall below the 500,000-case mark this year, China is set to become the next 500,000-case market, The IWSR forecasts.

Full details of the report can be found here:

Following an executive summary and introduction, the report begins by reviewing the top ten overall spirits brands in order, with lengthy textual analysis of why each brand scored where it did. Quantitative performance data and qualitative survey data is provided.

The report then focuses on each of the key spirits categories that were ranked, comprising sections for: Scotch; vodka; non-Scotch whiskies; flavoured spirits (including bitters); Cognac; non-Cognac brandies; gin and Tequila.

Since 1999, has been the leading and most respected beverage industry website globally. The site’s unique news, analysis, comment and research content is produced and sourced via a dedicated editorial team, worldwide network of correspondents and content partnerships. In addition, the research store provides instant access to over 4,000 market research reports.

The IWSR (International Wine & Spirit Research) quantifies the global market for alcohol by volume and value, and provides insight into short-term and long-term trends. The IWSR covers 125 countries in detail, with a further 9 in summary. Globally, The IWSR database holds volume records on almost 16,000 brand lines. These volumes are grouped by seven price qualities by category and stretch back to 1985 in some cases or to when countries opened up to alcoholic drinks in others. Each year The IWSR updates over 65,000 brand volumes. In all, The IWSR’s database consists of over 1,000,000 records (2011 IWSR Database).

For more information on this report, visit 

Or call Liz Hague, just-drinks’ research store manager on +44(0)1527 573-601.


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