According to the latest Euromonitor Millionaires
Club Ranking, concerns with the global economy have caused
international brands to suffer, while sales of domestic / local
spirits have received a boost.
“2009 was not a good year for multinational
companies. The 2010 Millionaires ranking saw total volumes of
international brands on the list fall by 5% while domestic/local
brands saw growth of 6%, selling over 400 million 9-litre cases,”
said Euromonitor International senior alcoholic drinks analyst,
The Millionaires supplement is a ranking of
spirits with sales of over one million 9-litre cases across all
retail channels. In the third year of Euromonitor International’s
Millionaires research, the 2010 list includes a record breaking
The 2010 listing continues to gain new breadth
and depth with 17 new brand entries, including brands from
Colombia, Turkey and most notably the soju producers of South
Korea. It also shows the strength and power of spirits consumption
in Asia Pacific as domestic / local brands on the list, which are
almost entirely sold in the region, accounted for over 40% of
total brand volumes.
As predicted in last year’s supplement,
international brands performed poorly in 2009. Due to the effects
of the recession, consumers’ trading down and the decline of
on-trade consumption, total volume sales of international brands
on the list has fallen.
Pernod Ricard remains the company with the most
brands on the Millionaires list despite losing two from the 2009
list - Presidente brandy and, more surprisingly, Luksusowa vodka.
However, two of its stand-out brands were Indian whiskies which
continued to benefit from a rapidly growing category and a booming
Second-placed United Spirits increased the
number of brands on the list up two to 19 with its Bagpiper Indian
whiskey becoming the leading whiskey brand in the world.
Diageo sits in an increasingly distant third
place with 14 brands (down one) with only two of its rum brands
benefiting from strong growth in its core markets (North America
for Captain Morgan, Venezuela for Cacique) along with Bells in the
UK. Bacardi continued to suffer from its over-reliance on a
limited number of major markets, specifically in the US and Spain,
with only two of its brands, Eristoff vodka and William Lawson
blended scotch, recording growth.
Effects of the Recession
Trading down was a key factor in the growth of
domestic/local brands which posted an increase of 6% in 2009.
However, the negative impact of trading down for international
brands can be seen in a number of markets around the world,
particularly the US, a key market for a number of premium and
super-premium vodka brands. Brands such as Absolut, Grey Goose and
standard vodka Smirnoff, suffered declines as consumers traded
down to economy level variants such as Burnett’s, Three Olives and
Trading down to less premium brands was also
indicative of another trend taking place during the recession -
the switch from on-trade to off-trade consumption. These lesser
premium spirits are invariably sold in the off-trade, while more
premium brands such as Grey Goose are consumed more in the
This switch to off-trade consumption can be
further seen by the performance of liqueur and bitter brands, most
of which declined or remained static in their volume sales, with
only the Aperol brand seeing any substantial growth.
While the picture painted in volume terms in
2009 was relatively bleak for international brands, 2010 is likely
to be far more positive, due to the emerging markets of Latin
America, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe.
According to Jeremy Cunnington, “Signs of
economic recovery in the first half of 2010 will undoubtedly help
international brands bounce back. However, many core markets for
these brands, especially in Western Europe, could still hold back
growth as governments and consumers continue to restrict spending
to reduce their high levels of debt.”
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