Vodka

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PRESS RELEASE – 19 JUNE 2012

JOHNNIE WALKER CLOSES IN ON SMIRNOFF’S LEAD AS WORLD’S TOP ALCOHOLIC DRINKS BRAND DUE TO STRENGTH IN ASIAN AND LATIN AMERICAN MARKETS

• Smirnoff holds top position but its once considered unassailable lead is being quickly eroded by an ever strengthening Johnnie Walker.

• Johnnie Walker’s performance this year over-shadows all brands in the Power 100.

• Every one of the top 16 brands in The Power 100’s Global Mega Brands rankings increased volume in 2011

• Hennessy and Jack Daniels lead with highest brand scores of 76%, closely followed by Chivas Regal at 72% and Johnnie Walker at 71%.

Smirnoff remains the world’s leading alcoholic drinks brand for the seventh year running according to The Power 100 2012, the annual survey of the world’s leading drinks brands published this week by brand valuation and strategy consultancy Intangible Business.

Hot on its heels is fellow Diageo Group stable mate Johnnie Walker, which moved up from third to second place in the rankings as a result of its enormous strength in both Asian and Latin American markets enabling an impressive sales growth of 10% (1.6 million cases 9 litre equivalent).

The league table, which assesses both the financial contribution of each brand alongside its strength in the eyes of the consumer, has been compiled by combining scores from a panel of some of the world’s leading drinks industry experts with hard data. The brands are rated according to share of market, future growth, premium price position, awareness, relevance, heritage and brand perception.

Intangible Business, which creates the annual league table and works extensively with the drinks industry, researches nearly 10,000 spirit and wine brands across the globe to produce The Power 100, now in its seventh year.

Smirnoff stays no.1
The powerhouse of the vodka market, Smirnoff has actually seen its brand value fall in the past year, with the business’ branding scarred by promotional pricing in the key US market. Its closest competitor in the vodka category, Absolut, has shown far stronger improvements in brand perception and market share. In 2008, Smirnoff saw a record sales figure of 26.2m cases. Down to 24m for 2011, it is yet to claw its way back to that position of strength.

Johnnie Walker closes in
Johnnie Walker’s impressive growth spurt has really caught the eye of The Power 100 panellists. Moving from third to second place in the rankings and retaining its top spot as the world’s leading whisky brand, the scotch brand has shown a particularly strong performance in the Far East – a hugely influential and important market for the future growth of many top spirits brands – and in Brazil, the biggest growth market for scotch.

Its brand owner Diageo’s versatile brand structure has given the brand a wider appeal than many of its competitors, creating a brand that spans from the top end blue label to the accessible red label and the legendary black label.

With a growth in sales of 1.6m cases between 2010 and 2011, Johnnie Walker is a shining example of the emergence of ‘mega brands’ in the global market. As such, this year’s The Power 100 includes rankings of the top 16 Mega Brands – those brands that managed a total score of 18% upwards.

TOP 16 MEGA BRANDS 2012 TABLE

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Biggest growth brands
Aperol, William Lawson and Wild Turkey closely followed by Courvoisier take the plaudits increasing volumes year on year; by 35% for Aperol and William Lawson, 31% for Wild Turkey and 27% for Courvoisier. These are stunning performances.

The Aperol success story continues ever onwards as the brand has seen impressive growth in the German and Italian markets. Owned by drink giant Campari, Aperol is indicative of Campari’s consistently excellent brand management, which is evident across its other major brands - Skyy, Dreher, Cinzano Vermouth, Campari Bitters and Wild Turkey – all of which...
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