FORGET ABOUT WHISKIES, THE WORLD'S MOST VALUABLE SPIRITS BRANDS BELONG TO CHINESE BAIJIU
By Susan Lewis
Leading Chinese baijiu brands Moutai, Wuliangye, and Yanghe are the world’s most valuable spirits brands, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, an international brand valuation and strategy consultancy.
Moutai defended its status as the world’s most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Spirits 50 2018 ranking, with its brand value increased by 73% to USD21.2 billion.
Second-ranked Wuliangye is also the fastest-growing, its value up a remarkable 161% year on year to USD14.6 billion.
Dubbed the ‘magic liquor of China’, Wuliangye will shortly follow Moutai’s example as one of the only two commercial brands in the world to have airports named after them, with Yibin Wuliangye Airport due to join Zunyi Maotai Airport later this year.
Yanghe (up 82% to USD7.8 billion) surpassed Johnnie Walker (down 6% to USD4.3 billion) to become the world’s third most valuable spirits brand. As a result, the top three spots are all occupied by Chinese baijiu brands.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented: “The big three Chinese baijiu brands have taken the podium because of the extraordinary celebratory culture that the Chinese customers hold for their products. These are brands that have remarkable value based upon centuries of tradition.”
“It will now be interesting to see whether they will translate this success across China to global markets as they make their first steps in Europe, the United States, Canada, and further afield,” Haigh added.
Whilst Moutai, Wuliangye, and Yanghe filled the top three positions, the other two Chinese brands in the Brand Finance Spirits 50 2018 ranking: Luzhou Laojiao (up 52% to USD3.8 billion) and Gujing Gong Jiu (up 67% to USD2.5 billion) have also performed well, claiming their spots in the top ten.
With an aggregate value of USD49.9 billion, Chinese spirits accounted for 54% of the total brand value in the league table.
Although the United Kingdom contributed 12 brands to the ranking, compared to China’s 5, their combined value was almost five times lower at USD10.4 billion. The value of British brands is more dispersed amongst numerous whisky and gin labels.
(The writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)
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