Statistics released by the International Wine & Spirits Research (IWSR) showed that the world spirits market is remarkably local, with 9 Asian national spirit brands holding 9 of the top 10 best selling positions in 2017.
The world’s best-selling spirits brand in 2017 was Jinro, also the market leader in 2016, a Soju owned by Hite-Jinro. Soju is a Korean alcoholic drink typically made from rice or sweet potatoes.
At 75.9 million 9-liter cases, it was a whopping 44 million cases ahead of its nearest rival Thai beverage Ruang Khao which is a cane spirit. It sold 31.75 million cases.
Officer’s Choice, the world’s best-selling brown spirit, an Indian whisky owned by ABD, was number 3 with 31.5 million cases, followed by Emperador, a Philippine brandy owned by Emperador at 28.7 million cases.
McDowell’s, an Indian whisky owned by spirits giant Diageo, was number 5 at 26.3 million cases. The only international brand made to the top 10 was Diageo’s Smirnoff Vodka at number 6 at some 25 million cases.
Chum Churum, another Korean Soju brand, owned by Lotte, was number 7 at 25.5 million cases. Hong Tong, a Thai cane spirit owned by Thai Beverage, was number 8 at 21.2 million cases.
Imperial Blue, an Indian whisky owned by Pernod Ricard, was number 9 at 18.8 million cases. Good Day Soju, yet another Korean brand, was number 10 at 18.5 million cases.
These made Diageo’s Smirnoff Vodka the best-selling international spirit brand in 2017 at number 6; followed by Diageo’s Johnnie Walker at number 12 and Bacardi rum at number 13. Jack Daniels came in at number 14, up two places from 2016.