The world’s strongest and most valuable spirits brands have been revealed, with Chinese Baijiu brands dominated the rankings, claiming each of the top five spots.

According to Brand Finance’s Spirits 50 2021 ranking the total value of the world’s top 50 most valuable spirits brands has increased by five per cent, up from US$129.7bn in 2020 to US$135.9bn in 2021.

Once again the Chinese brands performed particularly well in the growth ranking, with the nine brands that feature growing 27 per cent in brand value on average.

Richard Haigh, Managing Director, Brand Finance, said: “China is home to the largest spirits market in the world and it has been flourishing in recent years as alcohol consumption increases and purchasing power is on the up.

“Although we are beginning to witness a rise in popularity of international spirits across the country, the nation’s traditional Baijiu spirit still dominates on home soil with immense volumes sold each year, particularly by market leaders Moutai and Wuliangye.

“This dominance is reflected in their brand values being significantly ahead compared to other brands across the sector.”

Moutai is out in front as the world’s most valuable spirits brand, with a value of US$45.3bn, up 15 per cent year-on-year.

Brand Finance said: “Moutai’s revenues have suffered recently with sales reaching a five-year low, as the brand grapples with the sharp decline in consumer spending, as a result of the pandemic.

“The brand has been working towards increasing its direct sales channels, however, so that it can control prices more effectively as well as expanding it production capacity.”

Wuliangye sits in second with a brand value of US$25.8bn, representing a 24 per cent brand value increase. Brand Finance said: “Wuliangye has thrived since optimising its product structure, streamlining the business by demerging many sub brands, and focusing on the high-end spirits market.”

The top five is rounded out by Yanghe (down eight per cent to US$7.1bn), Luzhou Laojiao (up 25 per cent to US$7.0bn) and Gujing Gong Jiu (up 22 per cent to US$4.0bn).

Jack Daniel’s is the highest non-baijiu brand, coming in sixth at $3.38bn, down 17.2 per cent, with the top 10 made up of Hennessy ($3.29bn, down 9.3 per cent), Smirnoff ($3.17bn, down 4.5 per cent), Bacardi ($2.54bn down 19 per cent) and Johnnie Walker ($2.39bn, down 40.6 per cent).

Brand Finance also calculates the world’s strongest brands, with Don Julio ranked first, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.8 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

Brand Finance said: “The focus on keeping the authenticity of the brand and maintaining the same processes and quality since it was first created by Don Julio Gonzalez in 1942 remains of paramount importance. Don Julio launched its biggest marketing campaign to date at the end of last year, celebrating its founder and showcasing its commitment to supporting communities, and the restaurant sector.

“Riding on the wave of increased popularity in tequila particularly in the US market – where volume consumption has grown exponentially over the past five years in particular – Don Julio has celebrated strong sales over the previous year. The strong performance of the brand helped to offset losses made in other areas of parent company Diageo’s portfolio.”

Brand Finance compiles the list using what it calls its ‘Royalty Relief approach’, which involves estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of that brand. The overall brand value also includes a brand strength index and estimated brand revenues.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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