Star Performers

The Power 100
The World's Most Powerful
Spirits & Wine Brands, 2013

The Top 10

Johnnie Walker

SmirnoffJohnnie Walker has knocked Smirnoff off the top spot in a staggering performance by Diageo, showcasing how to manage megabrands. Diageo reported an impressive 15% net sales and 7 % volume movement for the Johnnie Walker brand – which has wide appeal due to a variety of offerings, from the top end Blue Label to the accessible Red Label and iconic Black Label brand variants. The panel gave Johnnie Walker an 11% brand score increase on last year, and have confidence in its continued growth. The key issue Diageo faces is maturing stock for their Black 12 year plus blend – Diageo are rising to the challenge, making a $1 billion investment in maturation of Whisky in Scotland – ‘the largest investment of its kind ever made.’ Expect to see more great things next year.


SmirnoffAfter losing ground in the last few years and being forced to discount to retain its volumes, Smirnoff has bounced back and grown its volumes by 5% to 26 million cases– vastly closing in on record 2008 volumes. Its brand score increased by 2% this year as the panel’s confidence in the brand has improved - but it was not enough to retain leadership over Johnnie Walker, as the panel marked the brand down in terms of premium price positioning and future growth, compared to the king of Scotch. Yet Smirnoff do have the muscle in the saturated US Vodka market, where its status as a local brand gives it an edge over imported competitors. Diageo have set the bar very high this year.


BacardiIt’s been an extremely successful year for the Rum brand with large volume movements and a brand score increase of 13%. Although this cannot compete with Diageo’s megabrands’ real volume movements, this reflects a superb year for the top 2 rather than reflecting on Bacardi’s strength in the market. Bacardi is viewed as a bar staple and has been focussing marketing efforts on the Rum’s versatility when it comes to cocktails


Martini VermouthItalian Martini has grown this year and retained 4th position, with volumes almost double that of competitors Jägermeister and Cinzano Vermouth. Despite a 7% volume increase the panel gave the brand a 3% lower brand score of 65.3%, comparatively marking the light aperitif down on future growth. Martini’s volumes will undoubtedly be propelled by a global rise in demand for ‘chic’ cocktails in line with growing wealth aspirations, and the brands great heritage, allowing it to retain its price premium.


HennessyHennessy retains 5th place, as it grows in line with the dynamic Cognac market, fuelled by growth in China and the US. Hennessy made an impressive jump from 7th to 5th place last year, and has proved it can hold its own as it continues to target the expanding far eastern middle classes. With this market continuing to grow, the panel have confidence in the future growth potential of the brand, which has once again outperformed competitors in terms of both growth and image – volume up 6% on the previous year.

Jack Daniel's

Jack Daniel'sIn the other great story of this year’s Power 100, Jack Daniel's has overtaken ABSOLUT in the rankings to claim 6th place. Jack Daniel's has more momentum in more markets than ABSOLUT which is reflected in its growth with volumes moving 7% compared to ABSOLUT’s 2%. As the only Whisky brand to make the top 10, it deserves the hard-fought position as the leader in its category. The brand has focussed marketing efforts on the younger audience and has a strong brand perception built on its heritage, whilst maintaining its status as a bar staple and cocktail ingredient. Brown Forman’s efforts could be overshadowed by Diageo – but this is a really noteworthy performance that should not be undervalued.


ABSOLUTABSOLUT has seen modest volume increases of 2% this year, and has slipped a place in the rankings as other brands outperform it in terms of growth. The Swedish brand has continued to perform well in a competitive Vodka market through innovative advertising campaigns such as ‘ABSOLUT unique’ and its marketing to young professionals. ABSOLUT’s total score slipped by 4% this year, as they have been forced to discount their prices in the flooded US market.

Captain Morgan

Chivas RegalCaptain Morgan has overtaken Chivas Regal, with the Rum now claiming 8th place. Another great success for Diageo, who have grown volumes 9% this year. The panel were impressed – scoring the brand 6% higher on brand score, giving it 71.8%. The launch of Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum in North America and increase in marketing spend has resonated with the male audience, adding to its success.

Chivas Regal

Chivas RegalThis Blended Scotch has slipped a place in the rankings. Whilst it is respected in the Asian markets it has stood still with negligible volume movements whilst Johnnie Walker powers ahead. The brand is established in more mature markets with less movement in them such as Japan. The market here has been stagnant for some time and there is a large propensity to save rather than spend. Despite these market conditions, the total score of 30.8% shows that the brand still has real strength.


Ballantine'sBallantine’s has once again retained its position in the top 10, as it overpowers its major competitor J&B in the European market, under Pernod Ricard’s management. The Blended Scotch has not grown much in way of volumes, reaching a plateau - largely due to its reliance on the falling European market and stagnant Japanese market. The challenge the Blended Scotch faces is growing its volumes in tough market conditions – it is only retaining its volumes due to momentum in the Far East markets, which has developed a deep connection with Ballantine’s 17 year old powered by the South Korean and Japanese markets.


The Top 10 brands

Who made the biggest splash in the 2013 drinks industry...


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