Spirits Global Value Shares: The Race to Premiumisation

October 2019

With spirits continuing its journey towards premiumisation, the global spirits company and brand rankings reflect the dynamics within this shifting industry. This briefing highlights the most interesting trends in global and regional value and volume shares in the spirits industry overall and by category within the context of broader prevailing trends, such as craft, and looks ahead to the forecast global value share rankings by 2021.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Low level of overlap between volume and value rankings

Only four of the top ten distillers by global volume share also rank in the top ten by global value share. This is reflective of the luxury focus of certain spirits groups, such as LVMH, which is dominant in premium cognac.

Diageo leads in both volume and value

Diageo is the leading global distiller in both volume and value terms, and is the leader in value terms in all regions except Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific. In those regions, local distillers, mainly of vodka and baijiu respectively, lead.

Diageo and Pernod Ricard both focus on premiumisation

Diageo’s global lead in value terms is much smaller than in volume terms, with second-placed Pernod Ricard closing the gap. Both groups are following a premiumisation strategy, including through the acquisition of craft distilleries.

Brandy versus cognac reflects category positioning

The overlap between leading distillers in volume and value terms is much lower in more accessibly-priced categories, such as brandy and other spirits, versus more inherently premium categories, such as cognac and single malt.

Chinese brands expected to gain value share in coming three years

Over the coming three years to 2021, the global value ranking of spirits companies is expected to remain broadly stable, with the only change being the improvement in rank of Chinese distillers such as Sujiu Group; reflective of the predicted rapid value growth in spirits in the Asia Pacific region. 

Key findings
Only four distillers rank in the top 10 in both volume and value
UK-based Diageo is the leading distiller by value in all but two regions
Diageo and Pernod Ricard reflect the race to premiumisation
The divide between volume and value: Moët Hennessy
Volume and value ranking overlap reflective of price divergence
Brandy: lowest overlap between volume and value rankings
Other spirits: mixed volume ranking, Chinese dominance in value
At brand level, Kweichow Moutai baijiu leads spirits globally
Blended Scotch whisky: Johnnie Walker the leading brand by a distance
Bourbon: premiumisation amplified by the craft movement
Projected value rankings: stability for the top five global distillers
Methodology: basics of the Euromonitor value shares model
Building value shares for spirits & RTDs/high-strength premixes
Spirits-specific methodology explained


This is the aggregation of whisk(e)y, brandy and Cognac, white spirits, rum, tequila, liqueurs and other spirits.

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