Brands Report: Pisco

16 January, 2018

There’s an exciting new entrant in this sector, reports Shay Waterworth

Brands Report: Scotch Whisky

08 January, 2018

The previously unassailable Johnnie Walker could be showing signs of weakness, finds Hamish Smith

Brands Report: World Whisky

05 January, 2018

With Irish Whiskey stripped out, other countries get a chance to shine. Hamish Smith does the maths

Diageo’s Bulleit holds both top spots for the third year running. Shay Waterworth reports

Brands Report: Vodka

04 January, 2018

There’s been little change in the best sellers, with the top brands all holding, says Hamish Smith

The Millionaires' Club 2014

Download The Millionaires' Club PDF here

Welcome to The Millionaires' Club 2014.

The Millionaires’ Club is Drinks International’s ranking of the biggest selling brands in the global spirits industry.

For qualification brands must achieve global sales volumes of 1 million 9-litre cases or more.

This year the list comprises 179 spirits and liqueurs from all corners of the world, with notable brands entering and dropping out of the 2014 list.

Alongside the Full Listing, this year's supplement includes the Market Overview and a breakdown of brands by spirits category. 

There are sections on the Fastest Growing spirits and the Major Players that operate million-case brands.

We picked out our Ones to Watch for next year, and we speak to Officer's Choice owner ABD about building the biggest whisky brand in the world.

Global spirits groups and aspiring brands were present at the second annual Moscow Bar Show (MBS) this week to capitalize on Russian bartenders and distributors’ growing interest in international spirits. 

First Drinks has outlined the continued importance of premium drinks brands in driving growth in the UK market.


09 July, 2012

Tesco has moved one of its champagnes to lightweight bottles, but should other brands follow suit? James Boulton of Claessens International explores whether champagne producers can embrace sustainability without damaging their products’ premium status

Indian whisky

09 July, 2012

The market for whisky in India is huge, but local brands have the lion’s share due to the exorbitant import tariffs. Christian Davis reports

The Millionaires’ Club 2012 – the spirits industry’s definitive ranking of million-case selling brands - has launched on

UK: Charles Heidsieck champagne is to move to a "fine wine-orientated partner" in the UK. Distribution is to shift from First Drinks Brands to Liberty Wines from June 1, 2012 .

Following its €95m purchase of Cooley Distillery, Beam will phase out the supply of third-party brands to concentrate on building its core Irish whiskeys: Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, Connemara and Greenore.

UK: Children as young as 10 are more familiar with some leading alcohol brands and adverts than those for popular foods and snacks, according to a new report by Alcohol Concern.

Johnnie Walker has taken first place in Brands by Value, a list of the world’s 50 most valuable drinks brands.

Diageo has delivered 3% volume growth and 7% organic net sales increase for the six months ended December 31, 2011.

Global business consultancy McKinney Rogers has appointed a former Bacardi USA president to its board.

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has signed a five-year exclusive agreement to distribute Beam brands in Poland.

Altia buys Xanté

23 January, 2012

Altia Plc is buying the Xanté Company and the Xanté spirits brand from the Swedish Tilander family.

Pernod Ricard UK has announced the following senior appointments within its executive committee and senior management group with immediate effect.

LVMH has appointed new chief executive officers for its champagne brands Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.

Beam Inc has announced an agreement to purchase Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery.

Heineken has declared an intention to increase its share in a brewery in Haiti to 95%.

Heineken and Facebook have announced a global partnership, which will see the two companies collaborate on digital campaigns for Heineken’s brands around the world. 

Accolade sets its stall out

23 November, 2011

Accolade Wines has set its stall out, 10 months after Constellation Brands sold off its international wine division to an Australian private equity group.

US: Mexico-based La Madrileña is to distribute Beam’s entire portfolio in Mexico. As part of the performance-based agreement, effective on January 1, 2012, La Madrileña will be the exclusive distributor of Beam’s brands, including Jim Beam bourbon, Sauza tequila, Courvoisier cognac and Cruzan rum.

US: Polish vodka brand Sobieski is to launch three new flavours in the US. Espresso, Cynamon and Bizon Grass are to be imported and marketed by Imperial Brands.

Patrón Spirits International has teamed up with Mumbai-based agent Aspri Spirits to distribute its portfolio of tequila, vodka and rum in India. is now home to the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands magazine supplement, a comprehensive industry poll of the world's best regarded wine. 

Russian Standard vodka owner Roust and Rémy Cointreau have announced the expansion of their partnership in Russia which will include the distribution of additional Rémy Cointreau brands.

Constellation Brands has purchased the remaining 50.1% of Italian wine brand Ruffino from MPF International. 

US Spirits company Fortune Brands today begun trading as Beam on the New York stock exchange, following the separation of its businesses.

Buffalo Trace bourbon owner the Sazerac Company has agreed to purchase 17 brands from Pernod Ricard‘s Corby Distillers. 

Pernod Ricard is pinning hopes of further growth on the US, central and South America to undermine Diageo’s position as the number one drinks company in the world.

Burn Stewart Distillers, producer of brands Bunnahabhain and Scottish Leader, has announced net profits of £3.7 for the financial year ending December 31 2010.

Diageo has announced plans to step-up its multi-million dollar strategic partnership with social media website Facebook.

Diageo has announced the launch of Catalyst, a stand-alone group that will focus exclusively on what it describes as high potential brands.

Kirin buys Schincariol

02 August, 2011

Japanese brewer Kirin has bought the outstanding shares in Aleadri-Schinni Participações e Representações S.A. (“Aleadri”), a company that holds 50.45% of the outstanding shares of Schincariol Participações e Representações SA (Brazil; CEO: Adriano Schincariol: “Schincariol”).

Beam lines up directors

28 July, 2011

Fortune Brands has announced the boards of directors for Beam and Fortune Brands Home & Security, the standalone public companies to result from the planned separation of its businesses.

Constellation Brands has added Keith Wandell, president and chief executive officer of Harley- Davidson to its board.

Rémy Cointreau has completed the sale of all the shares in Piper-Heidsieck-Compagnie Champenoise to the EPI Group (Européenne de Participations Industrielles).

Drinks International and Euromonitor International have published the Millionaires Club 2011. The report lists spirits brands that sell over one million nine-litre cases. A record 172 brands feature in this year’s edition and figures are based on 2010 sales volumes.

Pernod Ricard has announced the disposal, by its affiliate Pernod Ricard Europe, of its shares in Georgian Wine and Spirits LLC to JSC Marussia (Georgia).

Morrison Bowmore Distillers has made five new appointments within its sales and marketing team.

The Rémy Cointreau Group has announced the sale of Piper-heidseick – Compangni Champenoise to EPI (Européenne de Participations Industrielles)

New World brands continue to dominate the global wine sector and now constitute 13 of the top 15 wine brands, according to a recent study.

The Bacardi Global Travel Retail Division has announced three director-level appointments in a bid to “create a leadership team with a wealth of experience and global expertise”.

Indian distributor Radico Khaitan is to launch Japanese whiskies the Yamazaki 12 year old and Hibiki 17 year old in India.

Ian Macleod Distillers has appointed Danielle Murphy as business development manager at its Scotland-based sales team.

Diageo’s Johnnie Walker is the number one spirits brand by value according to Impact Databank’s Top 100 Premium Spirits list.

Brown-Forman has announced that its board of directors has authorised the repurchase of up to $250 million of its outstanding Class A and Class B common shares until November 30, 2011, subject to market and other conditions.

The Rémy Cointreau Group has announced that it has entered into “exclusive negotiations with EPI” to sell its champagne division.

Fortune Brands has said it sees a “bright and prosperous future for Beam Global as an independent spirits company”.

Stock posts impressive growth

25 February, 2011

The Stock Spirits Group has announced double digit organic volume growth with total sales volumes of 162.4 million litres in 2010.

Constellation Wines Australia and Europe has been renamed Accolade Wines following the completed acquisition of an 80% share in the company by Australian equity group Champ.

Africa: Heineken has announced the acquisition of two holding companies from the Sona Group. The two acquired businesses have controlling interests in each of the Sona, IBBI, Benue, Life and Champion breweries in Nigeria.

French wine barrel manufacturer, Groupe Charlois, has expanded into the US with the purchase of Winemakers Cooperage (WC) from Treasury Wine Estates.

Brown-Forman, the major US drinks company, has announced a strategic review with a view to offloading its Californina-based wine assets.

Pernod Ricard has announced the completion of the sale, by its affiliate Pernod Ricard New Zealand, of Lindauer and other New Zealand wine brands from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay together with their inventories and assets.

Australia head hits out

12 November, 2010

Paul Henry, outgoing general manager, market development for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC), has accused retailers of being only interested in “volume and price” and described retailer consolidation and price compression as direct threats to proprietary brands.

Pernod Ricard New Zealand has announced the disposal of its Lindauer wine brand. The company has also announced the sale of several other New Zealand wine brands from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay together with their related inventories and assets.

Monarq Group is to distribute Tia Maria and Disaronno in the Caribbean domestic and duty free markets.

Brand marketer, The Paddington Corporation, has announced a joint venture with 3 Amigos Tequila to market its range globally.

The number of brands meeting the criteria of The IWSR’s Elite Brands has fallen from 22 in 2009 to just 10 in 2010. Ukrainian vodka Nemiroff has taken the top spot.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the premium spirits business of Fortune Brands has announced plans to divest three of its German-market local brands. Kuemmerling bitters, Fûrst Bismarck korn/schnapps and Jacobi 1880 brandy are to be sold to Henkell & Co, the second largest distributor of wine and spirits in Germany.

Pernod Ricard has created a new brand company for its wines and made several organisational changes to its overall structure.

The 2010 Drinks International Millionaires research has been compiled. Based on sales volumes for 2009, this year saw a record number of brands on the list – 162.

The Edrington Group has appointed a new area director for global travel retail.

Smirnoff has retained its position as the world’s leading alcoholic drinks brand according to The Power 100, 2010, the annual survey of the world’s leading drinks brands published by brand valuation and strategy consultancy Intangible Business.


David Williams

Vineyard vs winemaking

What is the most important component of a wine brand? What makes it what it is, or, put another way, what can it not do without?

Click for more »