The Millionaires’ Club 2024 has revealed that 44% of the world’s major spirits producers showed volume declines in 2023 as global recession and inflation takes effect.

Brown-Forman has launched its own distribution business in Japan to bring its distribution in-house for the first time since entering the market in the 1970s.

Spirits distributor Speciality Brands is adding Takamaka to its rum portfolio, alongside signing an exclusive partnership with Chichibu Distillery, taking over from Speciality Drinks.

Drinks importer and distributor, Paragon Brands, has announced its new role as the exclusive distributor of Zamora Company spirits and liqueurs in the UK.

We’ve been running ­the Brands Report since 2010 – the year after Agile Media launched ­the World’s 50 Best Bars – and, while it has evolved since then, taking in new categories and drawing data from an ever-rotating panel of bars, it still seeks to answer the same question. Which brands do the best bars buy – and why?

Brands Report 2024 launches

02 January, 2024

The Drinks International Brands Report 2024 has launched, offering the industry insights into the buying habits of the world’s best bars.

Korean liquor giants, including Hite Jinro and Lotte Chilsung Beverage, are set to reduce the wholesale prices of their soju brands beginning next year.

Spirit of Gallo has announced it will distribute Korean soju brands Soonhari, Chum Churum and Saero in the US from January 2024, in partnership with Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co.

Ojo de Dios Mezcal has announced a partnership with Nightcap Brands as its official UK importer and sales agent.

Drinks distributor Speciality Brands has signed an agreement with French spirits producer Distillerie de Grandmont to exclusively distribute the brand’s expressions in the UK from this month.

Drinks distributor Speciality Brands has signed an agreement with Chopin Vodka, to exclusively distribute the Polish brand in the UK from this October.

Outcast Brands, the Dublin-based spirits company has announced the expansion of its global presence with the introduction of its Blood Monkey gins and Two Shores rums into seven new international markets.

International Beverage has entered into an agreement with Anora Group plc to acquire its Larsen Cognac business.

American drinks group Brown-Forman has announced the launch of its own distribution business in Slovakia, bringing distribution in-house for the first time since the company entered the market.

While they put a focus on the spirit, some experts believe the explosion of brands backed by famous faces does the category and quality expectations no favours.

Outcast Brands, the company behind Blood Monkey Gin and Two Shores Rum, has announced their partnership with bbb drinks for the distribution and brand activation of their premium spirits in the UK market. 

Russian police have uncovered a factory producing counterfeit alcohol, including fake Johnnie Walker Black Label and other brands.

Antinori has been named The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand 2023 and it is the first Italian winery in history to top the list.

Family-owned Calvados producer Christian Drouin has launched the sixth instalment of its Expérimental range, Caroni Angels.

Global Brands Limited has announced it has purchased the Hooch, Hooper’s, and Reef trademarks from Molson Coors Beverage Company.

Brands Report 2023: Rum

05 January, 2023

Big brand Bacardi tops the bestsellers for the fifth year in a row – and manages second on the trending list too.

Cream liqueurs may have been a fairly stuck category for a while, but new players are introducing exciting options.

Tonic water adapts and thrives

01 November, 2022

Players big and small are benefiting from a rise in demand for premium products in this mixer category.

What next for Royal Warrants?

22 September, 2022

On 8 September 2022 Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland aged 96.

Ukrainian vodka brand Nemiroff has partnered with Disaronno International for exclusive distribution in the Benelux market.

Pernod Ricard has released its FY22 Results, showing that sales grew organically by 17% in 2022, equalling €10.7m, with sales growing by double digits across each of its regions and spirit categories.

The Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index 2022 has reported that Yellow Tail is again the world’s most powerful wine brand with Casillero del Diablo meaning an unchanged top two.

Spanish producer Familia Torres has retained its crown as The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand after topping the list for 2022.

Kenyan ultra-premium spirits producer, Procera Gin has announced a partnership with Axiom Brands to accelerate growth in the UK on- and off-trade.

Pernod Ricard UK has expanded its American whiskey portfolio with Rabbit Hole making the UK the first European market to launch the brand.

Brands Report 2022: Mixers

13 January, 2022

Listening to the demands of bartenders, premium mixer brands have become increasingly experimental with their flavour combinations. To reflect this greater variety, the tonic water table of previous reports has been broadened to encompass all mixer brands.

Brands Report 2022: Sherry

12 January, 2022

Perhaps one of the smaller categories of the Brands Report, sherry is significant nonetheless. More than three-quarters of venues we polled stock sherry behind their bar. And most of those that do have two brands, while more than half will have three or more.

Brands Report 2022: Beer

12 January, 2022

High-end bars rarely allocate bar-top space to draught systems, meaning the bestselling list is a battle of the bottles.

Brands Report 2022: Mezcal

11 January, 2022

Pernod Ricard’s Del Maguey is still the dominant force within the mezcal sector. Its flagship Vida expression can be found in the best bars around the world and its green bottle is fast becoming one of the most recognised in the agave industry.

Brands Report 2022: Cachaca

11 January, 2022

Believe it or not, cachaça is the third most popular spirit in the world. In its homeland of Brazil, there are some 5,000 registered brands, with many more unregistered, and 40,000 distilleries.

Brands Report 2022: Tequila

11 January, 2022

The glow up that the tequila category has undergone in recent years must be the envy of the wider spirit world.

Brands Report 2022: Brandy

11 January, 2022

Our brandy category takes into account any brandy outside the Cognac region and embraces a hugely diverse collection of spirits.

Brands Report 2022: Pisco

10 January, 2022

Barsol reigns supreme in the pisco category. The Peruvian brand took a whopping 31% of the first-choice votes and 23% of the top-three pours in the World’s Best Bars.

Suntory has ended Nikka’s six-year reign as the most popular world whisky in the Brands Report.

Diageo’s Bulleit just about retained its position as the bestselling American whiskey in the World’s Best Bars.

It seems loyalty remains strong within the scotch whisky sector given the same 10 brands make up the bestselling list in 2022 as the previous year, albeit in a different order.

Brands Report 2022: Rum

04 January, 2022

The usual crowd have populated this year’s bestselling rum list. In fact, nine of the 10 brands remain a constant, with the first seven in the ranking identical to the previous year. 

Probably of all the leagues in the Annual Brands Report, a place in the Bartenders’ Choice list is the most sought-after among brands.

Brands Report editor Hamish Smith explains the methodolgy behind the report's polling system.

Pernod Ricard has completed the sale of a majority stake in Société des Produits d’Armagnac (SPA) to Cloudsweeper, an entity owned by entrepreneur Alexander Stein.

Suntory’s Yamazaki has topped the inaugural edition of Drinks International’s The World’s Most Admired Whiskies which launched on 21 October.

Lucas Bols has entered a joint venture with Edrington under the name Maxxium BeLux for distribution in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Pernod Ricard has taken a minority stake in the New York-based wine and spirits producer Sovereign Brands.

For many drinkers outside of its native Brazil, cachaça is a largely mysterious category, perhaps known as the star of a Caipirinha and nothing more. In its homeland, however, cachaça’s popularity borders on religious.

It has been a sobering quarter for hard seltzers. Sales of the canned RTD that disrupted the US alcohol market when it burst on to the scene in 2016 have finally stalled.

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