Millionaires' Club: Liqueurs

10 June, 2016

Drinks International's annual league of million-case brands returns. Here is a list of the world's best-selling Liqueurs brands in 2015.


Baileys remains king fish in a sea of colourful tiddlers. It’s a colourful category with new species being discovered all the time. Baileys is the biggest fish in the tank but it’s been struggling for some time.

Mark Sandys, global head of Baileys at Diageo, told Drinks International: “In the five years since the financial crisis, sales have been relatively flat, but Baileys is showing strong growth and Europe is leading the way.” But this growth was not enough to change the far column on this table as sales remain on 6.2m.

Pernod Ricard’s Malibu and Kahlúa are both in decline, -3% and -6% respectively. The company is hoping flavours will equal fortunes as Malibu line extensions are in the offing. Pineapple will join the Strawberry & Kiwi variant on UK shelves later this month. At the latest financial results, Denis O’Flynn, Pernod Ricard UK MD, said: “In the context of the UK, [flavours] are one of our key drivers of growth.” As for Kahlúa, CEO Alex Ricard was refreshingly frank: “It’s fair to say from a prioritisation and resources point of view Kahlúa is not a brand behind which we are investing most. It happens.”

Casting an eye further down the table, the next global brand is also in decline. Brown-Forman offloaded Southern Comfort to Sazerac earlier this year as it continued to struggle against other entrants and cases fell for an eighth consecutive year. It is hoped the new owners will be able to boost sales and repeat the success of its Fireball range – a brand that is thought to sell around 4.6m nine-litre cases in the US alone.

Brown-Forman is certainly doing something right with its Jack Daniel’s range, as both its bourbon and liqueurs brand reported growth last year.

Since joining the Millionaires’ ranks two years ago, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey has grown where all other liqueur brands have dipped.

Stock Spirits is somewhat lost at sea and its widely report troubles have hit all its million-case brands. Its two liqueurs brands are the biggest losers in this category this year.

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