Brands Report: How we did it

02 January, 2018

AS WE SEEK TO IMPROVE our research products, the Drinks International Brands Report has seen some fine-tuning but the objective – to provide a snapshot of the buying habits of elite bars around the world – remains the same.

Simply put, the Brands Report is based around a poll of the best bars in the world. We ask bar owners, head bartenders and bar managers to open up their books and divulge their bars’ buying and selling behaviour.

Each respondent is asked to rank their three bestselling products in each category of spirits (plus wine and beer), giving us an indication of the brands that are selling best. 


The adjustment we have made this year is in how we define the ‘world’s best bars’. In previous editions of this report we have relied solely on the results of The World’s 50 Best Bars, but this year we have widened the scope to also include shortlisted bars in the major awards globally.

So, making up our sample are winners and nominees from The Word’s 50 Best Bars 1-100, Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, Asia’s 50 Best Bars, Drink Magazine’s Bar Awards, the Mixology Awards,
 the Class Bar Awards, Australian Bartender Awards and the Time
 Out Awards from various markets around the world.

This year we successfully interviewed 106 bar figures, which we feel is an adequate number to draw conclusions on the movement of brands at the elite end of the industry. There may be other studies with larger samples, 
but this methodology is designed to tap into the inner circle of influencers – the most admired and awarded bars in the world.

By polling winning
 or shortlisted bars from multiple competitions, including some national, we were able to improve the geographical spread. Naturally Europe – a broad base of the bar business – contributed most, though less than last year. 39% 
of respondents were from Europe, down from 45% last year.

Asia’s bar scene is developing quickly and therefore so should the region’s share of our sample of the world’s best bars. We’ve upped the Asian contingent from 23% to 28%, reflecting this advancement.

Australasia and North America, which are essentially both regions of two countries (Australia and New Zealand/the US and Canada) have 13% and 10% of the sample respectively, while emerging regions Latin America and Africa and the Middle East contributed 5% each.

The splits are perhaps not perfect, but we feel confident those that have taken part are competing at the top end of the business and that we have created a fairer global spread which can bear out more accurate conclusions. Elite bartenders tend to apply the same standards in their buying behaviour, and if this report is anything, it is insight into their thinking – the thinking behind the best bars in the world.

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