“The Millionaires Club” is an annual ranking of liquor brands published by Drinks International and Euromonitor International based on data provided by participating countries. The purpose of this list is to rank all the local and global liquor brands that sell at least 1 million 9 liter cases in the year.

As you can see, apart from the seven global brands, the top 20 is dominated by mostly Indian and a few Chinese brands.

The fact that China and India are two of the most populated countries of the world is perhaps, a contributing factor to this dominance. Also, consumers in India and China still can’t afford premium global brands and gravitate more towards relatively cheaper and lower quality local brands.

Here are some other trends from the ranking, courtesy a recent report from Ad Age.

  1. Global brands account for only 60 of the top 180 brands included in the list.
  2. American whiskey, spearheaded by Jack Daniels, is doing good.
  3. Even though Smirnoff is the top global brand, second only to China’s local brand Jinro in the overall ranking, it’s growth is disappointing as it has hit saturation point is key markets.
  4. A Chinese local spirit category called “baijiu” (ever heard about it before?) is not only the largest selling in the world but accounts for 25% of global spirits volume and is growing strongly. But if you are thinking of trying it, first pay heed to The Urban Dictionary’s description of baijiu, “Pure distilled evil in liquid form. Chinese firewater that could be used to put a man on a moon of a planet in a far off galaxy.” Hic!
  5. Series of elections in Philippines in 2011 resulted in doubling the growth of Philippines brandy brand, Emperador. According to the country’s custom, drinks are offered to voters to make them attend election rallies. Wondering why isn’t this a global custom!
  6. Seven Indian whiskey brands in the top 20 can only mean one thing. Indians drink a lot of whiskey, and we are patriotic about it!


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