Smirnoff may still be the world’s leading alcoholic drinks brand, but its dominance is under threat, according to The Power 100 2011, the annual survey of the world’s leading drinks brands published by brand valuation and strategy consultancy Intangible Business.
Following a drop of 3pc last year, Smirnoff fell in volume and value by 5pc this year. According to Intangible Business, Diageo-owned brand’s 1pc volume decline and 4pc value decline is symptomatic of its ‘middle of the road’ positioning. Its brand reputation is suffering as a result, scoring 2pc lower this year.
Key threats are coming from the likes of Pernod Ricard’s Absolut up 6pc in volume and into The Power 100 top five, and Svedka, the biggest climber in the list, up nearly 20pc and 17 places to number 29.
Also closing in is Bacardi Martini with its flagship Bacardi rum brand. Its total score surged 5pc to retake the number two spot. Intangible Business said Bacardi is helped by being almost synonymous with the rum market in general.
The company, which works extensively in the drinks industry, researched nearly 10,000 spirit and wine brands across the globe to produce The Power 100, which is now in its sixth year. Brands are rated according to share of market, future growth, premium price position, awareness, relevance, heritage and brand perception.
Smirnoff achieved an overall score of 88.9pc, giving it a significant margin over the other brands that make up the top ten.
Johnnie Walker remains the world’s leading whiskey brand, despite slipping one place to number three in The Power 100.
The biggest faller this year is Cointreau which drops 16 places in this year’s The Power 100, despite a slight increase in volume sales. The fall was due largely to the brand score falling 5pc and the better performance of other featured brands.
The USA has most brands in The Power 100 with 17 brands, led by Jack Daniel’s, Gallo and Jim Beam; Scotland has 16 brands in The Power 100, led by Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s, and France with 14 brands, led by Hennessy, Moet et Chandon and Ricard.
“Confidence is clearly returning to the sector with opportunities in emerging markets such as Central and Eastern Europe, China and other Asian markets creating an interesting dynamic,” said Stuart Whitwell, joint managing director of Intangible Business. “The world has clearly changed following the recession with the balance of power shifting further east. No Chinese or Asian brands have yet made it into the top 100 but with the big groups increasing their presence there it is only a matter of time.”
“Consumers have also been exposed to and experimented with more value-orientated brands, developing a wider repertoire of options rather than sticking to the old favourites. Whilst many of the big brands have been able to withstand much of this pressure there are signs that times are changing. There are interesting times ahead.”
The Top 10 Most Powerful Wine & Spirits Brands 2011
3 JOHNNIE WALKER
4 MARTINI VERMOUTH
6 JACK DANIEL’S
8 CHIVAS REGAL
9 CAPTAIN MORGAN