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Johnnie Walker takes strides in South Africa

South African newspaper the Sunday Times has named Johnnie Walker as the country’s most popular alcoholic spirit in its annual Top Brands survey.

African cream liqueur brand Amarula made second place after moving up eight rankings in the results table since last year, while Jack Daniel’s moved from sixth place to third place.

Last year’s holder of the top ranking, Hennessy Cognac, along with 2011’s second-placed spirits brand Jameson whiskey, both failed to make the top three spots.

Siobhan Thomson, international marketing spokesperson for Amarula, said, “South Africa remains our single biggest market and it is very encouraging to see it maintain a robust momentum from an already well-established base.”

TNS Research Surveys collected the data, which covered beer, cider and spirits but not wine, through interviewing 3,500 South Africans over the age of 18. Participants were asked about the frequency with which they consumed specific brands, as well as how they perceived individual brands compared to their competitors.

Commenting on the survey results, Mark Molenaar, executive director of TNS, said: “It is evident that particular brands tailor-make their services to appeal to different market segments.

“We will continue to see this trend as businesses and business owners look at the best deal or service that will either save on overall costs or time spent on a particular task.”

This year’s top three beers were Hansa, Heineken and Castle Lite – the latter knocking Carling Black Label from third position.

A number of international drinks brands are stepping up their focus on African markets, viewing these as an important source of future growth. Earlier this year Concha Y Toro became the first Chilean wine firm to establish a permanent base in South Africa.

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