Brands Report: Cachaça

With so many players, this is a tough category where marketing is key, says Hamish Smith

Cachaça is a big category of around 85m 9-litre cases globally – but in the bar it is small. For now, rhum agricole looks like the sugar cane juice spirit most likely to catch bartenders’ imaginations, while cachaça has to do more to tell its story. That said, 90% of our sample of the world’s best bars stocked a cachaça. Two-thirds carried two brands but only 40% said they stocked more.

So, with limited back bar space, the competition is tough. It comes down to the juice, of course, but also the full marketing package – not to mention the packaging.

Two brands have succeeded in promoting the category’s premium image globally and it is they which sit top of this list. Sagatiba, launched by Brazilian entrepreneur Marcos de Moraes, was one of the first premium cachaças. Its owner since 2011, Gruppo Campari has made sure that if there is a desire for cachaça, Sagatiba is in place to deliver. Almost a fifth of bars said it was their house cachaça.

Competition comes in the form of Leblon. The brand has been most successful in finding traction in the US but, under its owner since 2015, Bacardi, has found global distribution – 15% of bars said Leblon was their go-to cachaça.

Cachaça 51 isn’t used to finishing third. For decades the Cia Müller de Bebidas brand has dominated the category by volume, though it has to be said most of its circa 17m case sales stays in Brazil, where 99% of cachaça is consumed. 51’s export variant is the top choice in 10% of bars. The export strategy for most cachaça brands is oriented around markets with Brazilian diaspora and those with cocktail culture.

The Caipirinha is the cocktail of great hope for all the producers in this list, but has never quite materialised as the next Mojito – it languishes at number 44 in our list of the world’s 50 best-selling cocktails.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.