The World’s Most Popular Duty Free Spirits [MAP]

If you’re the type who always walks by the Duty Free shops when you’re flying internationally, the next sentence will probably surprise you. Duty Free shopping is big business, to the tune of $63.4 billion in 2014. Bottles of alcohol are a big part of that haul — among the best selling product categories overall, Scotch comes in at 5th place, wine at 13th, Cognac at 14th, Vodka at 22nd, and other liqueurs at 25th.

Diving deeper into the world of the nearly $9 billion duty free spirits business reveals two standout facts:

  • Scotch Whisky is massively popular among travelers, taking the top spot in the majority of the world’s duty free shops.
  • Despite Scotch’s incredible share of your average traveller’s duty free shopping spree, whether in Scotland, Shanghai, or San Francisco, there are big regional differences, as the map below reveals.

Keep reading after the map to see the world’s best selling duty free brands — overall and among whiskies.

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The World's Most Popular Duty Free Spirits

As whisky – Scotch in particular – dominates duty free purchases, we looked at which whiskies travelers are drinking. No surprise here, as the world’s best selling liquor brand takes the top spot. American whiskey is largely absent from the map, yet Jack Daniel’s makes a strong showing in second place.

The World's Best Selling Duty Free Whiskies

Looking beyond just whisky, here are the top ten brands overall:

Brand Cases Sold (000)
Johnnie Walker 2,256.3
Absolut Vodka 918.4
Jack Daniel’s 899.7
Chivas Regal 887.4
Bacardi 676.8
Baileys 614.8
Ballantine’s 588.2
Smirnoff 582.4
Hennessy 545.2
Famous Grouse 391.8

Header image via OlegD /