Home' National Liquor News : NLN DEC 2016 Contents VODKA
NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS DECEMBER 2016 | 49
here is much to be made of, and with, vodka.
As a category it is mature, but that does
not mean that the opportunities should be
dismissed and they must certainly not be
ignored. Admittedly it may not have the excitement
surrounding it in the same way that other categories
such as gin, whisk(e)y and craft beer might have, but
excitement is not everything and opportunities can
present themselves in many different ways.
Firstly, it is a category that is in once again in
growth. According to the IRI and Australian Liquor
Stores Association (ALSA) State of the Industry
Report, vodka had seen negative growth of -1.8 per
cent in 2014, but in 2015 the category bounced back,
returning to growth at 3.5 per cent. Furthermore, it
is the traditional, non-flavoured varieties of vodka
that are driving that growth and underpinning the
category’s performance turnaround. Traditional non-
flavoured vodka still accounts for 94.4 per cent of all
the vodka that is sold, and with the sugar backlash in
full effect, the perception of the higher sugar content
and calories in flavoured vodkas appears to have
damaged that sector. Also as consumers look more at
their own mix at home drinks, the base that vodka
offers is helping to drive its growth.
The category is also one that is enjoying
premiumisation; in a similar way to other categories
premiumisation is driving a big part of vodka’s
growth, or it is certainly growing faster than the core
of the category. The core brands of vodka are still
all performing well, with eight of the top 10 vodka
brands seeing growth last year.
So the category is enjoying a combination of people
opting for more premium options and also having a
number of brands that play into that special occasion.
There is also a trend that has been a big factor in
the UK and is becoming more prevalent in Australia
and that is ‘Champagne Vodka’, not together, but
Champagne and Vodka and it is the high-end brands
being used in a celebratory fashion by consumers.
As Jonathan Morgan, Diageo Australia’s Marketing
Manager of Scotch and International Brands, points
out, that concept of consumers celebrating with
vodka presents some huge opportunities for retailers
and the time of year when that is most prevalent is
“There are some key times of year that really echo
that trend and the New Year week is definitely part
of that,” Morgan says. “It is a massive time of year
for super-premium and celebratory vodkas, just as
it is for Champagne and if there is any message that
we really want to get to retailers it is that if there is
any week in their calendar that they are going to give
great coverage to top-end vodka, that New Year week
really is it. That is what people are looking for at that
time of year, top-end vodka.”
So as premium occasions come up, consumers are
looking for premium drinks, and for Diageo that
premium space is largely taken by Cîroc.
Morgan adds: “Cîroc is in an early-life phase, there is
a huge amount of headroom for Cîroc, but it is still very
early days for the brand and for consumer awareness.
We are focused on supporting the right venues in
showcasing the celebratory drink that is Cîroc.
“We are almost looking to treat Cîroc a bit like a
Champagne brand, in the way that we are supporting
it and supporting venues. The great thing about Cîroc
is that we have the US to look at, in terms of what
we could do and what Cîroc can be. I think that the
danger is trying to do it too fast and we don’t want to
do it at a speed that is not credible, especially with a
brand like Cîroc. That part of the category is growing
fast and Cîroc is part of that.”
But there other brands who are making the most of
the premiumisation in Australia’s vodka category.
One of those is U’Luvka Vodka from Global Beverage
Brands, whose International Marketing and NPD
Manager, Tina Hedinger says: “Premiumisation is a
huge factor in the vodka category. Value growth has
exceeded volume growth in the vodka category for the
last two years which is indicative of this premiumisation.
“This is partly why we found U’Luvka to be the
perfect new offering to the category. U’Luvka Vodka
is of exceptional quality and is created using the finest
Rye, Wheat and Barley by one of Poland’s foremost
modern alchemists. It has been distilled just three
times to ensure strength, purity and smoothness, while
retaining character, body and depth of flavour.”
Sergey Kucher, Australia’s Brand Ambassador for
Beluga Vodka agrees that vodka’s premiumisation
is something to be fully aware of, highlighting that
what consumers are discovering in the on-premise is
transferring into their off-premise habits.
“Obviously premiumisation has affected all the
vodka, gin and whiskey categories but not in the same
proportion,” Kucher says. “Australia is becoming
Links Archive NLN NOV 2016 NLN FEB 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page