StateWays - January/February 2017

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays | | January/February 2017 20 To reach consumers, especially those younger LDAs, and increase their market presence, imported vodka brands are bor- rowing a few pages from brown spirits and the American craft boom, then broadcasting messaging via social and other digital media about brand authenticity and product provenance. "In the past, the term 'imported,' was a key differentiator of luxury or premium because it came from abroad; there was a certain allure," says, Nicolas Guillant, president Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits Americas, whose portfolio includes the Sobieski Vodka brand. While the concept of imported still has resonance for American consumers, he says, that is no longer enough. "The liquid inside the bottle is what counts." "Designations like craft or imported can be an element of a brand's identity, but such designations alone do not drive sales anymore," says David Ozgo, senior vice president for Economic and Strategic Analysis for the Distilled Spirits Council. "Con- sumers today are too sophisticated and demanding. Consumers are looking for authentic, quality products that deliver unique experiences. Craft or imported brands might get the consumer's attention initially, but there has to be more to a brand than a category designation if it is going to be around for long." BONA FIDES The enthusiasm and embrace of all things whiskey have trained interested consumers to delve into the details of authenticity and provenance of the brown spirits they drink. Imported vodka pro- ducers are hoping this inclination will translate to white spirits as well. "There are some things we can borrow from the American craft brands, since the source of origin has become increasingly important to consumers: they want to understand where prod- ucts come from and to feel connected to those communities," says Nick Guastaferro, brand director for Absolut Vodka. The vodka was fi rst produced in 1879 and is still made in Ahus, Sweden. "Millennial consumers are continuing to crave transparency, so there is a continued shift towards authenticity in the Ameri- LEADING BRANDS OF IMPORTED VODKA, 2013-2015 (000 9-LITER CASES) 14/15 BRAND ORIGIN SUPPLIER 2013 2014 2015 % Chg Svedka Sweden Constellation Brands 3,950 4,080 4,200 2.9% Absolut Sweden Pernod Ricard USA 4,440 4,135 4,035 -2.4% Grey Goose France Bacardi USA 2,900 2,868 2,735 -4.6% Pinnacle Vodka France Beam Suntory 2,756 2,675 2,624 -1.9% Ketel One Vodka Netherlands Diageo/Nolet Spirits 2,150 2,175 2,099 -3.5% Stolichnaya Latvia Stoli Group USA 1,585 1,590 1,670 5.0% Ciroc France Diageo 1,895 1,975 1,585 -19.7% Three Olives UK Proximo Spirits 1,575 1,570 1,570 0.0% Sobieski Poland Imperial Brands 995 835 835 0.0% Exclusiv Moldova Serge Imports 565 627 650 3.7% Belvedere Vodka Poland Moet Hennessy USA 488 510 535 4.9% Pearl Vodka Canada Luxco 250 250 275 10.0% Finlandia Finland Brown-Forman Beverages 254 261 251 -3.8% Luksusowa Poland Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits 200 217 250 15.2% Fris Vodka Denmark Pernod Ricard USA 257 249 245 -1.6% Russian Standard Russia Russian Standard USA 238 238 240 0.8% Ivanabitch Netherlands International Spirits 192 192 194 1.0% Orloff Brazil MS Walker Inc 155 160 162 1.3% Tanqueray Sterling UK Diageo 140 120 122 1.7% Effen Holland Beam Suntory 62 40 120 200.0% Vincent Van Gogh Vodka Netherlands Luctor International 140 115 112 -2.6% Chopin Vodka Poland Chopin Imports Ltd 83 91 95 4.4% Total Leading Brands 25,271 24,973 24,604 -1.5% Total Imported Vodka 27,040 26,700 26,350 -1.3% (++) Greater than 100%. Source: The Beverage Information & Insights Group. For more data and analysis, visit IMPORTED VODKA | CATEGORY UPDATE

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